Chicago Folk Music Service Offers Unique Images

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


The Chicago Folk Music Service offers unique images of folk musicians from the city’s past and present. These images are a great way to learn about the city’s musical history and the people who have made it what it is today.


The Chicago Folk Music Service (CFMS) began in 1953 as a joint project of the American Folklore Society and the City of Chicago. Its purpose was to document and preserve the folk music of the city and its surrounding areas. The CFMS collected over two thousand recordings of folk music, most of which were made by amateur musicians. These recordings offer a unique glimpse into the musical life of the city during the twentieth century.

The CFMS also took hundreds of photographs of folk musicians and events. These images provide a valuable record of the people and places associated with Chicago’s folk music scene.

The CFMS Collection is housed at the Chicago History Museum. It is open to the public for research and listening.

What is the Chicago Folk Music Service?

The Chicago Folk Music Service is a not-for-profit music education organization that strives to create unique programming and performance opportunities for the Chicago community. We offer a wide variety of music classes and workshops, as well as ensemble performances, all of which are led by experienced teaching artists. Our goal is to provide an outlet for personal expression and creativity, while also fosterin a love and appreciation for music.

What kind of images does the Chicago Folk Music Service offer?

The Chicago Folk Music Service offers a wide variety of images, from traditional to contemporary. They have a wide range of styles and genres, including folk, country, blues, jazz, and more. They also offer a variety of services, including photography, video production, and more.

How can I use the Chicago Folk Music Service images?

All of the images in the Chicago Folk Music Service are available for use, with proper attribution. Whether you’re a teacher looking for material for a lesson plan, a performer wanting to add a new dimension to your act, or a researcher hoping to add some visual interest to your work, the CFMS can help.

We do ask that users credit the CFMS whenever possible, and we request that you let us know how you’re using our images so that we can continue to make them available to the public.


We’re all familiar with the standard images of American folk music: a somebody strumming a guitar around a campfire, or perhaps a group of people gathered around a jukebox in a roadside diner. But the Chicago Folk Music Service offers something different: a unique collection of images that offer an alternative view of American folk music and the people who love it.

The service was founded in 2014 by photographer and music lover Daniel Sheehan, who was looking for a way to share his passion for folk music with the world. Since then, the service has amassed an impressive collection of photos, ranging from amateur snapshots to professional portraits, all of which capture the essence of American folk music.

What sets the Chicago Folk Music Service apart from other photography services is Sheehan’s commitment to capturing the often-overlooked aspects of folk music and its devotees. In addition to traditional images of musicians performing, Sheehan also captures moments of camaraderie between performers and fans, as well as candid shots of people simply enjoying the music.

If you’re looking for something different in your morning cup of coffee, or if you’re just curious about what else is out there in the world of American folk music, be sure to check out the Chicago Folk Music Service.

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