Bud Bennett has posted a third in his series of intensive video interviews with banjo legends. Following the terrific multi-part vidoes with Butch Robins and Sammy Shelor, Bud now has one with Swiss/German five string master, Jens Kruger.
In a pair of roughly one hour installments, Bud guides Kruger through a discussion of learning to play banjo as a young boy in Switzerland, how he and his brother Uwe chose to become professional bluegrass musicians, and their determination to relocate to the United States to ply their trade.
Then in the second video, Jens’ story picks up with the cross-continental move, and being essentially adopted into Bill Monroe’s family. He also talks about developing a friendship with Doc Watson, and his subsequent decision to settle in North Carolina near where Doc was from.
It’s a fascinating study of cross-cultural influences, and what can happen when a true genius approaches an instrument like the banjo. Kruger has lived an interesting life, and tells the story well.
Any student or lover of the five string will want to watch every moment of these videos, as will anyone who is drawn to peer into the mind of a serious musician and composer.
Bennett has compiled a very thorough interview, but tells us that Jens is interested in returning sometime to delve further into his music and life. We’ll all be waiting for that!
Find links to both videos here on the Radford University blog.