Jody Stecher (born June 1, 1946) is an American singer and musician, who plays bluegrass and old-time music on banjo, mandolin, fiddle and guitar, and Dagar-vani dhrupad on the sursringar, a rare Indian instrument that is a baritone relative of the sarod.
Jonathan Allan Stecher was born in Brooklyn, New York. At the age of twelve he acquired a dusty fretless Gatcomb in an antique shop and bought it for two dollars. After gaining a solid grounding in bluegrass, cajun, blues and Scottish folk music, he studied Hindustani classical music for 3 years with Ali Akbar Khan and for 10 years with Zia Mohiuddin Dagar. He has collaborated with Krishna Bhatt on an unusual album of fusion music “Rasa” (1982). He met Kate Brislin (a former member of “Any Old time string Band”) in 1974 and started performing actively as a duo in 1985; they married on 29 July 1987. He is regarded as one of the leading traditional folk artists in America and his recordings have served a large and diverse group of musicians, including Jerry Jeff Walker, Jerry Garcia, David Grisman, Peter Rowan, Martin Simpson, Seldom Scene, Laurie Lewis, Kathy Kallick, Alasdair Fraser and Hot Rize. He has also written liner notes for many albums.
He recorded the field recordings (with Peter K. Siegel) and wrote the liner notes for the record “The Real Bahamas.”
David Bromberg once said, “Jody Stecher was basically my teacher. He opened my ears to more beautiful music than anyone else ever did… more than I ever knew existed. He is also one of my favorite musicians on Earth to play with. I have never known anyone so intensely and completely enveloped in music. It’s my suspicion that if you drained all the music out of Jody, you could carry what was left around in an eye dropper.”
Jody has been twice nominated for a Grammy with his wife Kate: in 1993 for “Our Town” (“Best Traditional Folk Album”), and again in 1998 for “Heart Songs: The Old Time Country Songs Of Utah Phillips” (“Best Traditional Folk Album of 1997”). More recently he has devoted albums to singing traditional folk songs.