Dryad ~ A musical conversation with the spirit of a tree!

 Under the arboreal name of their two person band Dryad, Dr. Sabina Kurz-Sherman and her husband Jon Sherman sing their original Earth songs in celebration and defense of their California natural community. Through an empathic, ecocentric musical styling expressed as gentle vocal harmonies accompanied by classical guitar and flutes Jon makes from tree branches, Dryad weaves into their lyrics the natural wonders and environmental concerns of the biodiversity hotspot in which they live. 

Pioneers of eco-folk music,
Dryad sonically blends with the natural atmosphere of their unique neck of the woods drawing inspiration for their songs from the under-represented other-than-human beings of nature living there. As songwriters, theirs is an ecocentric vision aimed at inspiring their audience out of the cultural trance of anthropocentrism back into good relations with our natural world. Toward that aim, Dryad harmonizes the science background of  Dr. Sabina Kurz-Sherman, a Professor of Biology for 18 years now, with Jon Sherman's 36 years as an eco-musician.

During their show, introductions to each of their songs are presented as a theatrical dialogue between Jon and a charming dryad, the spirit of an oak tree, who sings and speaks (with artistic license) through Sabina. Dryad's unique and enchanting family-friendly show invites their audience home to their hearts to embrace their birthright as human beings living in respectful, natural community with the web of life.   

  Sabina and Jon can be heard most Sundays playing their Earth-friendly music while hosting the Elfin Forest Interpretive Center.  And there, on the first Sunday of each month at 12 noon, they present their free, family-friendly show, "Dryad ~ A musical conversation with the spirit of a tree!" with Sabina appearing in her dryad regalia enchanted by the spirit of a nearby oak.  What might an oak tree say to us,
if we would listen?

Contact Dryad for your Earth-friendly event:


"Jon and Sabina were truly amazing with their voices,
lyrics and beautiful handmade flutes." 
~ Paige DeCino
Buena Vista Audubon Society Nature Center

"Sabina and Jon blew us away with an impactful eco folk performance."  ~ The Escondido Creek Conservancy

"Big thanks to Dryad: Jon and Sabina brought us the beautiful soul-touching performance that carries powerful environmental education messages."
~ Jiali Xu, Little Oak Ranch

"Everyone I talked to loved your presentation and a couple of people said it should be an annual event!  Thanks again for your terrific performance!"
~ Fred Seeley, Placerita Canyon Nature Center Associates

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

"Their show had something for everyone, with the children captivated by the performance and the adults listening to each nuance of the environmental teaching."
~ Christopher Nyerges, Mountain Views News

"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 ~ Music from the woodland!
Dryad ~ Music from the wooldland!

  Dryad has recently started to offer their "music from the woodland", the all instrumental sound of
Sabina's enchanting Celtic harp blended with the magic of Jon's flutes that he crafts from wind-fallen tree branches.

"What a pleasure it was to have you at our event.  I heard so many wonderful things about your music from those who were there.  I hope you are available to join us again next year."  ~  Stephanie Bidegain, San Diego Brain Injury Foundation

Contact Dryad for your Earth-friendly event:
Dryad's Schedule

As eco-musicians:

Our stylistic aim is to sonically blend with the natural atmospheres of our unique ecoregion and play in a way that, frankly, wont scare the birds, but rather, entice them closer that they might contribute to the song. 

Our lyrics are written from an ecocentric perespective in celebration and defense of our California natural community.

The feelings that drive our songs arise from empathy for our endangered natural communities struggling for existence in this era of environmental crisis.

The flutes played in our music were crafted by us from tree branches (mostly windfallen) gathered respectfully and sustainably under the ethic of the "Honorable Harvest".  

We define success as the butterfly effect of our music helping to turn the linear, unsustainable, industrial growth culture around toward circularity, rootedness, and regeneration.

We participate in local conservation, regenerative, rewilding and educational actions that benefit and build good relations with our local natural community.

We spend quality time discovering, learning about and listening to nature through regular walks on the trails of our ecoregion. 

We give attention and effort to simplifying our own lives, lessening our ecological footprint and sinking our roots into the ecoregion where we live, learning to be at home here.



  Professor Kurz-Sherman, PhD

Sabina 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, graduating magna cum laude.  As a scientist, Dr. Kurz published 14 peer reviewed articles and presented her research at 22 national and international conferences.  When her scientific career brought her to the United States, Sabina's heart opened to the beautiful yet increasingly endangered ecoregions of California, her home for 24 years now.   Professor Kurz-Sherman is currently teaching biology and environmental science at the college level in the San Diego region, inspiring her students toward ecological awareness.  Expressing herself musically, Sabina performed for 11 years with the Latin Jazz band "Cadencia" on keyboards, percussion and lead vocals, recording 3 albums with that group.  Inspired by the beauty of an old growth forest, Sabina started playing the Native American flute to express, musically, the deep love and concern she feels for the natural world.  Having learned about the flutes made from tree branches that Jon Sherman was making, a musical collaboration grew and blossomed and they have been performing and sharing life together ever since.

Jon Sherman

Jon's love for the natural world was awakened at the age of two, when the meadow in the back of his Idaho home glowed with its welcoming life force. After moving to California, Jon started sinking his roots into the unique ecoregion to be found here, integrating his talents in the performing arts with his need to stay connected with nature. In 1987 he designed and built a modular, outdoor performing arts stage under the oaks at Descanso Gardens, a volunteered gift to the spirit of natural harmony there. What he received in return, from the oaks, was inspiration to start writing songs. Earth songs, as he calls them, expressing the wonder, beauty and environmental concerns of his California natural community from an ecocentric perspective. In 1989, as an ecomusician wanting to walk the talk of a song he had written about the greenhouse effect, Jon pioneered the use of a solar powered sound system for his performances. He has participated in hundreds of Earth-friendly events over the years and has produced 6 albums 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 Sabina contacted Jon in 2014 about making a branch flute for her, they recognized in each other a mutual love and concern for nature and have since merged their kindred spirits, talents and lives together through their marriage and musical partnership.

At the Panhe Festival, 2018
On the porch at the Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve Interpretive Center

At Elfin Forest Recreational Reserve         

Earth Day at Mission Trails Regional Park, 2016

At the Banning Ranch Gala, 2019

At San Elijo Lagoon.


Singing our song WiíŠaşal under WiíŠaşal.


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