Yesterday the NYT published a story in its “Arts” section, entitled Bluegrass Thrives, Far From Home.
It was just last Sunday that Czech bluegrass band, Druha Trava, performed at Prague Castle prior to President Barack Obama’s speech. The story builds on that event to discuss the state of bluegrass music in Europe generally, with special attention being given to the Czech Republic.
Bluegrass in Czech lands grew out of a long, widespread acoustic music tradition. In 1964, concerts in Prague and Brno by Pete Seeger galvanized fans, who made their own five-string banjos based on photographs of Seeger performing.
The ingenuity of bluegrass fans the world over, never ceases to amaze me. They built banjos based on photographs! And they learned to play them well.
The article is an interesting read and concludes with a list of upcoming bluegrass festivals and events throughout Europe.