Ann Zimmerman
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Ann Zimmerman

Salina, Kansas, United States | Established. Jan 01, 1983 | SELF

Salina, Kansas, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 1983
Solo Folk Singer/Songwriter


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Things I Miss About Kansas"

by George Pasley

There are some things I miss about Kansas.

I don’t miss the 100 degree summer temperatures, or the sub-zero winter temperatures. But I do miss the thunderstorms, without missing the damage they can cause.

Where I live, it rains all the time (through December 1, we’ve had 121 inches and we’ll likely end the year with close to 140. Nonetheless I laugh when they talk about how hard it rains, because thunder is a rare occurrence and gully washers are unheard of, here in the land of rain.

Even so, day after day of rain almost forces the conversation. So last week, when I got an email newsletter from Kansas musician Ann Zimmerman, I wrote back. I asked, “Do you have any songs about rain? It’s rained here for nine days straight.”

Ann is a Kansas musical treasure. She has three albums to her credit, but to hear her in person is an opportunity not to be missed. Of course, she doesn’t play the giant stadiums--usually more intimate surroundings, like grade school classrooms on Kansas Day, or the Prairie Festival at The Land Institute in Salina, or dinner at Mayberry’s Restaurant in Washington, Kansas, but she has developed--or maybe it came naturally--a real flair for connecting with small audiences. One reviewer wrote that wherever she went, Ann “turned each audience into her backup choir.”

Ann’s music fits a very broad category you might call folk. She researches music history and revives old folk songs, but composes new ones that accurately reflect a fresh look at life. She has researched and performed Kansas tunes and is now researching tunes of the American Revolution for possible performance, but her own song Exile superbly captures the modern dilemma of a man who grew up on a farm, wanting to become a farmer, but ended up doing something else because the economics of farming were too harsh: “He knows how an exile feels…”

So Ann is one of the things I miss about Kansas. But since she does travel the world and occasionally gets played on small or public radio stations, I might hear her again, yet. But I heard her four times live, twice in Garnett, and each time was magic.

So she answered my email: “What did you expect, moving to a rainforest?”

Well, I did know what I was getting into and I have no regrets. My creative mind thrives on rainy days, just like the gloomy-introspective philosopher Kierkegaard thrived in dark, wet Denmark. Nonetheless, Ann did have a song about rain.

“Praying for Rain,” it’s called. So I dug through my box of compact disks, still packed, and found the album (Canned Goods) and gave it a spin. Praying for Rain is track one, so I didn’t have long to wait.

It begins with the sound of locusts singing in the night, then, “By nine in the morning there's a haze in the distance; The dew from the night has long faded away…,” and goes on to say, “It's hard to care much about hell and damnation
When the crops are in ashes.”

Yes, it’s a song about a harsh climate, one that I do not always miss. Yet it is a beautiful song, reminding me that in spite of, perhaps even because of the harshness, Kansas is a beautiful place worthy of being missed.

Even more, it’s a place where the people are beautiful, perhaps because they have learned to endure.

Yes, there are some things about Kansas that I miss.

George R. Pasley
- Garnett, Kansas

"Ann Zimmerman, "Blue Wild Indigo""

Ann Zimmerman’s third album, Blue Wild Indigo is, simply put, fun. From the first note to the last, Zimmerman takes a practical look at life through great lyrics and music, and with her wonderful voice. Zimmerman has traveled all over the country playing festivals, farmer’s markets, fancy theaters, and smoky dives as well as school concerts and songwriting workshops. Ann grew up in Salina, Kansas, singing folksongs with her family while her mother played the autoharp. She has held a variety of jobs, including schoolteacher, bank clerk, law student and long-time legal aid lawyer. She has found her niche as a singer-songwriter, with an intriguing sound and the ability to seamlessly blend humor and sadness in that unique way that makes you want for more. From the beautiful title track, “Blue Wild Indigo,” and the riotously funny “If I Had Been Beautiful” to the simple reminiscence of “Lullabies,” Ann Zimmerman’s new CD, Blue Wild Indigo is an excellent listening experience!
--Review by Andrea Hill
- Singer Magazine

"Ann Zimmerman appearing"

A soul piercing folksinger. Ann Zimmerman does it all in her superb blending of traditional and contemporary folk music. - Vermillion (SD) Summer Arts Festival

"Iron Horse entertainer"

Likened to singers Sarah McLachlan and Linda Ronstadt, Ann is a daughter of the prairie, a true Kansas treasure. Her easy-going delivery puts me in the middle of the Flints Hills where the breeze is blowing gently through the tallgrass, carrying her voice as clear and sweet as the spring air, and her guitar/piano accompaniment drifting effortlessly below.
-Don Koke, Iron Horse Concert Hall, El Dorado, KS. - Don Koke

"Laugh, Cry"

She makes me laugh; she makes me cry; not everyone can do that. -Harry Scholten, Vermillion, SD. - Harry Scholten


4 CDs: 

Meadowlark: Songs for the Child in You
Blue Wild Indigo
Canned Goods
Love & Weather

Samples at, more music at



Ann Zimmerman sings the prairie into universal language. Her music celebrates life, especially life on the windy plains--rich characters, harsh beauty, unexpected humor. Backed by her own piano, guitar or nothing at all, and winner of the Texas Wildflower! Festival song contest among others, Ann has taken her Kansas style across the continent and turned each audience into her backup choir. She blends her own award-winning songs with the traditional and the modern. Her concerts tell stories and paint portraits, brilliantly-colored and surprising. She has released four independent recordings of her music.

A finalist in the Americana/Folk category of the Great American Song contest and nominated for a “grass-roots grammy” in the Just Plain Folks international song contest, Ann has been a long-standing member of the juried “Kansas Arts on Tour” and Mid-America Arts Alliance programs. She appears annually at the world-renowned Land Institute in central Kansas, and has entertained adults and children at festivals, farmers markets, fancy theaters, and school gyms—singing a hundred dates a year. She has shared stages and harmonies with folk musician John McCutcheon; songwriter Steve Gillette; Celtic singer Connie Dover; and has opened for author Wendell Berry.
Ann grew up in Salina, Kansas, singing folksongs with her family to the strums of her mother's autoharp. A lifelong performer, she has also been an elementary teacher, a bank clerk, a plumbing catalog editor, an agricultural intern, and president of a Kansas environmental organization. She graduated from Harvard Law School and a focus on mediation. She lives near Salina on a horse-boarding farm and divides her time between mediation and music.
More information, music, calendar and videos, at

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