Collin Kane invited me to accompany him when he competed at the Long Leaf Fiddle and Stringband Contest at Morningside Nature Park on November 29th. Collin is a Suzuki student in Gainesville. His mother, Diane Shaw is fine clogger who dances with my bands “Fear No Weevil” and “Physical Medicine”. She always livens up our performances. Andy Kane, Collin’s father, is a square and contra dance caller, who communicates a deep appreciation and understanding of old-time music when he calls.
Collin and I had practiced together twice on his two reels and his waltz. Collin seemed to grow in confidence, and I started to settle in on his tunes Redwing, Devil’s Dream, and the waltz (whose name I can’t remember). The day of the contest was finger-numbing cold. There were 8 contestants We sat together, waiting for our turn. I was nervous, but Collin seemed calm. As each contestant finished, I waited for our names to be called, mentally rehearsing our pieces, lightly running my hands across the banjo neck. Wee were last to go.
We sat, tuned, and then Collin launched in, with me trying to keep time, support his playing, generally keep up.
When we were done, the contestants were gathered together as the prizes were announced. The 3rd and 2nd places went to two older boys who had played more sophisticated pieces well. The first prize went to Collin, but his name was mispronounced. As it dawned on him that he had actually won, joy and excitement spread across his face.
I stuck around for a while, playing music with the band “Screech and Holler at Daisy”, and then left for home.
I am told that Collin was excited and when the afternoon stringband contest was held, he organized two other contestants to join him, and they took second place (well there was only one other band, but still).
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Genre: Old Time
Playing Style: Other
Genre: Old Time
Playing Style: Unknown/None Chosen
Genre: Unknown/None Chosen
Playing Style: Unknown/None Chosen
Genre: Old Time
Playing Style: Clawhammer and Old-Time
Playing Since: 1978
Experience Level: Expert/Professional
[Teaching] [Jamming] [Socializing] [Helping]
5 and 6 string fretted and fretless banjp, akonting/ekonting, fiddle
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Visible to: Public
Last Visit 5/27/2023
Chuck Levy has earned the title of Florida's Old-Time Banjo Champion, as well as old-time fiddle campion. He is equally at home on 5 and 6 string banjos (five strings plus a short string), whether fretted or fretless, playing clawhammer and minstrel styles. Chuck is also a respected banjo scholar who has visited Senegal and Gambia to investigate the African roots of the banjo. He learned to play the akonting (ekonting), a 3-string banjo ancestor, with Jola master musicians Remi Diatta, and Ekona Diatta. His work has been featured in the Old-Time Herald, Banjo Newsletter, and in the upcoming book, “Banjo Roots and Branches” edited by Robert WInans. Chuck’s mastery has been recognized by Gold Tone, which has developed a 6 string banjo, the OT-6, to Chuck’s specifications. http://www.goldtone.com/products/details/w/instrument/373/OT-6 ) . Chuck is a past president of both the Florida Banjo Society and the Florida State Fiddlers Association, and co-directs the Suwannee Banjo Camp with Ken Perlman, www.suwanneebanjocamp.com/ and the Stephen Foster Old-Time Music Weekend with Jim Strickland http://www.facebook.com/pages/Stephen-Foster-Old-Time-Music-Weekend/195008896686 . Chuck taught banjo at the Mars Hill College Blue Ridge Old-Time Music Week and the Midwest Banjo Camp. Chuck is also active with the University of Florida Center for Arts in Medicine as a performer and as Chair of the Board of Directors. http://www.arts.ufl.edu/CAHRE/senegambia.asp . In 2009, Chuck was honored to receive the Thelma Boltin Award at the Florida Old-Time Music Championships. This annual award is given to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to traditional music in Florida. Chuck won the Ed Fleming Award in at the Florida Old-TIme Music Championships in 2012. The award is given to ""someone who is outstanding on a single instrument, or in recognition of exceptional versatility on a number of instruments. It reflects the judges' opinion that the recipient is an accomplished musician who exemplifies the spirit of old time music." Chuck plays banjo and fiddle in the string bands "Polliwanna Crackers," and teaches fiddle and banjo in Gainesville, Florida. Chuck is featured in videos regarding the akonting/ekonting at http://shipsofthesea.org/video Competitions: o 2013 Banjo Hangout Old-TIme Modal Banjo Contest. Second Place o 2013: Florida State Banjo Contest: First Place. o 2012; Florida Old-Time Music Championships Banjo Contest 1st Place, Fiddle Contest, 1st place. Recipient of the Ed Fleming Award. o 2008: Longleaf String Band contest: 1st place: Florida State Fiddle Contest: 2nd Place o 2007: Florida State Fiddlers Convention String Band Contest: 1st Place o 2006: Florida State Fiddle Contest; 2nd Place o 2005; Florida Old-Time Music Championships Banjo Contest 1st Place: Florida State Banjo Contest 2005: 1st Place Southeast Pickin' & Fiddlin'Contest: Old-Time Banjo 2nd Place: Southeast Pickin' & Fiddlin'Contest: Old-Time Fiddle 3rd Place: o 2004: Florida State Fiddlers Association Annual String Band Contest (Fiddle) 1st Place: Florida State Fiddle Contest 2nd Place: Florida Old-Time Music Championships Banjo; 4th Place: Florida State Banjo Contest 3rd Place: o 2001: Florida State Fiddlers Association Annual String Band Contest (Fiddle) 1st Place: o 2000: Florida State Fiddlers Association Annual String Band Contest (Banjo) 2nd Place .
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