KY Historical Society to host banjo making workshop

Lee Sexton performing with a student. Photo courtesy of Linefork filmmakers.

If you are a fan of traditional Appalachian music, you will enjoy learning about how to make a traditional mountain banjo.  The Kentucky Historical Society will be hosting a special 2-day workshop event with professional woodworker and sculptor, J. Daniel Graham.  The event will take place at the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History on Saturday, November 16 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday, November 17 from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Participants will go behind the scenes of the Kentucky Historical Society to see examples of traditional techniques used to create Appalachian musical instruments.  Georgetown College professor, J. Daniel Graham will guide the class in assembling their own mountain banjo using a variety of Kentucky hardwoods.  Then the workshop will conclude by playing the new banjos in a group lesson, taught by Georgetown musician, John Ryster.

No woodworking experience is necessary and all materials will be provided.  Cost of the workshop is $275 per participant, with a reduced rate of $255 for Kentucky Historical Society members.  The price includes all materials, admission to the museum, a boxed lunch, and snacks.  Registration and pre-payment are due by October 31, 2019.  Class will be limited to 12 participants.

For more information, call 502-782-8118, email khseducation@ky.gov, or visiting online at https://history.ky.gov/event/handcrafting-traditional-mountain-banjos.

Lee Sexton cleaning his banjo in the film, Linefork. Photo courtesy of Linefork filmmakers.

Jessica Blankenship

Jessica Blankenship is the owner and founder of Kentucky Country Music website. The Berea College graduate has been a music journalist and historian for over 20 years. She enjoys providing concert photography, reviews, historical articles, red carpet event coverage, and exclusive interviews of your favorite musicians.  Jessica is proud to be a Kentucky Colonel and alumni of the FFA and 4-H Clubs. In 2018, she was named one of Laurel County's Ten Under 40 Award Recipients.  In 2019, she was a member of the Inaugural class of BRIGHT Kentucky as part of Leadership Kentucky.  She has been featured on the Kentucky Music Preview podcast, Hollercast podcast, Overtones radio show, WFKY Nashville News Roundup, KET, and more.  Beyond music, she enjoys traveling, helping her community, collecting gnomes, and Volkswagens.

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