Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers has combined his twin passions for words and music into a multifaceted career as a musician, author, and teacher.
A grand prize winner in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest, Rodgers performs original folk rock with masterful band-in-a-box accompaniment on acoustic guitar. He has released five solo albums, plus a best-selling video series teaching his acoustic arrangements of Grateful Dead songs. His music has racked up numerous honors in recent years, including a Sammy Award for Best Americana, an Emerging Artist showcase at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, and a feature on the public radio program Folk Alley. In 2016, his duo with songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Wendy Ramsay, known as Pepper and Sassafras, was the New Voices winner at the Turtle Hill Folk Festival and finalist for the Best Duo Award at FreshGrass.
Based in Syracuse, New York, Rodgers performs solo, as a duo, and with a full acoustic band. He has collaborated with fiddler/singer Rani Arbo in concert and in the studio; performed as a sideman with artists including Dan Bern, Celia Woodsmith (Della Mae), and Maura Kennedy; and opened shows for John Gorka, Peter Case, Eric Bibb, Cheryl Wheeler, Peter Mulvey, Jeffrey Foucault, and more.
Rodgers is also the founding editor of Acoustic Guitar magazine and a contributor to NPR’s All Things Considered. His books include Rock Troubadours; featuring his interviews with such artists as Jerry Garcia, Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, and Dave Matthews; and The Complete Singer-Songwriter, recently published by Backbeat Books in an expanded second edition.
A “renowned guitar teacher” (Boston Globe), Rodgers leads workshops on guitar and songwriting, and teaches courses on songwriting and creative nonfiction writing in the honors program at Syracuse University.