The Betsy Trotwood, Clerkenwell
Saturday 17th June
Doors 7:30pm, Live Music 8:15pm
Advance tickets £13 (£15 on the door)
Champion fiddler Aaron Jonah Lewis has been elbow-deep in traditional American fiddle and banjo music since their first lessons at the age of five with Kentucky native Robert Oppelt. Lewis has taken blue ribbons at the Appalachian String Band Festival in Clifftop, WV, and at the Old Fiddlers Convention in Galax, VA, the oldest and largest fiddlers convention in the country. They are also noted for their mastery of multiple banjo styles. They spend most of their time teaching, touring as a solo performer, with the Corn Potato String Band, and other projects.
Lewis has appeared on dozens of recordings from bluegrass and old time to traditional jazz, contemporary experimental and Turkish classical music projects. They have taught workshops at the the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow and at the English Folk Dance and Song Society in London. They also play and teach banjo, mandolin, and guitar and are currently based in Detroit.
As a banjoist, Lewis explores some interesting veins in the roots of Old Time, Bluegrass, Ragtime and Jazz music through their newest recording, “Mozart of the Banjo: The Joe Morley Project.” This project is devoted to the music of the great English prodigy and virtuoso composer Joe Morley (1867-1937), who wrote a significant body of great banjo pieces in a technique that people today call “classic fingerstyle.”
Greg Adams, Archivist at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, says, “Lewis is one of the few performing musicians with the facility to build compelling musical bridges between the printed banjo music and techniques of the 19th century and the instrument’s journey into recorded sound by the turn of the 20th century.”