[Dixielandjazz] Banjo weekend had some fine youngsters

David W. Littlefield dwlit at cpcug.org
Mon Feb 17 09:19:51 PST 2003

Hi you ugly'alls. I spent 3 days at a banjo festival and heard some young
folks who well may be part of the bedrock for preserving OKOM.

The "Bay Banjo Aggregation" has an annual "Valentine Day Massacre" at
Allenberry Resort near Harrisburg PA. Mostly mid-Atlantic region players,
but folks came from as far west as Chicago, Florida, New England.
Allenberry is a low-key but very comfortable facility with great if not
fancy food.

Program includes workshops, mini-concerts and dinner music; Sat. night
there's a banquet followed by a 3-hour show where players can strut their
And all over the place are Jam rooms, so when we're not eating (fortunately
for the waistline, fixed times) or listening, we can jam till our fingers
are sore.

One featured group was the Sunnyland Jazz Trio, led by Bob Barta (banjo,
vocals) from Long Island. Tuba and trumpet (also vocals ) Specializes in
obscure 1920s pretty and novelty tunes. Fun group. Trumpet player is as
much fun to watch as Buck Creek's clarinetist John Skilman.

Steve Dibonaventura (in his 30s) is a marvellous banjoist--plays sometimes
with Barbone Street JB. Likes Dixieland as well as other stuff, but he did
terrific versions of "Dans Les Rues d'Antibes" and "Loose booger stomp" I
mean "Bogalusa Strut". He's not merely an excellant technician with great
single string chops, but plays thoughtfully and tastefully--his runs and
arrangements have substance. 

Steve has a brilliant student, Mike Kuehn (in his twenties); both play
tenor guitar, and they performed together. Their rhythm person was "Socks"
Steenstra (sp?), on bass sax (also plays curved Soprano sax) , who not only
plays well generally, but got off good solos and better yet, good rhythm
and very substantive harmony and comp lines. Got a chance to hear him in
jam sessions.

There was a pair of multi-talented youngsters who are still learning the
music. Both play dixieland banjo and trumpet, one also plays tuba and
trombone; one of them plays decent piano. They've worked up a bunch of
trumpet duets, which they showed off during many jam sessions; still have a
ways to go, but are devoted.

There were several female banjo kickers, including 2 younger ones who are
trying to learn the music.

David W. Littlefield, Piano, Guitar, Banjo, Washboard
Compiler: "Dixieland FB" (Bb, C); "30S-40S FB (Bb, C)"; "Gig Book"
http://cpcug.org/user/dwlit (Dixie playalong list, other tools)  
http://americanmusiccaravan.com (Fake Books, Chord Books, Bands)
eMail: dwlit at cpcug.org

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