08 December 2021

Ben Wright on Deering Live, 9 Dec. 2021

The Deering Banjo Company announce that this week on Deering Live Ben Wright, banjo-player of Chicago's Henhouse Prowlers, will be interviewed, with this introduction:

Ben Wright is a founding member of the Henhouse Prowlers, taking the band on the road for more than fifteen years and proudly leading Chicago’s robust bluegrass scene. The Prowlers have recorded eight albums and tour relentlessly, having garnered a large following across the planet. The band blends their own original material with songs written in multiple languages, learned from their extensive travels.

In 2013 the Henhouse Prowlers began working with the US State Department as musical diplomats. To date they have traveled to more than twenty-five countries. During these tours, Ben started to see the opportunities for education and diplomacy at home were just as valuable as the international exchanges, inspiring him (and his business partner Jon Goldfine) to start the 501(c)3 non-profit Bluegrass Ambassadors.

The band now works through this entity to bring cross-cultural music education to children in low-income schools, college students in universities, and festival attendees; striving to remind people that diplomacy isn’t just for diplomats; blending global folk music traditions with cultural awareness and understanding.

Since Covid, Ben was hired by American Voices, the implementing partner for the State Department cultural programs, to help transition musical diplomacy work into the virtual setting.

The coming interview can be seen at 11.00 p.m. Irish time on Thursday 9 Dec., on Deering Live or YouTube. As always, the interviewee can be questioned in the live chat.

© Richard Hawkins

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