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Playing Since: 1959
[Jamming] [Socializing] [Helping]

Occupation: retired minister/musician

Gender: Male
Age: 77

My Instruments:
Wildwood Heirloom and Minstrel tubaphones, Bart Reiter FF Professional (Chubby Dragon model with scalloped ring added), Bart Reiter flower pot necked Vega Tubaphone No. 3, Ome Artist model Hummingbird, Bart Reiter custom Whyte Laydie No. 2, Gibson RB-170 with a Don Bryant custom RB-11 neck and a Sullivan skirtless pyramid tone ring, Gretsch G-400 Synchchromatic archtop guitar, Gibson L-50 archtop guitar, Gibson J-45 guitar.

Favorite Bands/Musicians:
Eddie Condon ensembles; the early Preservation Hall Jazz Band editions; The New Orleans Joymakers; The New Orleans Jazz Vipers; Bob Wills; Milton Brown and His Musical Brownies; The Hot Club of Cowtown; Rich O'Brien; Johnny, Gene, and Emily Gimble; Joey McKenzie and the Western Flyers; Paul Anastasio; Albanie Falletta; Martin, Bogan and Armstrong; Willie Nelson; Merle Haggard; Mo Pitney; Jimmy and Michelle Capps; Leon Redbone; The Ink Spots; Nat King Cole; Danny Barker; Detroit Brooks; Molly Reeves; Joe Braun; Clint Baker; Marty Grosz; Jonathan Stout; Louis Nelson; George Lewis; Willie and Percy Humphrey; Sing Miller; Lionel Ferbos; plus the banjo players listed in bio.

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Profile Info:
Visible to: Public
Created 1/20/2006
Last Visit 5/9/2023

I am a clawhammer player/chord melodist who primarily plays traditional New Orleans and Chicago style jazz and swing music. I perform regularly with a keyboard player, a swing style fiddler, guitarist, and bassist. My first serious banjo influence was getting to see and hear Wade Ward in nearby Galax, Virginia. His rendition of Old Bill Cheatham inspired me to learn how to play clawhammer. In the late 1960's and 70's I played in an old time fiddle band that won several ribbons and was recorded for both the Galax and Union Grove festival LP's. Because my Dad was a trumpet player, I also learned how to play the repertoire he enjoyed, and now play it exclusively, all on five string, mixing and unifying the two styles. Over the years I've had the good fortune to play music in a variety of settings and in a number of different bands--everything from Dixieland to Country and Western Swing to church and gospel music--with any number of wonderful musicians. Other banjoists I listen to and enjoy are Emanuel Sayles, Narvln Kimball, Father Al Lewis, Don Vappie, Jimmy Mazzy, Eddie Erickson, Arnt Arntzen, Bill Reinhart, and Cynthia Sayer--all four string players who play either tenor, or plectrum. On five string, I would list Charlie Poole, John Burke, and Tommy Thompson as favorites. Since retirement, I have been creating an ever evolving instruction guide for other "down pickers" like myself who might have a desire to learn how I approach and have chosen to play the traditional jazz repertoire. I would welcome contact with anyone with similar interests or wanting to learn more about playing the kind of music I so greatly enjoy.

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