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Vermont Banjo Afternoon

close-up of banjo side & strings

Join the Vermont Historical Society and Young Tradition Vermont for an afternoon of music with a side of history, featuring talented young banjo players.

In 2017, the Vermont Historical Society was gifted a rare early 1900s banjo made by the Bacon Banjo company of Forest Dale (Brandon) Vermont.  We’ll be exploring this intriguing item, and how it differs from today’s instruments, with 3 young Vermont musicians: Carling Berkhout (Bennington), Uma Peters (Nashville, TN), and Loula Zeichner (Northfield).

Each musician will play a couple or 3 selections of their own choosing, with their own instruments, and if possible, using the restored Bacon banjo.  The musicians will comment on their involvement with learning and playing the banjo. The program will include tunes sure to please any music lover, especially those interested in banjo. A unique opportunity for anyone interested in music history & tradition in Vermont. Free and open to everyone.

Carling Berkhout is a writer and musician based out of Southern Vermont. She plays in the duo, Carling & Will, and trio, Surplus Daughters. Carling & Will’s forthcoming album expands beyond the confines of old-time, with a modern sound deeply rooted in the style and history of traditional music. These new songs feel timeless, built on the rich drone of an electric guitar and the warm and lyrical open-back banjo.

Loula Zeichner grew up in the hills of central Vermont with 2 siblings (Yasi & Oliver) who play traditional Irish and old-time/Appalachian music.  She plays 4 and 5 string banjo as well as Celtic harp.  As part of the Zeichner Trio, she has performed at festivals and events throughout Vermont, including the Vermont History Expo in Tunbridge, the Burlington International Festival, the New World Festival in Randolph, Celebrate Vermont in Stowe, the Big E in Springfield MA, Farmer’s Night at the State House, and others including farmers markets, concerts, weddings, and private parties and housewarmings.

Uma Peters is performing this weekend with her brother Giri at the Festival of Fools in Burlington.  They are award-winning multi-instrumentalists – Giri on fiddle, mandolin, and guitar, and Uma on clawhammer and gourd banjo – and have been electrifying audiences with their refreshing, soulful blend of old-time, folk, and roots music.  They have attracted the attention of MacArthur Genius Grant awardee Rhiannon Giddens, who is acting as a master artist for Uma as part of the apprenticeship program in traditional arts through the Tennessee Arts Commission. Their first album was released May 31st.

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