Hi all - Last night I attended the premier of "Jens Kruger's Crossroads Ogden." It's difficult to put this into a category because it is a blend of banjo, the Ogden Utah Chamber Orchestra, and the Imagine Ballet Theater. Jens wrote the entire event; the ballet was choreographed by Raymond Van Mason. The event celebrates the settling, and evolution, of Ogden, Utah and I heard Jens say that this is going on world tour. The statement on the handout reads, "A seemingly never-ending stream of travelers passing through a town in the middle of nowhere that to its own surprise became the center of the Universe."
Right now you're probably thinking: What? Banjo and Ballet?
Yup. I've seen several banjo with orchestra but never ballet. Neither have I ever seen ballet with bicycles and baseball bats, and I've seen hundreds of ballets! I was intensely interested in this performance because I have been playing banjo for 39 years; guitar for 53 years, and have an extensive classical background. But last night's performance was much more than than what I expected. We were treated to an overture, blues, rag time, Dixie, jazz, and twangy cowboy music. After the main event, the Kruger brothers entertained us by presenting several other pieces relating to the Old West and trains.
Earl often claimed the banjo was much more than bluegrass. He set out to prove it for a while. Players such as John McEuen often delved into classical. However, I firmly believe that last night Jens Kruger did something that Earl only dreamed about. I truly hope he is looking down from his heavenly home and smiling!
If you get the chance to see the Krugers - go! That is a sentiment often expressed by many of us. However, in this instance, DO NOT MISS THE OPPORTUNITY TO SEE THIS PRESENTATION!!! Loud enough?
You won't regret it.
Michael S. Jackson
Ogden, UtahAdd Comment
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Playing Since: 1980
Experience Level: Purty Good
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Occupation: Retired from work, but not from music
1928 Granada TG; neck replaced, unknown origin). See earnestbanjo.com Mar 30 entry, lot # 9152.
RK-R85-SN (#77) and Gold Star Banjola Deluxe.
Earl; Butch Robins; Pete Wernick, Tony Trishka, John McEuen, undying crush on Alison Krauss...
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Last Visit 12/1/2019
Son of a Blue Diamond coal miner (Perry County; Hazard, KY); now living in that hot bed of bluegrass: Utah. Retired; devoting lots of time to banjo, guitar, fiddle, mandolin, etc. Be sure to read my blog!