Bio

Folk/Americana Singer-Songwriter

A child the Sonoran Desert, Jaspar Lepak (pronounced JAS-per LEE-pack) is a folk/Americana songwriter whose remarkable gift for melody is only surpassed by her poetry. Deeply influenced by the many places she has called home (Tucson, Durban, Seattle, and currently Minneapolis), she sweeps across landscapes with an emotional depth that is extraordinary while her clear, pure voice touches the heart.

Although Jaspar studied classical piano through college, it was not until she graduated that she took up the guitar and started writing songs in her then home of Minneapolis. An English major with an MFA in Creative Writing, she was always interested in stories, and the guitar gave her a new avenue for telling hers. A prolific writer, she recorded five albums in five years before moving to Durban, South Africa in 2009 with her husband Kale. Her music found an enthusiastic audience, and in 2011, she recorded Forgiving Wind which Rolling Stone South Africa hailed as an album full of "beauty and original charm.” Jaspar returned to the States in 2012, settling into Seattle where she released Wide World in 2014 and Close to Me in 2017—just a few months after her daughter was born. In 2021, she released her ninth album Desert Ghosts which reached #15 on the FAI Folk Chart with the single "Ever Gonna Fly" coming in at #9. Her current work focuses on feminist themes, including recent singles "My Right To Choose," "One Brave Life," and "I Am Human (Live)" which was a featured Song of the Day on MPR's 89.3 The Current. 

During her time in Seattle, Jaspar was a member of the Bushwick Book Club of Seattle—a group of songwriters who write songs inspired by books. Two of these songs appear on Desert Ghosts. Continuing her connection with the literary community, Jaspar has been commissioned twice to write songs for best-selling novelist, JoAnn Ross, who was inspired to make one of her heroines a songwriter after seeing Jaspar perform at the Olympia Farmers Market. Jaspar has been a FAR-West Official Showcase Artist, and her song “I Know a Woman” was featured on the syndicated public radio show Democracy Now on a segment celebrating the life of LGBTQ rights activist Edith Windsor. 

Jaspar moved back to Minneapolis in the fall of 2021 and performs both solo and as a duo with Ben Cook-Feltz (piano, harmonies). She is currently working on a new album which focuses on feminist themes, including songs about choice, pregnancy, parenthood, and caregiving. Jaspar cares deeply about her local community, and as a parent, she makes sure to include shows where kids and listeners of all ages are welcome. She also leads regular music programs for assisted living and memory care, including private lessons.

PRESS QUOTES

"You'll find more than enough beauty and original charm to make you a fan." ~ Rolling Stone South Africa 

“Jaspar Lepak is the real deal when it comes to songwriting and guitar work, and as a vocalist she has few—if any—peers.  She is a songwriter's dream.” ~ Christine Lavin 

 "Jaspar's evocative imagery transports us, with fine musical clarity nestled in a landscape of natural wonder." ~ Jean Geiger, 91.3 FM KBCS 

“It's one of those voices that can move all over the place, get big and small, wild and shy, sincere and acerbic, without ever losing its clarity and precision.”  ~ Peter Machen, Sunday Tribune South Africa 

"Jaspar Lepak's crystalline voice and lyrical phrasing is a wonder, a beacon of true musicality. Listening to her evocative songs sung with that gorgeous voice, I am reminded of how I felt as a young man, the first time I heard Joni Mitchell. Jaspar Lepak is a special talent whose presentation transcends age, styles and fads." ~ Tom May, River City Folk 

“Her core shines without compromise or submission, her words reveal insight, lyricism, humour and compassion. The real deal. It gets no better than this.”~ Helge Janssen, Artslink.co.za 

"Jaspar's poetry sings with magical metaphor."  ~ Auntmama, 91.3 FM KBCS  

  “Lepak’s voice has that earnest Emmylou Harris tinge, giving her songs a heartfelt and emotional quality that penetrates deeply.” ~ John Ziegler, Duluth News Tribune 

  “She’s a compelling and sometimes even riveting singer, pure and pretty without being precious, emotionally raw without being raunchy, with a clean, clear voice that drifts between folk, country and that middle ground that has been identified, by those who decide these things, as Americana...”  ~ Richard Haslop, Audio Video Magazine SA  

​ “Delicate folk songstress Jaspar Lepak has the kind of Americana, lullaby ghost of a voice that listeners search for in roots music.”~ Twin Cities A.V. Club