Atz Kilcher was born and raised in Homer, Alaska. His father and mother, Yule and Ruth emigrated from Switzerland in the late 1930’s, joining some of Homer’s earliest pioneer/homesteaders.
On the remote homestead, with no road in the early days, wood and coal for heating and cooking, and a Coleman lantern or kerosene lamp for light, the Kilcher family entertained themselves and each other with songs, stories, plays, and poetry, as well as many arts and crafts. Atz’s mother home schooled all of the children until a road was built, allowing the children to attend public school. Teaching creativity was an important part of the curriculum. Ruth was also a trained classical singer, who had great promise herself, before coming to Alaska.
In the 50’s and 60’s, the Kilcher family performed in Alaska and Europe.
All of Atz’s seven siblings are musical. Many of them have recorded original songs, and have performed.
Many of the third, and even fourth generation, are also quite talented as well.
Best known perhaps is Jewel, the singer, who also happens to be Atz’s daughter. His grand niece, Q’orianka, recently made her film debut as Pocahontas, starring Colin Farrell, in the film, “The New World”.