For the Love of Banjo

Sat, May 20, 2023
Greensboro History Museum Auditorium

The history of the banjo resonates with American history writ large, especially around race and the appropriation of black music. Historian Kristin Gaddy joins banjoist Demeanor (a nephew of Rhiannon Giddens, who wrote the forward to Gaddy's book) for a not-to-be missed event.

About the authors

KRISTINA R. GADDY Kristina is the author of Well of Souls: Uncovering the Banjo’s Hidden History and Flowers in the Gutter: The True Story of the Edelweiss Pirates, Teenagers Who Resisted the Nazis. She has received the Parsons Fund Award from the Library of Congress, a Logan Nonfiction Fellowship, and a Robert W. Deutsch Foundation Rubys Artist Grant. Her writing has appeared in The Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, Washington City Paper, Baltimore magazine, Narratively, Proximity, Atlas Obscura, and OZY, among other publications. READ MORE ABOUT KRISTINA

JUSTIN “DEMEANOR” HARRINGTON is a rapper and musician from Greensboro, North Carolina. A OneBeat Fellow Alum, Harrington has been featured on Americana Award Nominated album “Freedom Highway” and reached Billboard Bluegrasses Top 40 with his collaboration with Gangstagrass. He recently made his debut on NPR’s Tiny Desk series with Jake Blount. He coined the term “Rap is Folk” after merging his experience as a clawhammer banjo player and a hip hop artist, making the assertion that Hip Hop is a traditional American folk music form. Harrington formed a nonprofit in 2020 named “Haus of Lacks” which now works under the name “Studio 176” which is decimated to empowering and uplifting the artist community by providing platform, opportunity, and education for those who seek to build a career outside of the metrics of the modern music industry. READ MORE ABOUT DEMEANOR

About the Host
As a programmer, Ben Singer specializes in writing apps for music and the arts, including collaborations with Charlie Hunter, Erika Boysen (UNCG), Scott Dixon (Cleveland Orchestra), and ensemBle baBel. As a musician, Ben has performed his silent film scores at festivals in Edinburgh, New York City, Orlando, and San Francisco, as well as playing locally in Greensboro.