DOCUMENTARY FILM “GIVE ME THE BANJO” shown prior to Tony Trischka Territory concert, February 21, in Harrisburg, PA

Grammy Award nominee Tony Trischka, recognized for his work as perhaps the most influential banjo player in the roots music world, comes to Harrisburg with his band Give Me the Banjo for a Susquehanna Folk Music Society concert on Sunday, February 21, 2016, at 7:30 p.m., at The Abbey Bar, Appalachian Brewing Company, 50 N. Cameron Street, Harrisburg.

Please plan to join us for a 3:30 p.m. showing of the 90-minute documentary “Give Me the Banjo” and a 5 p.m. Meet and Greet with Trischka, the film’s producer. (Included in the concert admission)

There should be plenty of time afterwards to head down to the Appalachian Brewery’s restaurant for dinner before the concert. (Reservations suggested)

Concert tickets are $25 General Admission, $21 for SFMS members, and $10 for students ages 3-22. Advance tickets are available through Brown Paper Tickets online at http://www.brownpapertickets.com or toll-free (800) 838-3006. For more information, visit the Susquehanna Folk Music Society website at http://www.sfmsfolk.org

 

DOCUMENTARY FILM “GIVE ME THE BANJO”

“Give Me the Banjo” is a musical odyssey through 300 years of American history and culture, featuring contemporary banjo masters such as Pete Seeger, Earl Scruggs, Bela Fleck, Taj Mahal, Mike Seeger, Alison Brown, Sonny Osborn, Don Vappie, Cynthia Sayer and Abby Washburn in interviews and performances, combined with rare archival footage, stills, recordings and first-hand narratives.

 

Using the banjo’s diverse musical styles, rich social history and colorful players as our narrative “thread,” “Give Me the Banjo” highlights many of the issues at the heart of American culture today. In its long history, the banjo has symbolized patriotism and protest, pain and pleasure, low entertainment and sophisticated leisure. It’s been a black instrument, a white instrument, a laborer’s pastime and a socialite’s diversion, a young person’s fad and an old-timer’s friend. But mostly it’s been a snubbed instrument. Whether it’s Dan Emmett in blackface, the Jazz Age flapper whamming on a 4-string or Pete Seeger leading an anti-war rally with his long-necked Vega, the banjo has been the symbolic prop for stereotypes about race, class, gender, region and political persuasion right up to the present day.

 

With contemporary banjo masters providing the commentary, “Give Me the Banjo” weaves together rare archival footage and recordings with the narratives of historic banjo figures such as Joel Walker Sweeney, Lotta Crabtree, S.S. Stewart, Vess Ossman, Gus Cannon, Charlie Poole, Uncle Dave Macon, Elmer Snowden, Eddie Peabody, Dock Boggs, and Etta Baker. Throughout the program, experts in cultural history, folklore, popular music and instrument design supply additional analysis and historical context: Mike Seeger, Kip Lornell, Neil Rosenberg, Joe Wilson, Tony Thomas, Lowell Schreyer, Cece Conway, Bob Winans, Sule Greg Wilson, Pete Ross and George Wunderlich.

 

The Music Director for “Give Me the Banjo” is Rounder recording artist Tony Trischka, one of the most acclaimed acoustic musicians of his generation (IBMA 2007 Instrumentalist of the Year and Grammy nominee). The Writer/Producer/Director is Marc Fields, whose recent work includes two scripts for the Emmy-winning PBS series, Broadway: The American Musical, and as writer-producer, Willie the Lion (regional Emmy), a musical biography of the forgotten jazz giant Willie the Lion Smith, featuring Artie Shaw, Dr. Billy Taylor and Dick Hyman.

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