Jen weaves the stories of birds and other wildlife into original songs that stress how everyday people can and do make a difference in the world.
Jen Hajj has a voice you will not forget.
She spent her childhood in Tempe, Arizona, taking piano lessons, chasing lizards, and singing in church and school choirs. She moved to Utah in the mid-1980’s where her musical career began to take shape, singing with various choirs (school, professional and semi-professional groups) and moving her way into the church music scene. She studied vocal performance and composition at the University of Utah, but dropped out after two years, realizing that she didn’t want to sing opera and didn’t want to write 12 tone music. She wanted to connect with real people.
Jen has also pursued life as a scientist. She has a degree in Biology and a Masters in Parks, Recreation and Tourism (specializing in natural resources interpretation). Birds and nature creep into her music on a regular basis. In fact, her award winning song, “Raptor Bird” is about the ecology of birds of prey.
She knew she needed a portable instrument (the pipe organ is not a folk instrument!) so she picked up the guitar. She honed her skill in bluegrass jams, and later took lessons to fill in the gaps and learn the styles that she found most interesting. She attended folk and bluegrass festivals and camps and met extraordinary folks who make a living doing music. People like Cosy Sheridan, Kate MacLeod, Brooks Williams, Randall Williams, Joe Jencks: these amazing artists became her mentors and models for success.
After a reduction in force at her job where she taught about the life and times of birds of prey, Jen seized the opportunity to make a change. She sold her furniture, rented her house, placed her piano in the loving care of a friend, and moved to San Diego. It is a new adventure that continues to unfold.
For Jen, being a part of the folk music scene is like coming home. She hopes that when you hear her sing, you feel it, too.
Jen currently lives in Southern California and is the organizer for an annual bird festival.
To learn more about Jan, check out her website at http://www.jenhajj.com/.