Hank Cramer brings his folk guitar songs to Peninsula College’s Little Theater on Nov. 10. Submitted photo
Sequim Gazette staff
The Juan de Fuca Festival, in conjunction with the Peninsula College Veterans, hosts a special "Salute to Veterans Concert" concert with Hank Cramer starting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 10, at the Peninsula College Little Theater.
Audiences may remember Cramer for his Memorial Day observances at many past Juan de Fuca Festivals.
Known for his booming, yet gentle baritone voice and his folk guitar mastery, Cramer's 18 CDs capture the diversity of his interests from cowboys, sailors, soldiers, miners, adventurers or just drifters.
A former Green Beret, Cramer retired as an Army lieutenant colonel after 28 years of military service. He has seen music as a bridge between cultures.
"I look at the happiness that good music and good stories bring to people," Cramer says. "To be able to travel around and entertain people I've never met, make new friends and tell them a story and sing them songs, and see how much they enjoy it, to see their smiles and, in some cases, their tears ... to touch someone and make new friends every weekend somewhere ... there's a lot of power in that."
Cramer began performing in coffee shops while a student at the University of Arizona.
After graduation he followed in his father's footsteps to become an Army officer, paratrooper and Green Beret. He served in Germany, Central America, Korea, Okinawa, the Philippines and several stateside posts. He was able to sustain his music as a hobby during those years.
While stationed at Fort Carson, Colo., in 1982, Cramer fronted the country-rock band Dakota and recorded his first album with them.
Wherever he deployed around the world, Cramer packed his guitar along with his duffel bag and the music eased the strain of service and created many good memories for his soldier buddies.
In 1998, as Cramer's touring circuit spread wider and wider, he finally dropped his "day job" in order to meet the demands of a successful music career. He now has 18 CDs, four music videos and three movie soundtracks to his credit. Heartland Public Radio named Cramer's rendition of "Sweet Wyoming Home" the No. 5 Cowboy Song of 2007.
Texas Public Radio placed two of Cramer's songs in its Top 20 for the year, and Northwest Public Radio chose his CD "Songs From Maurie's Porch" as one of the Top 10 folk albums for 2006.
Learn more about Cramer at www.hankcramer.com.
'A Salute to Veterans'
What: Singer/guitarist Hank Cramer
When: 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 10
Where: Peninsula College Little Theater, 1502 E. Lauridsen Blvd., Port Angeles
Tickets: $15 general admission; reduced prices for veterans, military personnel, and children 14 and younger
Where to buy: Pacific Mist Books, Sequim; Port Book and News, Port Angeles; by phone at 457-5411 or online at www.jffa.org