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Davis Bates: Songs & Stories for Everyone


Davis Bates' performances are a mixture of family, Native American, international and regional songs and stories. They speak of empowerment, history, spirit and the environment.

Pete Seeger called Davis "thoughtful, creative, human, and a fantastic storyteller." Davis' traditional and participatory style of telling empowers and encourages audiences of all ages to join in the fun, and to take the stories home with them to share with others. He also encourages listeners to find stories in books, and to remember and tell stories from their own family and cultural tradition.

Davis Bates has been telling stories for over thirty-eight years, in schools, libraries, and community settings around New York & New England and across the country. His recording Family Stories won a prestigious Parents Choice Magazine Gold Award, and received a starred review by the American Library Association’s Booklist magazine. Davis lives in a small hilltown village in western Massachusetts, and when he isn't performing or collecting and learning songs and stories he spends his time gardening and working on various pollinator preservation projects.


Workshops on beginning storytelling, storytelling & literacy, and on finding family stories have been enthusiastically received in schools, colleges, museums and festivals, including Sturbridge Village Museum, the Connecticut Storytelling Festival, and at New York State Parents as Reading Partners conferences.

>> Read more about Davis Bates' workshops.

Duo with Davis Bates and Roger Tincknell

Davis Bates also collaborates his storytelling and music performances with musician Roger Tincknell.

>> Read more about their collaboration.

Quotes about Performances & Workshops

"Davis is a fantastic storyteller and singer - thoughtful, creative and human" - Pete & Toshi Seeger

Children & Inter-generational

"The teachers and students love it when Davis visits. We'll have him back again and again!" - Parent, Marion Street School PTA, Lynbrook, NY.


"Davis is very talented! Children and adults rave about his stories, songs, spoon playing, and the dancing wooden dog named Bingo." - Librarian, Rockport Public Library, Rockport, MA.


"Davis is a true old soul with an empathic nature that enhances all of his performances. He has an excellent sense of how to best respond to the children in his audience. The children love his engaging stories and funny stories. The adults hear the lessons but the kids just hear the fun! We look forward to every visit!" - Program Coordinator, Hopkinton Parks & Rec, Hopkinton, MA.


"The very best in truly interactive entertainment." - The Worcester Transcript Telegram, Worcester, MA.


"Davis promotes a real sense of community, bringing folks of all ages together with good old-fashioned fun and entertainment. I would recommend Davis Bates as a performer for children, seniors, adults and families. He has an unique ability to work with a wide variety of age groups." - Director, Northbridge Council on Aging, Whitinsville, MA.


"Thanks for helping to celebrate our summer reading finale. What a joy! We'll have you back again!" - Director, Hinsdale Public Library, Hinsdale, MA.


"It is always a joy to watch a master at work. The pacing of the program was well groomed to the needs of my second graders. It is no mean feat to manage to keep this year's very active class attentive on the afternoon right before spring break. They all walked out singing!" - 2nd Grade Teacher, Vine Hill School, Scott's Vally, CA.


"You were engaging, funny and entertaining, while still educating at the same time. The campers loved Bingo and the Wide Mouthed Frog! - Camp Counselor, Camp Burgess, Marstons Mills, MA.

Adults, Teens & Tweens

"Davis' ability to engage teens around a campfire - with ghost stories, work songs, and folktales - is amazing." - Coordinator, Old Rochester Junior High School Survival Week.


"Adults were just as engaged by your ghost stories and tales of the supernatural as the teens and tween. Great program!" - Librarain, Berkley Public Library, Berkley, MA.


"Davis' unique brand of humor and nostalgia is a delight for any age and of particular interest to seniors." - Activity Coordinator, Veterans Senior Center, Woburn, MA.


"The storytelling tradition is in Davis Bates' bones. He radiates compassion and warmth, connecting with his audience and helping them, through his own deeply felt and absorbing tales, to remember their own." - Program Chair, Ashfield Historical Society, Ashfield, MA.


"Terrific program - well-paced, with well chosen material. I appreciated the multi-cultural content and the combination of literary folktales and stories from your own life. The parrot story was beautifully told - so simple - with great gestures. And I loved the wedding ring story; it made my eyes well up." - Librarian, Community Library, South Burlington, VT.


"Your workshop was great! It gave me many tools that I can realistically use in my work with children and adults and my library." Participant, MA Librarians Annual Retreat, Pittsfield, MA.