Lil Rev was born in 1968 in Milwaukee, WI where he currently resides. Rev graduated from John Marshall High School in 1987 and went on to receive his Bachelors Degree in Educational Policy & Community Development (Community Ed.) from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee.
Rev grew up in a musical family with a Mom who loved to sing Broadway and grandparents who sang and played piano and harmonica. He purchased his first guitar at the age of 12 with his paper route money and set about learning chords and songs off of his favorite records. Guitar was followed by Harmonica, Mandolin, and later Banjo.
At about 25 years, he was given an old beat up Wendell Hall Banjo Ukulele and likewise, voraciously set about the task of learning how to master this humble little instrument so imbued with tradition and style.
While he is hopelessly Midwestern, his frequent travels find him teaching and touring all over the continental United States. His many unique niches include one man shows of Jewish Cultural History (Jews of Tin Pan Alley, Jews N Blues), Scraps of Quilting Music (A Celebration of Quilting Lore and History in American), Yiddish Song & Story,
Harmonica Workshops for Kids and Adults, Ukulele Festivals and Workshops, Songwriter, Storyteller, Music History Lectures at Elderhostels, and much, much more!
Currently Lil Rev writes instructional books for Hal Leonard Publishing, presents clinics all over the U.S. and tours internationally as a performer of time honored classics including: Ukulele Music, Old-Time Blues, Tin Pan Alley, American Folk, Jewish & Yiddish Folksongs, and Original Songs.
Voted Best Folk Singer in Wisconsin -- WAMI 2004
Inducted into The Traditional Old-Time Country Music Hall of Fame - 2003
Voted Best Instrumentalist Harmonica -- WAMI 2000
Voted Best Acoustic Act in Milwaukee 1996-1997 Shepherd Express Reader's Choice
Hohner's 1996 National Blues Harmonica Champion
Photo: Deone Jahnke
Lil' Rev, Purveyor of Good-Time Music
"A remarkable musician, entertainer, and teacher."
Mayor, Liverpool, Nova Scotia
"A Ukulele & Harmonica Wizard"
"Lil' Rev is an immensely talented and entertaining performer whose fast-paced shows cover a broad range of musical landscape. His concise, eloquent and witty introductions add to the fun! This man knows music, instruments, history, cultures, and most of all, how to engage and captivate an audience."
Dave Humphreys, Two Way Street Coffee House Director
Past President, Folk Alliance
"Lil Rev is the Jewish Pete Seeger: a voice that just pulls you in, a raconteur, and a folksinger in the classic tradition of songs of justice, dignity, and Jewish heritage."
Rabbi Larry Milder
"Listen to this! Lil Rev is Great!"
"Lil' Rev isn't an act -- he's real!"
Former Library of Congress Head Folk Archivist