As a banjo player based outside of the US, I’ve often been required to find a place for myself in a variety of forms of music not usually associated with the 5-string banjo. Integrating the 5-string into Irish and English folk music, rock, jazz etc. requires careful thought, sensitivity and a variety of techniques.
Throughout the workshop, as well as working on some classic bluegrass repertoire and vocabulary, we will also explore strategies and approaches that will help the banjo to play a valid part of a variety of styles, and ultimately become a more versatile instrument.
In an effort to cultivate a good work/play balance, the workshop will often shift between larger subjects such as music theory (and what all this stuff really means to us as banjo players) and smaller, more immediate items such as tunes, licks and physical technique.
La classe de banjo sera activée à partir de 5 participants.
As one reviewer once observed ‘being the best 5-string banjo player in the UK must be rather like being the fastest ‘fast-bowler’ in Virginia’. Leon Hunt has, for more than a decade, continued to confound that notion (and the many stereotypes that attempt to confine the 5-string banjo to Bluegrass music) by making his living playing alongside some of the world’s top musicians from a number of musical styles, backgrounds and disciplines.
Since graduating from his ‘Music and Music Technology’ degree in 2000 Leon has taken part in several notable ‘transatlantic’ recordings; Miles Apart (2004) Shuttle Diplomacy (2008) and Fishing Music (2009). These projects have included some of the biggest names in American traditional music; Viktor Krauss, Tim O’Brien, Stuart Duncan, David Grier and Matt Flinner to name a few.
Beyond proving his Bluegrass credentials, Leon has found himself in a diverse array of other musical settings; occasional live and/or recorded collaborations with Irish traditional music’s Michael McGoldrick and Flook, African Kora virtuoso, Sekou Kieta, and English Folk singers, Kate Rusby and Seth Lakeman.
Leon has also enjoyed being part of several major theatre productions for The Royal Shakespeare Company, Birmingham Rep, and The New Vic (search the web hard enough and you’ll find a very funny picture of him in a powdered wig and tights!!!)
If all of the above name dropping means nothing to you then we’ll have to resort to Anchor Butter’s major 2008 TV advertising campaign (the series of commercials with the fuzzy felt cows), that was Leon too!