A native of Lincoln, Nebraska, Chris Sayre has dedicated more than 40 years to the performance and promotion of both traditional and contemporary folk music. With his award-winning vocals and accompanied on English concertina, button accordion, fretted dulcimer, acoustic guitars, mandolin, musical saw and ukelin, Mr. Sayre takes his audiences on a musical journey through history by exploring the songs and dance tunes of our common experience.
Chris has been recognized throughout his career. He was awarded First Place Male Singer at the Nebraska State Country Music Championship in Springfield, Nebraska in 1982. That same year, he earned first place in both folksinger and miscellaneous instrument categories at the Westfair Championships held in Council Bluffs, Iowa. In 1984, he contributed to the soundtrack of the nationally aired PBS documentary, Plowing Up a Storm. During this period, he was also part of the Nebraska Arts Council's touring program, both with the group Northwynd and the duo Newton and Sayre.
Between 1988 and 1992, Chris performed nationwide at over 1,000 schools. In 1995, he contributed both to the soundtrack of the Nebraska Educational TV documentary on the life of George Norris called, The Fighting Liberal, and then the nationally aired PBS documentary, In Search of the Oregon Trail.
In 2000, Mr. Sayre was honored to receive the Lincoln Community Radio Station KZUM Members Choice Award for Artist of the Year. In 1999, 2000, and 2001, he was also awarded the Members Choice Award for Folk Artist of the Year. Also, during that period, he received a Bitsy award from the Nebraska Arts Council for his many years of service to the arts.
In 2016, Chris wrapped up a successful 30 year run in the Nebraska Arts Council’s Artist in Schools Program. Now, as we move forward in 2021 and life hopefully gets back to something resembling normal, he will continue to offer his three programs with the Humanities Nebraska Speakers Bureau, perform with the group Paddywhack as part of the Nebraska Arts Council’s Touring Program, and play his signature style of music at venues throughout Nebraska and the surrounding region.
Chris has two solo recordings currently available. Falcon Rust includes 14 original songs from folk to country blues and features the talents of many well-known area musicians. Most Times Good has 16 originals written in a variety of styles and features Lincoln legends Steve Hanson and Steve 'Fuzzy' Blazek. Chris also appears with the Celtic group Paddywhack on recordings: Whacked Out (2001), Something Old, Something New (2006) and I Wish They'd Do It Now (2015).