Nov. 8, 2021

John Rose's South Carolina Watercolor circa 1785. We had a very special opportunity to view this original treasure which is archived at The Abby Aldrich Folklife Museum in Colonial Williamsburg.

We had a nice "robotic" visit with Larry Marcus.

The great Tony Trishka

Ken Perlman checks out the new Pisgah Banjos 

BUM on the road

The three original founders of the Banjo Collectors gathering….Jim Bollman, Hank Schwartz and Peter Szego.

We came to display our banjos and we came back with twice as much as we brought …including this beautiful set.

And we could never have done the whole thing without this guy’s help. Ryan Yarmel drove all the way down, "manned" the booth and was able to bring back all of the new instruments.

NEWSLETTER Banjo Gathering", in Colonial Williamsburg return

November 8th, 2021    

Good Morning Folks,

   Julie and I have just returned from the 2021 Banjo Gathering held in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia. As usual, we started the journey off with a few days of vacation in the Delmarva Peninsula inspecting the oyster beds and wild pony population. When we had our fill of seafood, we crossed the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and headed to Williamsburg. 

  The Banjo Collector’s Gathering began 23 years ago and we have attended the event as often as possible. Originally, it was designed for collectors to trade among themselves but has gradually evolved into a more encompassing format…from an exclusive "gentlemen’s club" to an inclusive and diverse assembly of folks whose common thread is celebrating all things banjo. The group has really worked hard to promote research about the African origins of the banjo, in addition to scholarly work on the earliest banjo makers and players.
    The first person we bumped into upon arriving was bluegrass legend, Tony Trishka…a somewhat unlikely candidate for this event. Since it’s inception, The Banjo Gathering was mostly in event for people who played old timey banjo…particularly clawhammer style and also "classic" banjo. Tony actually looked a bit anxious and was wondering how his presentation would be received…of course there was a standing ovation. The entire weekend was put together by a younger generation who is taking over the Banjo Gathering. It is no longer an "Old Gentleman's Club" but a vibrant and topical event being guided by the capable, creative and enthusiastic hands of Lillian Werbin, Kristina Gaddy, Pete Ross and Greg Adams. Perhaps this is the beginning of a collaboration between the banjo players of the various traditions…bluegrass, classical, old time, as well as 4 string "Dixieland" and Celtic…banjo players. I’ve never attended an event that finds these genres mixing together. In addition to Tony Trishka, Aaron Jonah Lewis presented The Return of Ragtime Banjo and and Christian Stanfield gave a presentation on Irish tenor banjo players. Several of the programs are available to be seen online if you follow the link to the 2021 Banjo Gathering.

Of course we had a nice display of instruments and sold a few and bought a few. But the best part of the entire experience was getting to spend some time with old friends. The camaraderie of these people, who have had a close relationship for at least the past 20 years, is just outstanding. After being virtual for the past two years it was a whole new feeling getting to see each other in person and catch up on each others lives. Of course, we brought back twice as much as we brought down! Stay tuned this week to see all the exciting guitars, banjos and mandolins we will be adding to the inventory.


John Bernunzio 

The whole gang!