Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

An Early Banjo Gathering

Event Details

An Early Banjo Gathering

Time: June 26, 2020 at 7pm to June 28, 2020 at 1pm
Location: Renfrew Museum and Park
Street: 1010 E Main St
City/Town: Waynesboro, Pa
Website or Map: https://www.renfrewmuseum.org…
Event Type: gathering
Organized By: John Masciale, Elaine Masciale, Tim Twiss, Al Smitley, Andy Chase
Latest Activity: Jul 17, 2020

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Event Description

We are hosting an Early American Banjo gathering. The committee for this event are John and Elaine Masciale, Tim Twiss, Al Smitley, and Andy Chase.

At the end of the last gathering there was a lot of interest in continuing with the gathering, but we needed a new venue.  After a lot of searching we are pleased to announce that Renfrew Museum is willing to host us.

Our goals are:

!. To educate about and create an appreciation for the early American banjo, its musical repertoire, and its role in American history.

2. To develop and foster fellowship and camaraderie among players who are often isolated geographically. This fellowship creates increased opportunity for conversation and mentorship.

3. To welcome and mentor new players.

4. To be a resource for players for sources of music, instruments, and accessories.

5. To provide a cost-effective, impactful opportunity for players of early American banjo.

6. To have fun. Lots of fun.

Based on this event we hope to plan future events.

Come join us!

Comment Wall

Comment by Len Entrabartolo on February 11, 2020 at 9:22am

I unfortunately will be out of the country at that time. I am sorry that I will miss this gathering. I hope there will be more in the future. Looking forward to seeing you all soon.

Comment by James Hartel on February 11, 2020 at 10:10am

Some memories from 2010

Comment by Andy Chase on February 11, 2020 at 9:38pm

I never played more or better than the five years I was fortunate enough to attend the Antietam Gathering; it was always a bright spot to look forward to each year, and a good motivator.

It's no coincidence that this new venue also has a barn, which gave AEBG so much of its character.  There is absolutely nothing like listening to the plunk and clack of banjos and bones as the evening comes on and the fireflies come out.

Comment by Trapdoor2 on February 17, 2020 at 10:29am

I've put it on my calendar. I sorely miss going to AEBG. We've just moved to SC which puts this one at around 6hrs away. Hopefully I can get things straight around here to be able to attend!

Comment by John Masciale on February 18, 2020 at 10:18am

AEBG has had a tremendous influence on both Elaine and me. I want others to have that same opportunity. If you have attended in the past, please come! If you have not had the opportunity, this is your chance! If you don't play banjo, but play other instruments, then come! We love having other period players there, particularly if they are familiar with our repertoire.

Experience level does not matter.  I was a real beginner at AEBG 1. I had kludged together a banjo from various parts.  I am also encouraging those of us to have spare instruments to bring them so newer players get a chance to play.

Comment by Rob Mohr on February 21, 2020 at 8:43pm

Signed up and ready to go!! I have a sleeping bag and a banjo, I figure that's all I need!!

Comment by Al Smitley on February 21, 2020 at 8:56pm

For the record...... I'm mentioned as being one of the organizers.  I suspect that John and Elaine put this together.  I can't speak for Tim and Andy, as I think they shared important insights, but I did nothing other than add a comment or two.

Comment by John Masciale on March 9, 2020 at 9:38am

One of our talks will be on Levi Brown Banjos by Pete Ross and Kristina Gaddy.  Here are their bios.

Pete Ross is a banjo maker, researcher, and musician. Pete is one of earliest contemporary makers of gourd banjos, making instruments that range from those of his own design to exact replicas of historic instruments. Pete began making banjos in the 1990s at the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York City and then apprenticed with Scott Didlake of Mississippi. His reconstructions of eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century banjos have been featured internationally in museums, art galleries, movies, documentaries, and live performances, and are owned by notable Old-Time musicians such as Rhiannon Giddens and Bob Carlin. www.banjopete.com
Kristina Gaddy's writing has appeared in everything from The Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, Atlas Obscura, and OZY to All Frets, Banjo Newsletter, and The Old-Time Herald. Her first book Flowers in the Gutter: The True Story of the Edelweiss Pirates, Teenagers Who Resisted the Nazis immerses the reader in the world of these teenagers as they resist the Third Reich. Her forthcoming book Well of Souls: Searching for the Banjo's Lost History is an exploration of the little known history of the banjo in the Americas, its role as a a spiritual device in the hands of enslaved Africans, and the instrument's legacy in today’s culture and society.
Comment by Rob Mohr on March 9, 2020 at 6:29pm

Is Krisrina going to bring some copies of Well of Souls, so we may buy an autographed copy?

Comment by John Masciale on March 9, 2020 at 8:37pm

I will ask her.


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