developed for Inquiring Mind, a program of Humanities Washington,
this presentation is now offered to the general public.
Please contact me for
The Banjo - An American Gypsy
This is a
presentation covering the origins, the development and travels of the banjo
in America. This is a lecture punctuated by musical
with replica 19th
I am often asked why I make Banjos. For me it is all about
connections. Understanding where humanity has travelled sheds light on the
present and points the way forward. When making banjos, I feel the
connection of history. I feel that I am helping in my own small way to
connect others with the roots of a rich musical heritage.
The banjo is an inextricable part of folk music. The roots
of American folk music are legion, yet the synthesis of cultural disparities
in this art form is typical of how the “melting pot” synthesizes and
transforms disparate cultures into something uniquely American. The banjo
is both the voice of an ancient African hunter-gatherer and the voice of the
urban American performer of the industrial age. It is the voice of the
slave and the voice of the master.
With today’s revival of “roots” music the banjo is
experiencing a rebirth. Across time and space,
the fretless banjo echoes the human
experience, singing a different song to each generation that is at once both
unique and yet familiar. As we pluck its strings we become part of an
unending human chain. The gut string fretless banjo sings to us at a
visceral level connecting us to those who have gone before and creating a
bridge to not only those in the here and now, but to those who are yet to
presentation is suitable for elementary school age through adult audiences.
Fee for this program is $300 +
transportation & lodging, if outside the greater Seattle/ Tacoma/
Olympia, WA area.
Usual program length is approximately 1 hour.
For booking information:
or call 206-497-0049
Write: 3607 Broadmoor Dr NE,
Tacoma, WA 98422