OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) — Banjo Fest took place in downtown Oklahoma City over the weekend, attracting banjo players from across the world.
“I think the American Banjo Museum is amazing. We’ve got the best banjo players in the world,” said Jonathan Pinkey, a banjo player from Tulsa.
The twangy sounds of banjos rang through Bricktown on Saturday afternoon.
“This weekend is our Banjo Fest weekend, and it is highlighted by the American Banjo Museum’s Hall of Fame Awards, which was held on Friday night,” said Paul Poirier, American Banjo Museum Board Member. “The Saturday festival for Banjo Fest is a little bit new for us. This is really our first year expanding out into Bricktown. But we hope that that becomes an item.”
Last year’s event was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But musicians are happy to be back jamming together again in person.
“This is a destination for banjo players,” Poirier said.
“I’m convinced this is gonna be on your calendar probably every year,” Pinkey said.
Poirier tells KFOR many of the musicians came to play on their own dime, just wanting to share their craft with Oklahomans and meet other banjo players.
“We have brought in a lot of performers from all over the country,” Poirier said. “Jens Kruger was an inductee this year for the Hall of Fame. He’ll be performing tonight at the Rose State Theater, as will Tyler Jackson from Texas… He’ll be playing with Gary Davis this evening who is also Dolly Parton’s banjo player.”
And for those who haven’t yet stopped by to listen, musicians say you won’t leave disappointed.
“I’d say it’s best to see it in person and listen for a while and then go talk to a banjo player and before you know it, you might be trying it yourself,” Pinkey said.