Once I Had an Old Banjo


The 5-string banjo is said to be America’s only original folk instrument. Though its development coincides with the early history of the United States, scholars now agree that the 5-string banjo originated in Africa. When Africans were brought to North America as slaves, they naturally brought with the the ability to make crude banjos out of common materials. Thomas Jefferson noted that the banjar was the chief instrument played by slaves on his estate.

Once I Had an Old Banjo is a concert packed with songs and fascinating lore surrounding the the origin and evolution of this uniquely American instrument. The presentation includes selections from the historic minstrel show era, songs and stories from old-time mountain traditions, and examples from masters of the 5-string banjo. 

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Stay in touch • markdvorakinfo@gmail.com • PO Box 181 • Brookfield IL 60513 • 312 315 4273