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Bluegrass & Roots Music

As part of Black History Month and
the 20th Anniversary of the Long Island Bluegrass Festival, BACCA takes a look back at the genre's diverse origins and influences.

Learn more through the resources below.

Henry Ossawa Tanner, The Banjo Lesson, 1893

Oil on canvas

Hampton University Museum, Hampton, VA

The History of the Banjo

Afro-Caribbean Roots of the Banjo with Tony Thomas

Banjo Quest and Tom Collins present a three part talk with Tony Thomas, African American banjo scholar, on the African and Caribbean origins of the banjo.





Learn with Musician Rhiannon Giddens

Rhiannon Giddens is an acclaimed musician and founding member of the Grammy-Award winning Carolina Chocolate Drops.



Arnold Shultz

Arnold Shultz (1886–1931) was an African American musician from western Kentucky who had a profound influence on Bill Monroe and the development of bluegrass. [Source - The Arnold Schultz Fund]

More information on Arnold Shultz may be found in the article links below.


IBMA Foundation established the Arnold Shultz Fund in 2020 to support activities increasing participation of people of color in bluegrass music.


“A film crew follows the well-known banjo player Bela Fleck on his travels to Africa, where he learns about the instrument's origins.” (From. IMDB)



General Resources




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