Alan Bibey had just sent us information about the benefit concert for Jennings Chestnut, scheduled for February 21, when word came that Chestnut died yesterday morning (2/14) at 7:30 a.m. He had been diagnosed in January with an inoperable brain tumor, and the concert was organized to assist he and his family with medical expenses.
Chestnut was well known to bluegrass musicians and fans in South Carolina. He was a co-founder of the Bluegrass on the Waccamaw festival in Conway, SC, along with Don Smith, and his exquisite hand-made mandolins and banjos are prized by the many players who own them. The festival has been held annually for 14 years, and is presented free to the public.
A Facebook page has been set up by his family where words of friendship, support and encouragement can be posted. Funeral arrangements are posted there as well.
The benefit concert will surely take on a memorial tone, and is scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m., February 21 at the Conway High School. Entertainment will be provided by Little Roy and Lizzy Long, Alan Bibey & friends, Jeanette and Johnny Williams, Darrin & Brooke Aldridge, The Gena Britt Band and several others. Additional details can be found by calling 843-248-5399 or 843-455-6161.
At this point, we presume that the concert for this Sunday is still on, and will update with a verification soon.
UPDATE 10:00 a.m. Just got this from Alan Bibey…
“The benefit for Jennings will go on as planned and will obviously be a bit more of a memorial. We also hope to raise money for his wife Willie who is also a very big part of Bluegrass On The Waccamaw, and beloved by everyone who knows her.”