West Virginia Banjo w/ Ben Townsend

Sunday, May 22, 2:30-4:00 pm
Register online

In this workshop Ben focuses on Central West Virginia banjo. He also covers some fiddle and banjo repertoire from around both West Virginia and Kentucky. You can email Ben at btowns01@gmail.com for more info or with any questions.

West Virginia native Ben Townsend grew up amidst Hampshire County's rich musical heritage. At a young age he learned to play banjo and guitar in the old-time way. Encouraged by such local fiddlers as Paul Roomsburg, Joe Herrmann and Israel Welch he has gone on to amass a great catalog of traditional fiddle tunes, banjo pieces and songs. While in college at Shepherd University Ben used his summers to study banjo from stalwarts such as Riley Bogus and Jimmy Costa at the Augusta Heritage Center in Elkins, WV. Apon graduation, again with the help of the Heritage Center's apprenticeship program, he went on to study the traditional fiddle styles of Central West Virginia and Kentucky from Dave Bing of Roan County, WV and John Harrod of Owen County, Kentucky. Having spent time learning both banjo and fiddle in the styles of both West Virginia and Kentucky, Ben's knowledge is not quick to run out.

While traveling and learning traditional music, Ben also took the time to join The Fox Hunt, a string band from the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. He is also a member of a more traditional string band called the Iron Leg Boys with fiddler Andy Fitzgibbon and guitarist Matt Metz.


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