Tim has been recording and documenting artists since the early age of 16, when he became interested in ethnomusicology. After earning a BA from Friends World College and MA from the Curriculum in Folklore at the UNC, Tim and his wife Denise founded Music Maker in 1994 to assist traditional musicians in need. Tim works very closely with partner artists on a daily basis while also overseeing program operations. For his work with Music Maker, Tim was recognized by ABC Evening News as the “Person of the Week” in April 2004 and was voted Living Blues Producer of the Year in 1999. Tim has also received honors from National Resophonic Guitars and the NC Folklore Society. Since Music Maker’s founding he has produced more than 151 albums, produced two films, and has presented dozens of traditional Southern musicians at prestigious venues around the world.
Denise has a BA from Hampshire College and joined husband Tim in managing Music Maker after leaving a successful career in the fashion industry. Denise’s business experience is invaluable to Music Maker as she wears many hats within the organization – she is responsible for operations, financial management, government compliance, and strategic planning. Denise finds bringing people of diverse backgrounds together in musical celebration the most rewarding aspect of her work at Music Maker. She finds inspiration in these bold senior artists launching new careers and blazing new trails around the globe. She and Tim have two children.
A veteran of non-profit accounting, Janet has a BA and an MBA from Winthrop University. In 2011 she joined Music Maker and is responsible for general bookkeeping and human resources duties. Janet and her husband have two boys currently in middle school, so when not at Music Maker she can be found transporting kids to various activities such as sports, band and piano.
Whitney is a writer, programmer and all-around multimedia storyteller, and received a BA in multimedia journalism and Spanish from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to joining the Music Maker team, Whitney worked as a content producer and web monkey for The Daily Tar Heel, Paste Magazine, the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University and as a member of the Knight-Carnegie Foundation’s News21 Fellowship. Whitney coordinates Music Maker’s social media efforts, manages our website, assists with development and other office tasks. When not finding ways to tell engaging stories in the ever-shifting Internet medium, she enjoys traveling, playing video and board games and trying new local food and brews.
Corinne has been passionate about cultural access to the arts since her time as an undergraduate at Hollins University. She joined Music Maker in 2011 after five years working in the non-profit sector in North Carolina. At Music Maker, she manages outreach to the public and coordinates development programs. Corinne lives in Durham with her husband and two dogs who collectively keep her busy when she’s not in the office. In her free time she enjoys reading, cooking (or reading about cooking) and biking.
Aaron joined Music Maker in 2011 and has enjoyed doing everything from booking performances, album production, managing intern projects, overseeing the audio and photo archive, to processing artist grant requests. Before joining Music Maker, Aaron founded the community outreach and workshops program at High Strung Violins and Guitars in Durham, North Carolina. In 2004 he spearheaded the multimedia arm of Daylight Community Arts Foundation, a non-profit documentary photography foundation. He has a BA in fine art photography from Virginia Commonwealth University.
With 3 decades as drummer, musical directer and award winning producer for the Music Maker Relief Foundation, this veteran has performed the most prestigious venues around the globe proving ‘the more you give, the more you get!’
Since the late 1970s, Axel Küstner has steadfastly documented every country blues artist he could find. Through over 30 trips to the American South from his native Germany, Axel has rescued many great musicians from total obscurity. His images can be found throughout the pages of this website, in Music Maker album artwork and in collections around the world.
Mark Austin was born in High Point, North Carolina, in 1952. He began working as a photographer at age seventeen. At twenty-five he went to sea, taking along his Leica and documenting the lives of commercial fisherman of the East Coast and Alaska. Austin’s photographs of blues musicians have appeared in Bikini, Esquire, Living Blues and Rolling Stone.