Saturday Sept. 11, 2021 10am (workshops), 12 noon (contest)

Boarding House Park, Lowell MA, rain or shine.

Please mark your calendars! The big 40th annual Lowell Banjo & Fiddle contest is approaching, and we’re pretty psyched. It’s part of the terrific Lowell Summer Music Series.

Check out the video; that’s Planet Banjo (me and Kathy) playing through the whole introduction!

I’ll be the host! It’s outdoors, in Boarding House Park in the Lowell National Historic Park. Bring lawn chairs, blankets, instruments, and snacks! Workshops start at 10am, and we’ll have Rich Stillman doing banjo and bluegrass jamming, Jim Bollman with old-time banjo, Don Pedi from North Carolina doing dulcimer, and fiddle TBD. If you play banjo or fiddle, please enter! The contest starts at noon, and registration starts at 11am. We’ll register as many people as time permits. It’s very non-threatening, AND you can have guitar ace Larry Unger back you up…he makes everyone sound their best.

We’re all pretty excited about the 40th annual thing. It was founded by park ranger Alex Demas, himself a pretty fine banjo player in the earliest 1980’s. He’ll be there, too.

I first entered this contest in 1983… I played a frailing old-timey Old Joe Clark on a resonator banjo, and wore a denim cowboy hat. Yikes. I was awful. Yet by 1999 I took the blue ribbon in Old Time Banjo. This could be you!

Anyway, we’re bringing back as many of the old-timers as we can muster. So please come out, and tell your friends, especially if they’re traditional music fans. We will follow whatever COVID protocols are in place on that day. There is a rain location!! But I won’t think in those terms yet 🙂

Questions? Write to me!


~ Jon G.