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3rd Annual Port Jefferson Sea Shanty &
Maritime Music Festival


Harborfront Park, 101A East Broadway, Port Jefferson NY

Saturday August 19th from Noon to Dusk!


Presented by:

Greater Port Jefferson-Northern Brookhaven Arts Council,
the Port Jefferson Village Historian,
and the Folk Music Society of New York,

in collaboration with the Village of Port Jefferson Department of Recreation, Long Island Seaport and Eco Center,
and Port Jefferson BID


Free admission - all ages welcome

Welcome to this wonderful Sea Shanty Festival in beautiful Harborfront Park, an oasis in the bustling heart of the historic shipbuilding Village of Port Jefferson. Come for an afternoon of authentic Sea Shanties and dockside work songs, performed by some of the most well-known singers of the genre from New England, Long Island and the UK, with a grand finale concert featuring all the musicians. 


Festival attendees can explore the history and techniques of wooden boat building and enjoy the “Quick & Dirty Boat Build” presented by LI Seaport and Eco Center, accompanied by songs of the great Age of Sail. 


There is a boatload of interesting and fun things to see and hear at the Festival. Bring out your inner scalawag at the pirate camp with Pirates At Large, thrill to street singers on the sidewalks of the Village, (sponsored by Port Jefferson BID), and discover the shipbuilding history of Bayles Boatyard, all within singing distance of the stage.


Our featured performers are:

John Roberts     

David Jones

David Littlefield

Bonnie & Dan Milner

Heather Wood  

Joseph Morneault

Geoff Kaufman         

Deirdre Murtha and Alan Short


As well as an array of Long Island singers and musicians at locations around the Village, including the founder of Soldier’s Fancy Marie O’Connell.

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Image by Jakob Braun

The Festival is on! If it’s rainy, we will be indoors at the Port Jeff Village Center, 101A East Broadway, so join us!










Joseph Morneault is a social historian and performs with a few groups as well as performing some solo work, bringing to life early American songs relating to the everyday person: work songs, songs of the sailor, drinking songs, songs of love and consequences, ballads, and introspective songs. His involvement with traditional and historical fife and drum goes back to his earliest grammar school days. While he still plays (as well as makes) fifes and such, he is currently a free agent, focusing more on his craftsmanship and his interpretation of songs. Joseph is the founder and president of the Annual Connecticut Sea Music Festival, which takes place in Essex, CT.



















David Jones was originally from England and now lives in Leonia, New Jersey, gateway to the golden west. He has a large repertoire of folksong from both sides of the Atlantic. David has performed in North America, Britain, Australia and Europe, singing at festivals, concert halls, clubs, maritime museums and colleges, presenting songs from the great days of sail, Music Hall favorites, traditional ballads, and the works of contemporary writers. He sings both acapella and with guitar accompaniment and involves his audience in refrains and choruses ranging from boisterous to sentimental. David is also member of The New York Packet.
















Heather Wood is a veteran singer from the English revival for some 50+ years, dating from her days with The Young Tradition. She has a great repertoire of ballads, historical songs, love, maritime, and agricultural songs, and a lot from the humorous side. In addition to the old songs, she has written some dynamite new ones. Over the years, Heather has also acted as agent for other artists, run folk clubs, organized weekends and other events, and written about folk music for an assortment of publications. She is a member of The New York Packet and treasurer and program chair of The Folk Music Society of New York, co-sponsors of this festival.











John Roberts is an internationally known singer of folksongs from the British Isles, born and raised in Worcestershire, England, of a Welsh family.

Singing solo, John often accompanies his songs with banjo or concertina, or sings them a cappella, depending on how he feels the song. He is well known for his work with Tony Barrand, another ex-pat Brit – they became the two lively Brits who sang folksongs, often wore funny hats, and went on to sing at folk festivals such as Fox Hollow, Mariposa, Philadelphia, Hudson River Revival, and Old Songs,  and were part of ‘Nowell Sing We Clear’ for over 40 years.

John has performed at various folk festivals including the Mystic Sea Music Festival, the Newfoundland Folk Festival, New Bedford’s Summerfest and Working Waterfront Festivals, the San Francisco Sea Music Festival, the Fox Valley (IL) Festival, and the Old Songs Festival.

















Deirdre Murtha is an early childhood music teacher in Fairfield County, CT. Her music, dance, and theater programs bring her to preschools, libraries, camps, and home-based groups. Deirdre grew up steeped in the Irish music tradition, and got hooked on maritime music after attending chantey sings at South Street Seaport in NYC. She is a member of the maritime and sea chantey group, The Johnson Girls and South Street Seaport’s resident chantey group, The New York Packet..

Alan Short has been singing since childhood - slipping into folk clubs since early teens and performing many genres of music, from choral to rock, with a lifelong interest in traditional folk music and in particular, maritime music. Originally from England, he has lived in the USA since the mid-80s. Frequently performing in NY and Connecticut folk clubs and venues, he is one of the founders and a regular performer at the Port Jefferson Sea Music Festival and a regular performer in the Port Jefferson Dickens Festival. He is also a member of the New York Packet.

Alan and Deirdre are members of the trio Old Fid with Sean Murtha.

(Photo by Földi Krisztina)















Dan and Bonnie Milner sing sea chanteys and traditional maritime songs in unaccompanied harmony. Each is also a strong solo vocalist. As members of the New York Packet, they have hosted and performed at both live and online chantey sings at South Street Seaport Museum. They have appeared at festivals and in concerts throughout the U.S. and overseas.
Dan’s background of growing up in a singing Irish family, informs his repertoire and singing style. His CD, Irish Pirate Ballads, received two Indie Award nominations in 2011. Bonnie’s interest in sea songs was sparked by
her friendship with the last working shantyman, Stan Hugill. She is a founding member of the renowned all-woman maritime quartet, The Johnson Girls. Together, Dan and Bonnie bring a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm to their songs.














Geoff Kaufman is one of today’s great voices in maritime music, heard from coast to coast in America and throughout Europe. Geoff, who has been called “one of the finest and strongest tenor voices on the folk scene” is most widely known for his music of the sea, a specialty which began in 1976 in preparation to sing for Op Sail ‘76 in New York City with a quartet named STOUT, and honed over the last thirty-five years during his employment at Mystic Seaport as a chanteyman, Foreman of Interpretive Music Programs and Director of the annual Sea Music Festival. Geoff has been featured in publications from Le Chasse Marée in Douarnenez, France, and has toured extensively in England, France, Holland, Germany and Poland.

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