Mike Seeger to perform bluegrass banjo

Mike Seeger, guardian of the traditions of old-time country music and acclaimed bluegrass banjo player, will appear in concert at 8 p.m., Thursday, May 9, in the Olin Arts Center Concert Hall.

The same day at 9 a.m., Seeger will present a free lecture-demonstration on the African origin of the banjo and the influence of African playing styles on American banjo music. Seating is limited for this event, also in the Olin Arts Center.

In his evening concert, Seeger will perform traditional Appalachian music on a wide variety of instruments, including fiddle, autoharp, guitar and banjo. The concert is sponsored by the Bates Concerts Committee with assistance from the college’s Multicultural Center.

Seeger, a founding member of the famed New Lost City Ramblers, was a key figure in the folk-music revival of the 1950s and 1960s. He has toured the world and made dozens of recordings, many with his siblings, Peggy, Penny and Pete. He brought the music of such pioneers as Doc Watson, Maybelle Carter, Mississippi John Hurt and Etta Baker to new generations .

Seeger┬áreceived the 1995 Award of Merit from the International Bluegrass Music Association. In the citation read at the award ceremony, the association’s associate director, Bill Evans, said, “As a performer, Mike has been singularly responsible for creating and helping to sustain interest in southern string band music through a performing career that spans four decades.”

Seeger is also a noted researcher and historian of American music. He has produced some 25 field recordings and videos of traditional musicians. He has been nominated three times for Grammy awards, and has received the Rex Foundation’s Ralph J. Gleason Lifetime Achievement Award. The Rex Foundation said of Seeger’s musical performances that, “to see him perform is to experience the richness of our traditions.”

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