Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

Hi All,

Sorry that I've been so scarce lately--not sorry for you but for myself...

I've been pretty busy with teaching, performing and writing as well as research -- which is what caused me to post today.  I figure some of you fine folks might be interested in some of the work I've been doing. 

Tomorrow (Wednesday, May 26th at 7 PM) I'm presenting an illustrated talk entitled "Gilmore's Road to Salem: The Fiddle Tune, the Irish Bandmaster and the Winter Island Muster."

This will be part tune history -- "Salem Hornpipe" from Ryan's Mammouth Collection (1883) and Cole's Thousand Fiddle Tunes -- and part "regular history" -- the tune commemorated a specific event.

Musically, it will cover quite a range from fiddling through brass band music via one of the most famous musicians of the 19th century, Patrick S. Gilmore -- who, you may recall was not only a band director but also a member of a minstrel organization, Ordway's Aeolians for whom he played the cornet and tambourine. 

It will also cover a bit of the history of Salem and Essex County, MA, especially military history (the Massachusetts Volunteer Militia) in the 1850s.

More info is here

Yes, there is banjo content -- I'll be performing a number of pieces on mandolin, minstrel banjo and piano.

Please come if you can.

Jim Dalton

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Just a follow-up:

This is the article that I wrote for this week's Salem Gazette.

It is short (hey, it's a newspaper article, after all) focused mostly on the local history aspects of the research.

I'm exploring options for publishing a longer, more detailed article -- more about that another time.

Jim Dalton
What a great story.

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