Program Details

Ballad of America: Songs of People Who Made a Country

Matthew Sabatella
Music / History
Video Catch-up

Course Description

Music, instruments, and songs tell the story of the ordinary and extraordinary people who have populated the United States and propelled it into the twenty-first century: colonists, pioneers, sailors, immigrants, '49ers, farmers, mountaineers, slaves, soldiers, cowboys, railroaders, factory workers, activists, and others. Not only do the lyrics reflect the hopes, fears, struggles, sorrows, triumphs, and humanity of the real people who lived history, but to follow the path taken by the music itself is to understand the great cultural stew that is the United States of America. Sabatella will speak, sing, and play a variety of musical instruments in this informative and entertaining multimedia series that also features historical images and recordings. Participants will hear and sing along with songs they've known their whole life, learn the stories behind the songs, and be introduced to nearly-forgotten American gems.


  1. The Roots of American Music
  2. Songs of Westward Expansion
  3. Songs of American Workers
  4. Songs in the Life of Abraham Lincoln
  5. The Story of the Banjo
  6. The Blues and Country Roots of Rock & Roll

About the Instructor

  • Matthew Sabatella, M.A. brings to life music that is woven into the fabric of the United States. As a singer, instrumentalist, recording artist, performer, speaker, and writer, he illuminates the connection between music and the story and people of the United States. He performs regularly, both as a solo artist and as the leader of the Rambling String Band. The nonprofit he founded, Ballad of America, Inc., preserves and celebrates music from America's diverse cultural history. Sabatella has been singular in his mission to share America's rich musical heritage with others, both for the sheer love of the music and for its value in inspiring people to better understand each other, the past, present, and future. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of Miami and a Master of Arts in History from Florida International University.

Upcoming programs presented by Matthew Sabatella.

TypeNumberInstructorCourse TitleAdd to Cart
6wk F264 Matthew Sabatella Ballad of America: Songs of People Who Made a Country
Tues., October 26; November 2, 9, 16, 23, 30: 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm