By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK─ The American Banjo Museum will present the return of the internationally renowned Kruger Brothers to Oklahoma as the headliners of this year’s Banjo Fest concert. The performance will be held on Saturday, September 9, at the Hudiburg Chevrolet Performing Arts Center at Rose State College in Midwest City.
Internationally acclaimed American folk musicians, the Kruger Brothers band – Jens Kruger (banjo, vocals), Uwe Kruger (guitar, lead vocals) and Joel Landsberg (bass, vocals) – will entertain guests with bluegrass, folk, jazz, and classical music, blending their own iconic sound through “virtuosic instrumental abilities and soulful vocals.”
The Kruger Brothers are well known to many Oklahomans through their past appearances at the Oklahoma International Bluegrass Festival held in Guthrie each fall. Growing up in Switzerland sharing the love of music, Jens and Uwe regularly performed American folk and bluegrass music as street musicians throughout Europe.
The duo signed their first recording deal with CBS Records when Jens was only seventeen. Soon after, the brothers moved to America, settling in North Carolina. When the native New Yorker, Joel Landsberg, joined the band, the Kruger Brothers sound was born.
In 2013, the Kruger Brothers earned mainstream recognition when Jens was presented with the Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo. It was presented by Martin himself during an appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman.
Today, the Kruger Brother record and frequently tour either as a trio or as guest artists with major symphony orchestras.
Uwe stated, “When I see people walk out of the theatre with a smile on their faces, I think, ‘well, we’ve done our job today.’ No one will ever come to me and say, ‘Uwe, I loved that solo you did in the third song.’ But they will come to me and say, ‘This was a wonderful evening.’ And then I am happy…that’s what I want to hear.”
Other Banjo Fest concert performers will include Gary “Biscuit” Davis, a four-time national banjo champion and bandleader for American singer, songwriter Dolly Parton, as well as The Banjo Summit comprised of American Banjo Museum Hall of Fame inductee Paul Erickson joined by Lance Dieckow and Johnny Baier.
On Thursday, September 7, a Welcome Reception and BBQ from 6 – 10 p.m. will be held at the American Banjo Museum a 9 E. Sheridan Avenue. Tickets for $30 include live music, a special performance by John McEuen, jamming and presentation of the American Banjo Museum Awards of Excellence, BBQ meal, beer, wine, soft drinks .
The American Banjo Museum Hall of Fame dinner on Friday, September 8, will be held at VAST atop the Devon Tower, 333 West Sheridan Avenue, from 6 – 10 p.m.
The evening will begin with a reception with a cash bar and live music, The American Banjo Museum Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place honoring John McEuen, Paul Erickson, Roy Clark, Tony Trischka and Joel Walker Sweeney featuring musical segments by each artist. Dress for this event is business attire (black tie optional). Tickets are $60.
On Saturday, September 9, from noon to 4 p.m. the American Banjo Museum will host individual performances by Paul Erickson, Gary Davis, Bob Carlin and others. At 6 p.m. courtesy transportation between the host hotel, the Holiday Inn and Performing Arts Center begins.
The Holiday Inn & Suites, located directly adjacent to the Museum, is offering a special rate of $139 per night for Banjo Fest. Call 888-HOLIDAY ad mention “Group AB2.”
At 7 p.m., Banjo Fest presents the eagerly awaited Kruger Brothers in concert with performances by special guest stars Gary “Biscuit” Davis and The Banjo Summit. VIP Seating is $35. Lower Orchestra) is $30, and Upper Orchestra costs $25. All seats are reserved.
Following the concert, the American Banjo Museum will host the weekend finale – a post-concert Afterglow Party, from 10 p.m. to midnight. Tickets are $25, which include jam sessions, pizza buffet, beer, wine, and soft drinks.
The full Banjo Fest Weekend Package, including the Welcome Reception, Hall of Fame Dinner, VIP Concert Seating and Afterglow Party, costs $125 – a savings of $25.
Reservation forms are available to download online at banjofest2017.com. Completed forms should be mailed before September 1 along with check or credit card information to American Banjo Museum, 9 E. Sheridan Avenue, Oklahoma City, OK 73104.
Banjo Fest concert tickets may be also be purchased at okciviccenter.com or by calling 405-297-2264. For more information on upcoming events, or to become a member of the American Banjo Museum visit americanbanjomuseum.com or call 405-604-2793.