Banjo history workshop launches 2018-19 Keeping the Fires Burning series on Oct. 25

Press release from The Center for Cultural Preservation:

The Center for Cultural Preservation, WNC’s cultural history and documentary film center, launches the 2018-19 Keeping the Fires Burning cultural history series with banjo historian George Gibson.  Gibson has been studying the history of the banjo for decades and has done original research to demonstrate how the West African instrument was transmitted to American colonists and to Appalachian mountaineers over the past two centuries.

Gibson is owner of over a dozen historical banjos and he will be demonstrating their use as he discusses how the Kentucky style of banjo playing arrived from Africa, the role the gourd banjo played in Arkansasmusic history, that the banjo was played in the Carolinas as early as the 1700s, and much more.

In addition to a lecture and banjo demonstration, Gibson will be signing a new book, hot off the presses, from the University of Illinois Press, that includes his essay discussing the banjo’s fascinating history.

Banjo Roots and Branches is scheduled for Thursday, October 25th at 7:00 PM at Bo Thomas Auditorium atBlue Ridge Community College and registration is $5 per person.  Register for this program at or call the Center for Cultural Preservation at (828) 692-8062.

The Center for Cultural Preservation is a cultural nonprofit organization dedicated to working for mountain heritage continuity through oral history, documentary film, education and public programs. For more information about the Center contact them at (828) 692-8062 or

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