With their self-made branch flutes and original eco-folk songs
Jon and Sabine Sherman weave an enchanting story about a dryad,
the spirit of an oak tree, awakening a man to a deeper understanding 
of nature.  
With its cultural and ecological insights
this Earth-friendly program offers
inspiration and hope
to all who love and care about our natural world!

  Jon Sherman
Jon's love for nature was awakened at the age of two, when the wild, green pasture in the back of his Idaho home glowed with its welcoming life force.   Later, his dad would introduce him to the rivers and mountains of that beautiful region, while his mom encouraged his creative and musical side.  After moving to Southern California, Jon earned his professional theater credentials in the 1970's as a member of South Coast Repertory's acting company, performing in several of their main stage productions, including two successful runs of the musical "Godspell", while touring schools throughout Orange and Los Angeles Counties in SCR's Actors Mime Theater and children's theater troupes.  In the late 1980's Jon designed and built an outdoor wooden stage, under the oaks, at the beautiful Descanso Gardens, where he started performing his original Earth-friendly songs.  As an eco-musician wanting to walk his talk, Jon started using a solar powered sound system in 1989 for his outdoor performances.   He has participated in many environmentally conscious events over the years and has completed 3 CDs of original music and poetry.  In 2006, Jon started hand-crafting his own branch flutes, his Dryad Flutes highly sought after now for their quality of craftsmanship, unique natural beauty and ecological integrity.  When Sabine Kurz contacted Jon about making a branch flute for her, a wonderful relationship was sparked. And out of the synergy of their passions, interests, and environmental consciousness, they have given birth to Dryad.
   Dr. Sabine Kurz-ShermanSabine
Sabine has nurtured a love for music and nature since studying classical piano as a young girl growing up enchanted by the green forests of Germany.  Her early work in the sciences included biotope mapping as a field biologist and electron microscopy research.  Excelling academically, Sabine earned her PhD in biology at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz.  As a scientist, Dr. Kurz has published 14 peer reviewed articles and has presented her research at 22 national and international conferences.  When her scientific career brought her to the United States, Sabine's heart opened to the beautiful yet increasingly endangered bioregions of California, her home for twenty years now.   Professor Kurz is currently teaching biology at the college level in the San Diego region where she is also a certified yoga instructor, inspiring all of her students to open their spirit, hearts and minds to environmental awareness.  Expressing herself musically, Sabine performed for 11 years with the Latin Jazz band Cadencia on keyboards, percussion and lead vocals, recording 3 CDs with that group.  A deeply spiritual experience in an old growth forest inspired a quest to find a flute that could better express the deeper realization of life that had opened up to her.  Having learned about the branch flutes Jon Sherman was making, a very special relationship sprouted.  And out of their combined talents, experience and environmental concerns, Dryad was born.
Artist Statement

It has been said that we will conserve only that which we love.  And it may be true.  Sadly, too much of Southern California's unique and biodiverse natural landscape has been lost to forces less than love, that have only taken from our natural community without giving back, showing little respect for the sacred tree of life on whose branch we are all sitting.

So, let's fall in love with this place!  After all, it's a human need to love where we live.  And music can help in this regard.  We know that the power of song can heal a broken heart, provide atmosphere for a romantic evening, or help seal the bond of a sacred wedding ceremony.  But love songs need not be limited to human relationships.  Folk songs of many cultures include expressions of love for a particular place in nature, depicting through lyrics and melody the beauty
of a mountain, river valley, or waterfall.  

Our musical play, Dryad, understands this, and keeps alive that aspect of folk music.  
Dryad is a love song for the bioregion of Southern California, a place that, for thousands of years, was paradise to the indigenous people here.  And it could be paradise again.  For despite how abused the Earth has been in this region, she is still worthy of being loved.  And there are many places of natural beauty still to be found here, to fall in love with.  And in relationships of respect, gratitude and reciprocity, nature is very capable of loving us back.  And then, there is paradise found!  

With eight original songs played on our own self-made branch flutes and sung in two part vocal harmony with folk guitar accompaniment, Dryad offers a musical journey into the spiritual heart of nature.  Ours is not necessarily children's music, as so many environmental education songs tend to be.  Our intent is to touch the hearts of all who love nature, with lyrics and dialogue captivating enough for most adults, yet simple enough in storyline for most children to understand and enjoy.  The two characters in Dryad , a wise, enchanting tree spirit and a comically confused human, interact with a lighthearted sincerity dusted with enough acorn wisdom and nature magic to reach the innocence in us all.  And that is the intent of Dryad, or of any dryad or tree spirit -- to enchant its listeners into a deeper love for the natural world.   

~ Jon and Sabine Sherman

"Jon and Sabine, this afternoon's program was outstanding.  Thank you!" 
~ Jay Wilson, Executive Director Mission Trails Regional Park

"Thank you both for your amazing presence.  The event was elevated by your performance. 
We hope you will join us for future events!"
~ David Solomon, Terra Madre Gardens

"You hit it out of the park.  Your new fan base in the desert wants you back!"
~ Leslie Gebhart, UU Church of the Desert

"A beautiful presentation and a great message as well." 
~ Jean Vought, Friends of the Vista Library

"What an incredible experience!"
~ Selene Miles, Biology Professor Grossmont College  



Dryad at White Point Preserve and Education Center

Dryad     Dryad
Dryad Dryad


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