Crystal Taliefero, a world-renowned performer and Indiana University alumna, is a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist. Raised in Hammond and Gary, Indiana, and having attended Wirt High School in Miller, she began recording and touring with rocker John Mellencamp in 1985, which changed her life, and she has been a member of The Billy Joel Band since 1989. She also has worked with numerous famous entertainers including Bruce Springsteen, Faith Hill, Brooks & Dunn, Garth Brooks, Bob Seger, Joe Cocker, Michael McDonald, the Bee Gees, Richie Sambora, Elton John, Tina Arena, Enrique Iglesias, Natalie Merchant, Julian Lennon, Meatloaf and Michael McDonald. In a 2008 article “The 125-Plus People, Places and Things Ruling the Rock & Roll Universe”, Rolling Stone magazine declared Taliefero the “Best Secret Weapon.”
Ms. Taliefero is an alumna of IU’s Soul Revue and, in 2011, was a recipient of the Herman C. Hudson Award for Artistic Excellence, which recognizes former student ensemble and staff members who have made outstanding contributions in the arts after leaving IU. Crystal returned to IU Bloomington in 2016 to become the Director of IU Soul Revue and left in 2017 to tour with The Billy Joel Band.
Taliefero’s credits as a musician are chiefly as vocalist and percussionist, including a variety of percussion as well as acoustic guitar, keyboards, harmonica, alto saxophone, and bass guitar. She is known for her energetic and engaging stage performances.
Taliefero’s goal is to establish Crystal’s A Journey with the Arts Program. This program is designed to empower youth and enhance life skills, self-esteem, creativity and respect for themselves and others through participation in live musical performance. In an effort to inspire young musicians, she visited Central High School in East Chicago, IN and Bishop Knoll HS in Hammond in 2009, among others, and she has contributed to numerous child-oriented videos and audiobooks.
Sample Programs Offered
Program Type: Arts Curriculum, Arts Appreciation
The goal of “Crystal’s Journey with The Arts” is to empower youth by enhancing personal growth in the areas of life skills, self-esteem, creativity and self-respect through the participation in a live musical performance.
Taliefero and her team, which include musicians, technicians, promoters, teachers, engineers and media, will bring their message and host a series of workshops for students in your school district. Students will shadow industry professionals for a day and learn firsthand what it takes to thrive in the business.
“Crystal’s Journey with The Arts” will let students experience what it takes to succeed in life, no matter what stage they choose as their career.
Lesson Plan Example: Download File