Her mother, Cora Witten (neé Williams), and father, Laurence Claiborne Witten II, an art collector and rare book dealer known for his connection to the controversial Vinland Map, met at Yale School of Music in the 1950s. Early Years The middle child of three daughters, Witten enjoyed a childhood surrounded by music, art and nature. She studied violin and violin through high school and taught herself to play guitar by careful listening to the early records of Simon and Garfunkel, Joni Mitchell, Bonnie Raitt and Leo Kottke. She entered Ithaca College as a flute major but failed most of her music courses and graduated in 1979 with a BA and a major in American History.
Witten played in a handful of folk groups as a sideman on alto flute, backup vocals and rhythm guitar. In 1980 she studied guitar and flute with Oregon band members Ralph Towner and Paul McCandless, at Naropa in Boulder, CO. Witten married musician and outdoor writer Eric Seidler in 1984. In their band Witten was a sideman on alto flute and back up vocals and played guitar only for herself.
After Seidler's death in 1990, she worked as a graphic artist and book illustrator while her guitar gathered dust. Singer Songwriter Years After her father's death in 1995 and divorce from her second husband (Edward Zimmerman) in 1996, Witten returned to music, launching her solo singer-songwriter career in 1997 when she was selected to attend a songwriting workshop led by Rosanne Cash. Over the next few years Witten released four independent CDs of original songs. Ten songs from her 1999 debut "Land Of Souvenirs" won several awards including Grand Prize in the Great American Song Contest.
Working closely with producer Rich DePaolo, Witten went on to release a six-song EP named for their band, Prairie Doll, in 2000. "Sycamore Tryst" was released in 2003 with liner notes by Rosanne Cash. One of the tracks, "Admit It," appears in an episode of DVD of the TV show Crossing Jordan ( Season One, 2009), while 2 other tracks were used as source music in ABC and NBC daytime dramas. "Tell The Wind" was released in 2006 and showcases an acoustic version of the Rolling Stones' "Dandelion." Witten has showcased at the Durango Songwriters Expo, and special events during SXSW, the Americana Music Association conference, and regional Folk Alliance conferences.
To date, her songs have earned more than thirty honors and awards from a list of international and regional competitions, and were licensed for TV shows, DVDs and independent films. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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