Xalam: The Soulful Melody of West Africa

Deeply rooted in the cultural fabric of West Africa, the Xalam is an enchanting musical instrument that has been captivating audiences for centuries. Often considered the ancestor of the modern-day guitar, the Xalam’s rich history and distinctive sound make it a symbol of traditional African music. In this article, we will explore the origins, construction, … Read more

What is an Akonting?


The akonting is a traditional West African instrument, specifically originating from the Jola people in Gambia, Senegal, and Guinea-Bissau. It is a three-stringed lute-like instrument that is often regarded as the ancestor of the banjo. The akonting is constructed using a gourd body, a long wooden neck, and three strings, traditionally made from fishing line … Read more

The Banjo and Politics


The banjo has a long and fascinating history of being intertwined with politics and social movements. From its origins in African American music, to its role in American folk and country music, the banjo has often been used as a tool for political expression and social commentary. The Banjo and Politics One of the earliest … Read more

Banjo Banned in South Africa


The banjo is a musical instrument with a long and storied history, known for its distinctive twang and its association with a variety of musical genres, including bluegrass, country, and folk. However, the banjo has also been the subject of controversy and censorship, particularly in South Africa during the era of apartheid. In this article, … Read more

History and Characteristics of Bluegrass Banjo


The Bluegrass banjo is a musical instrument that has deep roots in American culture. It is a five-string banjo that is commonly used in bluegrass music, a genre of music that originated in the Appalachian region of the United States. History and Characteristics of Bluegrass Banjo The history of the Bluegrass banjo can be traced … Read more

Prominent Banjo Players in the 20th Century

pete seeger

Banjo playing has a rich and diverse history, with its roots tracing back to Africa and being developed further in the United States during the 19th century. Over the course of the 20th century, the banjo has become an iconic instrument in many genres of music, including bluegrass, folk, country, and even rock and roll. … Read more

Earliest Banjo Players

Gus Cannon

The banjo is a unique instrument with a rich history, particularly in American folk music. While the exact origins of the banjo are unclear, it is believed to have been brought to the United States by enslaved Africans in the 17th century. Over time, the banjo evolved into a distinctively American instrument, popularized in genres … Read more

Banjo Legends and Pioneers

earl scruggs

The banjo is a unique instrument that has a rich history and a diverse range of players. From its roots in West Africa to its popularity in American folk music, the banjo has been played by many talented musicians throughout history. In this article, we will explore some of the most influential banjo legends and … Read more

Early American Banjo Makers

old banjo boucher

The banjo is a unique instrument that has been a part of American music for centuries. Its sound is unmistakable and has contributed to a wide variety of genres, including bluegrass, country, and folk. The early days of banjo making were dominated by a few key players who helped shape the instrument into what it … Read more