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NAMM Members Join Forces to Bring Banjo Exhibit to Life

hoff • Upfront • March 17, 2014

“The Banjo: A New Day for an Old Instrument” comes to the Museum of Making Music in late March, 2014, bringing with it the story of the instrument’s path to stardom, as well as the support of NAMM-member companies and individuals. The exhibit incorporates artifacts, hands-on displays, information, and stunning examples of custom, vintage, and one-of-a-kind instruments –many contributed by NAMM members.

Museum director Carolyn Grant credits NAMM-member enthusiasm and generosity as the locus of the exhibit. “"Special exhibitions are one way in which the NAMM Museum of Making Music explores and celebrates key industry stories and shares them with a broad audience,” she said. “The most recent exhibition explores not only the history of the banjo but also its current popularity. It is because of the generosity and enthusiasm of NAMM members that we were able to develop it so fully with information, graphics and a display of more than 80 historic and modern-day instruments.”

In addition to loaning instruments and providing the exhibit’s banjo workbench, Deering Banjo Company has proffered artist access, historical information, and research support. Other companies loaning instruments and artifacts include Recording King, OME, Duke of Pearl, Rickenbacker International Corporation, Fender, Gold Tone, Centerstream Publishing, Renaissance Guitars, Folk Music Center, Elderly Instruments, Players Vintage Instruments, and Denver Folklore Center. Musicians (such as David Lindley, Otis Taylor, and Lowell Levinger) and private collectors have been similarly generous with their time, information, support, and vintage and modern instruments.

The exhibit features banjo artifacts and replicas dating back to the earliest banjo-like instruments, modern banjo hybrids and innovations, an interactive ‘workbench,’ and illustrated, descriptive panels delineating the instrument’s origins and evolution. An 11- performance companion concert series featuring an international slate of banjos and banjoists throughout the spring, summer and fall rounds out the exhibit experience.

“It's been a privilege to work with NAMM members on this project and to experience the synergy and creativity of an industry that honors its past and works tirelessly toward a music-filled future,” said Grant.


For more information on “The Banjo: A new Day for an Old Instrument,” as well as the banjo concert series, visit The Museum of Making Music website at

About The Museum of Making Music

The Museum of Making Music exists to inspire the public to discover the history of making music, musical instruments and products, and to explore the connections among people, instruments, and the music we make through exhibits, programs and interactive experiences for people of any age.



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