The American Banjo Museum in Oklahoma City is pleased to announce the 2017 inductees into the American Banjo Museum Hall of Fame.
JOHN McEUEN - Five-String Performance - A founding member of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, McEuen is a pioneering five-string banjo stylist as well as multi-instrumentalist and vocalist with over 40 albums to his credit. From his role in the iconic Will The Circle Be Unbroken LP to countless award winning recordings, concerts and radio and television appearances (including his own SirusXM radio show, Acoustic Traveler), McEuen has likely shared his unique and musical banjo voice with a larger audience than any other contemporary banjo figure.
PAUL ERICKSON - Four-String Performance - Not too long ago thought of as one of the younger generation of four-string artists carrying the torch of the jazz age pioneers, Erickson has matured into a unique and highly respected tenor banjo stylist. Built upon an exceedingly light touch, fluid motion and a distinctively jazz-flavored approach, Erickson’s style is equally at ease with showy banjo standards as it is with tender ballads. As a soloist or part of a swinging Dixieland style ensemble, Paul Erickson reflects the highest standard in musicianship, personal style and banjo traditions.
JOEL WALKER SWEENEY (1819 - 1860) - Historical - Although not the “inventor of the banjo” as was often claimed, Joel Walker Sweeney played a pivotal role in introducing and popularizing the banjo in American culture in the mid-1800s. After learning to play banjo from slaves near his father’s farm, Sweeney toured as a solo entertainer both in the United States and England prior to becoming the most popular banjoist of the Minstrel Era. Sweeney is undoubtedly the most significant individual in early banjo history.
ROY CLARK - Promotion - Unquestionably one of the most important figures in the popularization of American country music, Roy Clark’s sixty-year career has positively exposed the banjo to literally hundreds of millions of people. Best known as the comic host of the Hee Haw television program, Clark’s banjo skills have influenced several generations of Bluegrass and country musicians. But more than this, his non-stop concerts (including historic diplomatic tours to the Soviet Union), television appearances and recordings display an unabashed joy in playing the banjo and entertaining which has resulted in countless new banjo fans around the world.
TONY TRISCHKA - Instruction & Education - Trischka is considered to be the consummate banjo artist and perhaps the most influential banjo player in the roots music world. In addition to his work and reputation as a performer, composer, arranger and producer, Trischka is one of the world’s most respected and sought after banjo instructors, creating fifteen instructional books as well as a series of DVDs. In 2009, he launched the groundbreaking Tony Trischka School of Banjo, an advanced, interactive, online instructional site that is the banjo home for students from around the world.
John McEuen, Paul Erickson, Roy Clark, Tony Trischka and Joel Walker Sweeney will be inducted into the American Banjo Museum Hall of Fame during gala ceremonies to be held atop the fabulous Devon Tower on Friday, September 8, 2017 in Oklahoma City. The following day, informal performances will take place at the American Banjo Museum, as well as a very special BANJO FEST evening concert at the Hudiburg Chevrolet Performing Arts Center at Rose State College. All American Banjo Museum Hall of Fame weekend events are open to the public.