JEN CHAPIN has been celebrated for writing “brilliant soulfully poetic urban folk music” (NPR) for more than two decades, attracting notice with her debut studio album, Open Wide, in 2002. (Jen’s self-titled EP, and her full length CD Live at the Bitter End, recorded over four shows in 1999 at that Greenwich Village landmark, were released in 1997 and 2000, respectively). Nurtured in and around NYC by a large family of artists, writers, and musicians, Jen's “observant, lyrically deft, politically aware and emotionally intuitive” (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel) songwriting features both her "extraordinary voice” (De krenten uit de pop, The Netherlands) and “astonishing jazz band” (popmatters), the combination of which has garnered her well-deserved praise, solidified by appearances on Late Nite with Conan O’Brien, NPR’s Mountain Stage, WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour, WFUV's Sunday Breakfast with John Platt, Mary Sue Twohy's Folk Village and the Bob Edwards Show on Sirius Satellite.
As much as an artistic legacy, the roots of Jen's upbringing have inspired her "potent, jazzy, layered folk" (Newsday) songs and a lifetime of passionate activism, through ongoing work with WhyHunger (founded by her late father Harry Chapin), and teaching high school global history in Brooklyn. She has performed on stage with Bruce Springsteen, on bills with Aimee Mann, Bruce Hornsby, and The Neville Brothers, and her rendition of Van Morrison's "Into The Mystic" was featured in an episode of the SyFy TV series "Defiance". Jen Chapin's 2013 release Reckoning, produced and engineered by five-time GRAMMY© Winner Kevin Killen (U2, Elvis Costello, Kate Bush) was named among the best Americana albums of that year by Examiner.com and awarded First Prize, Lyrics category by the USA Songwriting Competition (for the song "Go Away"). Her latest trio album Desert or Sea was released to fans in the summer of 2019. Currently, Jen is developing "Essential Stories" -- a new theatrical concert comprising two decades of songwriting --sculpted into an intimate autobiographical narrative of family roots, parenting, and social justice.
Desert or Sea (2019) “that fine wine that gets better with time..” - a fan in Ohio
Reckoning (2013) “the most mature and satisfying album of her career…stunningly brilliant…Reckoning is a subtle, sophisticated recording that grows in stature with each listening and is well worth your consideration.” - Robert Myers, Elmore Magazine
ReVisions: Songs of Stevie Wonder (2009) “sophisticated ..little short of miraculous” - The Sunday Times
Light of Mine (2008) “crossing multiple musical boundaries ..mesmerizing” -- Time Out London
Ready (2006) “supremely confident, slightly off-center, and instantly compelling." -- River Cities’ Reader
Linger (2004) “uncommon wit and sweetly supple singing” - Entertainment Weekly
Open Wide (2002) “cool ..spare funkiness” - Washington Post