OKLAHOMA CITY (July 27, 2017) ─ During the weekend of Sept. 7th – 9th, the focus of the banjo world will be on Oklahoma City as the American Banjo Museum honors the 2017 inductees into the American Banjo Hall of Fame with three days of concerts, informal performances, parties, jams and other musical events called BANJO FEST!
“Every year we strive to bring together and honor banjo’s best of the best from both the past and the present,” said Johnny Baier, executive director, American Banjo Museum. “Each of this year’s Hall of Fame honorees has displayed a lifelong commitment to the banjo and changed the way the public sees and hears America’s instrument.” 2017 inductees include Nitty Gritty Dirt Band founding member, John McEuen; new age tenor banjo pioneer, Paul Erickson; “Super Picker” star of Hee Haw, Roy Clark; 1840s pioneer banjo star, Joel Walker Sweeney; and contemporary roots music icon, Tony Trischka.
BANJO FEST weekend festivities begin with a reception beginning at 6PM on Thursday, September 7th at the American Banjo Museum in Bricktown. The evening will feature live music - including a very special performance by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band founder, John McEuen, as well as the presentation of the American Banjo Museum Awards of Excellence.
This year’s American Banjo Museum Hall of Fame ceremonies will take place beginning at 6PM on Friday, September 8th at VAST located in Devon Tower. This formal event is open to the public and will include a reception, dinner and the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies. Musical performances by honorees John McEuen, Paul Erickson and Tony Trischka along with other celebrity guests will highlight the night. Along with the Hall of Fame inductions, the annual Jack Canine Award will be presented to internationally known banjo collector Jim Bollman. Canine, a major benefactor of the museum, chose this year’s recipient based on Bollman’s decades-long commitment to the preservation of the banjo’s colorful history.
Everything starts back up again at noon on Saturday, September 9th at the American Banjo Museum with performances by new HOF inductee, Paul Erickson, and four-time national banjo champion, Gary “Biscuit” Davis, as well as an historical presentation by noted banjo scholar and performer, Bob Carlin.
That evening the weekend comes to a crescendo with the second annual BANJO FEST Concert at 7PM at the Hudiburg Chevrolet Performing Arts Center at Rose State College in Midwest City. This year’s BANJO FEST concert will be headlined by the amazing Kruger Brothers. Internationally revered as purveyors of new American folk music, the Kruger Brothers take their audiences on a musical journey through the genres of bluegrass, folk, jazz, and classical music, all melded together into their own unique mix via virtuosic instrumental abilities and soulful vocals. Other BANJO FEST concert performers include Gary “Biscuit” Davis and the jazz Banjo Summit of Paul Erickson, Lance Dieckow and Johnny Baier. Following the concert, the BANJO FEST weekend is capped off with a post-concert afterglow party at the American Banjo Museum beginning at 10PM.
“Our museum and BANJO FEST celebration brings people from around the world to Oklahoma City,” said Baier. “During this special weekend, the world’s banjo spotlight is on our city. As all of our BANJO FEST events are open to the public, it’s a great opportunity for Oklahoma City to show its support and rub shoulders with superstars of the banjo world.”
The National Four-String Banjo Hall of Fame was established in 1998 to honor jazz age four-string banjo pioneers as well as the contemporary artists, educators, manufacturers and promoters who carried on the traditions of their predecessors. The American Banjo Museum was, in its infancy, an extension of that Hall of Fame. In the years preceding 2014, the Hall of Fame honored 71 individuals and entities in the four-string banjo world whose career accomplishments might have otherwise gone unrecognized. As the museum grew and evolved to embrace all types of banjos and playing styles, it became clear that the Hall of Fame should evolve as well. As such, in 2013, the American Banjo Museum Board of Directors voted to establish an annual performance category to honor all styles of five-string banjo playing as well as opening the other previously four-string banjo exclusive non-performance categories to all types of banjos. With this move the American Banjo Museum Hall of Fame was established.
At the American Banjo Museum, the artistry that goes into crafting highly ornate instruments and the skill and talent that goes into playing them is on full display. The American Banjo Museum brings history and art together in a song hundreds of years in the making.
All BANJO FEST weekend events are open to the public.
For tickets, pricing and information regarding all BANJO FEST weekend events visit: www.banjofest2017.com or call 405-604-2793.
To purchase Kruger Brothers concert tickets only, visit: www.okcciviccenter.com or call 405-297-2264.