Born in Washington D.C., John Cephas grew up there and in Caroline County. He was influenced at an early age by his mother’s singing, and a cousin taught him the highly syncopated and danceable guitar style now known as Piedmont Blues, which employs a complex, finger-picking approach. Cephas performed at rural dance parties and as a gospel singer, developing his rich voice. He, and harmonica master Phil Wiggins, made numerous awarding-winning albums and performed all over the world, earning the W. C. Handy Award as Blues Entertainers of the Year in 1987. Cephas received the coveted National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1989.
Original Sponsor: Department of Historic Resources
Geographic Location: Caroline County
Physical Description of Location: Proposed Location - Caroline County, location to be determined
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