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Black Banjo Repertoire: African and Post-African Tunes, Their Context, and How to Play Them

Join early Carolina Chocolate Drop Sule Greg Wilson for this special offering! Few people know that a big chunk of Americana has Black roots. Many great European American players—Boggs, Carter, Monroe et al— were inspired by or learned from African Americans. In this session, participants will learn some African songs, with a goal of understanding the roots of the roots. Participants will also discuss and play tunes that many already know, looking at them in regards to their “Black Roots”, historically, and/or stylistically. It’s a time to talk, listen, share, jam, and grow.

American griot Sule Greg Wilson digs for deep, strong roots. Steeped in both African and Post-African cultures, Sule built his base as a researcher and performer for the International Afrikan-American Ballet (1977-1982) and the African-American Index Project (1991-1994); as an archivist at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (1986-1989) and at the National African-American Museum Project (1994-1995). As a performer, he has carried this focus into collaborations with a diverse group of artists: Taj Mahal, Mike Seeger, Reginald R. Robinson, Sankofa Strings/Carolina Chocolate Drops, Tony Trishka, Ruthie Foster, Babatunde Olatunji, Peter Rowan, and Joe Thomson to name a few. Percussion, banjo, dance and storytelling are Sule’s chosen tools for cultural archeology and you are invited to dig with him.

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