May 9, 2022
The American Banjo Fraternity
May 9th, 2022
Good Morning Folks,
What better way is there to re-enter American culture than to attend a spring rally of the American Banjo Fraternity. The fraternity began in 1948 as a way to keep alive the old style of banjo playing that was prominent from 1880 to 1920. It is the "classical" style playing that was popular across America and England. Classical banjo was a way of elevating the common instrument to a higher level. Banjo orchestras became the rage in colleges across the country. It was composed and written music for the five string, gut strung banjo consisting of rags, marches, schottishes and waltzes. On Friday I was able to spend some time with some very old friends including the famous Elias Kaufman "doctor of the banjo". I first met Elias around 1977. I had taken the names from the back of any magazine that had to do with guitars, banjos, and mandolins. I made a list of all the people and sent out a mailing of the instruments that I had for sale. I received a very cryptic phone call after sending the first mailing out. It said something like this: "I got this thing in the mail, I see you sell banjos. If you’re gonna have anything to do with banjos you had better know who I am. I am Eli Kaufman." Well, I’m glad to say he was right….
The great musician, philosopher and chef of all things Louisiana, Jerome Paxton, pontificates as long time ABF members, Norm and Joanne Azinger listen on, mystified.
Drew Frech, the musical director of the ABF leads a "Round Robin" where everyone gets a chance to play a tune they have learned. Drew is the master of banjo technique.
Throw back to 2013…Sen and Ryan are still with us while Scott and Michelle went on to pursue new adventures!