02 February 2021

Mostly banjo

Yesterday (1 Feb.) Ken Perlman (USA), master of 'melodic clawhammer' banjo, began his programme of four online live instructional banjo workshops on Zoom, devoted to 'Translating the fiddle music of Cape Breton and Prince Edward Island to clawhammer banjo' and taking place every Monday this month. Details of times and prices are given on the booking pages.

The eight hour-long workshops which Ken has already given on different aspects of clawhammer technique and playing can be bought as videos for $25 each from his Clawhammer Clinic encore collection.
In his latest e-newsletter, Michael J. Miles (USA) as always shows his wide-ranging musical tastes; three videos include one of Bach's 'Sleepers awake' on banjo, and versions of 'Lean on me' and 'Both sides now' for fingerstyle guitar. Further information on Michael's one-off workshops for guitar and clawhammer banjo, as well as his four-week classes for both instruments and his concert dates, can be found here.
Deering Banjos announce that last week's hour-long masterclass from Jens Kruger can be seen here, and today (2 Feb.) a follow-up session of questions and answers on the class (which was on playing fast and clean, and on embellishments) will be held at the usual times of 6.00 p.m. ET (3.00 p.m. PT). Jens's next masterclass (on chord substitution for backup, and playing without a capo) will be two weeks from now.
Finally, the International Bluegrass Music Association and Pisgah Banjos of Asheville, NC, announce that a special banjo has been made to be raffled at $20.00 a ticket with the object of raising $20,000 for the IBMA's Arnold Shultz Fund, which was set up in 2020 to support activities increasing participation of people of colour in bluegrass music. Bill Monroe acknowledged the influence that Shultz's playing had on him in youth, and the IBMA release includes a useful list of links to sources on Shultz and his musical legacy. For more details on the banjo, see John Lawless's feature on Bluegrass Today.

NB: People outside the USA who want to buy a raffle ticket through the Pisgah website will find that it doesn't cater for overseas addresses. Thanks to Pisgah's Patrick David Sawyer, who advises:

Use the Pisgah Banjo address [82 Whitaker Road, Fairview, North Carolina 28730]. If you win we will contact you for your shipping address. Thanks for supporting the Arnold Shultz Fund!

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