By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Newspaper
The 2016 inductees into the American Banjo Museum Hall of Fame have been announced and will be celebrated during several events in Oklahoma City coming up in September.
The honorees are J.D. Crowe, Five-String Performance; Pat Terry, Jr., Four-String Performance; George Formby, Historical; Deering Banjo Company, Design & Manufacture and Alfred Greathouse, Instruction & Education.
The Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place on Friday, Sept. 9th amid a weekend of concerts and festivities.
“Each year we strive to honor banjo’s best from the past and present and this year is no exception,” said Johnny Baier, executive director, American Banjo Museum. “Like past inductees, each of this year’s honorees has displayed a lifelong commitment to the banjo.”
The celebration begins on Thursday, September 8 when the American Banjo Museum will host a Welcome Reception & Bar-B-Que event. Festivities honoring the new inductees will take place from 6 – 10 p.m. at the museum, at 9 E. Sheridan Avenue, in the Oklahoma City Bricktown district.
The evening will feature music by the Byron Berline Band as well as a tribute to legendary Oklahoma banjoist John Hickman. On Friday, September 9, the 2016 ABM Hall of Fame Ceremony will be held at VAST restaurant located in Devon Tower, 333 W. Sheridan Ave., from 6-10 p.m.
This formal event will feature a reception, dinner and the induction ceremony with musical performances by the honorees and other celebrity guests.
On Saturday afternoon, this year’s inductee Pat Terry, Jr., along with Randy Morris and others, will perform at the American Banjo Museum from noon to 5 p.m. The celebration will continue Saturday evening with ABM’s Banjo Fest.
This special concert event will be held at the Hudiburg Chevrolet Performing Arts Theater at Rose State College 6420 S.E. 15th Street, in Midwest City from 7 to 10 p.m. Performers will include jazz banjo icon Cynthia Sayer, four-time national banjo champion Gary “Biscuit” Davis, visionary acoustic artists Mark Johnson & Emory Lester and, all the way from England, vaudevillian style icon Andy Eastwood.
The weekend concludes with a post-concert Afterglow Party at the American Banjo Museum from 10 p.m. until midnight.
“Our Hall of Fame celebration brings people from across the globe to Oklahoma City,” said Baier. “The international music spotlight is on our city and, as all of our Hall of Fame weekend events are open to the public, it’s a great opportunity for Oklahoma City to really show its support.”
The American Banjo Museum is a $5 million, world-class 21,000 square foot facility honoring the history, spirit and future of the banjo. The museum contains the largest collection in the world of banjos on public display featuring more than 400 instruments, recordings, film, video, printed music, instructional materials, and memorabilia associated with the banjo.
“There are always a lot of interesting things going on here, based on the fact that most people aren’t banjo players and can’t possibly anticipate what they’re going to see when they get here. We’ve been so fortunate to be able to create such a nice and modern presentation of around 300 banjos. It’s kind of surprising to a lot of folks.” Baier added.
For tickets, prices or more information on the Hall of Fame weekend, upcoming events, or to become a member of the American Banjo Museum, visit americanbanjomuseum.com or call 405-604-2793.