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From Minuet to Ragtime: Early Guitars, Banjos and their Connections 1755-1905

March 5, 2017 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

$15 – $20

On Sunday, March 5, 2017, Lauck Benson, banjos and English guitar, and Olav Chris Henriksen, English and Spanish guitars and harp-guitar-lute will give a concert telling the story of English and Spanish guitars and how they interacted with the early banjo.  The concert, suitable for audiences of all ages, will take place at 3:00 pm at the Somerville Museum, Central St. at Westwood Road, Somerville, MA.  Admission is $20 general admission, $15 students, seniors and Museum members.  Ample street parking is available.  An informal reception at the Museum will follow the concert.  For further information and reservations, call (617) 666-9810 or go to www.somervillemuseum.org.

Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1787 that the “Banjar… is the original of the guitar, its chords being precisely the four lower chords on the [English] guitar.”  This analogy sets the stage for a story in which guitars and banjos interact and influence each other for centuries to come.  Lauck Benson and Olav Chris Henriksen will show how English minuets and jigs came to the New World and combined with African music from the colonies to create a North American music, finally culminating in the birth of ragtime.  Come hear them play old-time gems like “Rattlesnake Jig”, “Mastodon Waltz”, and “Magnolia Mazurka”.  The concert will include works by Oswald, Anne Ford, Foster, the Buckleys, Stewart, Ossman and more.

Lauck Benson has played banjo with many bands across the country.   He is a respected bluegrass and banjo historian, as well as an enthusiastic teacher, and he has taught at Berklee College of Music.  Olav Chris Henriksen has played all kinds of guitars, lutes, guitar-lutes, theorbos, and other early instruments with strings and frets.  He has also played with many different groups in North America and Europe, as well as performing quite a few solo recitals, but he never tires of playing music with his good friends.


March 5, 2017
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
$15 – $20
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Somerville Museum
1 Westwood Rd
Somerville, MA United States


Somerville Museum