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Jason Smith / Gourd Banjo Gems

Click below to purchase downloadable singles or complete CD of Gourd Banjo Gems from Bandcamp–


About the music:

This is a collection of mostly ‘classic style’ banjo performed on a five-string gourd banjo (banza) madefor me in 1993 by Scott Didlake.   I was fortunate to meet Scott and become his friend and pupil. I learned both playing styles and banza construction from him. Stratiotis, one of the pieces on this cd, was composed by Scott’s banjo teacher Mr. William Miles, of Toronto. Mr. Miles was teaching and playing banjo up to his 100th birthday!

Mr. Miles in turn was a friend and pupil of the great banjoist Alfred A. Farland. Mr. Farland was considered by many as the greatest banjo player of his time (late 1800’s to early 1900’s). I feel very fortunate to be part of such a distinguished lineage.

Most of the banjo pieces on this cd are written in the classic fingerstyle form of playing. This was more of a ‘refined’ guitar style which employs up-picking of the strings. This style flourished from about 1880 to about 1920. The composers are among the greats in the banjo world. From England we are introduced to the prolific pens of Emile Grimshaw, Joe Morley, and Bert Bassett.

From the U.S. We are introduced to the likes of Frank B. Converse (named the Father of the Banjo), Vess Ossman, and Alfred Cammeyer (born and U.S. and later moved to England.) Also, a Thomas Briggs tune is incorporated. He is considered as one of the Minstrel era banjo greats.

I currently live in Clinton, Mississippi where I graduated with a music degree from Mississippi College. I began my banjo adventures while in high school in Jackson, MS. I am also a violinist and have played extenisively in orchestras around the area, as well as freelance engagements.

I try to attend as many festivals around the area as I can. I am also a recent inductee into the Mississippi Craftsmen’s Guild.It is a joy to share my love of banjo music and banjos with others! I hope to see you out and about very soon!

I hope you enjoy this cd as much as I have enjoyed playing the music on it!

Gourd Banjo Gems Playlist:1.Ex. no. 91 : Emille Grimshaw  2. Sunflower Dance : Vess Ossman3. Spanish Fandango : trad.  4. Kentucky Home / Briggs Breakdown / Pequot Galop : Stephen Foster/Thomas Briggs/Frank Converse  5. Ex. no. 62 : Grimshaw6. Merry Cadet : J.E. Agnew  7. Home on the Range : trad.  8. Alpine Waltz : Joe Morley  9. Ex. nos. 24 an 26 : Joe Morley  10. Nightingale Waltz : J.E. Agnew11. On the Mildam Galop : A.A. Baab  12. Blue Eyes : Alfred Cammeyer  13. Star Polka / Gumbo Reel  14. Stratiotis : William Miles  15. Blues : Bert Bassett



From CDbaby:

Jason Smith: Home On the Range

Blow Your Trumpet Gabriel (Spiritual)

Jason Smith: Blow Your Trumpet Gabriel

 Home on the Range (solo banza)

Mail order CD:   Contact me directly if interested in purchasing a physical CD through the mail.