North Carolina Bluegrass & Banjo Festival coming this month

No one who knows Lorraine Jordan would accuse her of being a shrinking violet. The popular bluegrass entertainer and bandleader is also an aggressive entrepreneur, running several businesses near her home in Raleigh, NC, managing two bands, and putting on a number of bluegrass events in her home state and elsewhere.

And now Jordan has a new festival debuting later this month. The North Carolina Bluegrass & Banjo Festival was created to honor the many fine banjo players that the Tar Heel State has produced. On November 23-24 at the Village Inn Event Center in Clemmons, NC, Lorraine will offer a weekend event that is meant to foster learning and jamming in the traditional bluegrass style, along with powerful performances from top bluegrass acts.

She tells us that while the music will all be bluegrass, the main focus is on the ol’ five string.

“Being a mandolin player in North Carolina, I know I take a back seat to the banjo, and that’s understood around here. I know we can’t get all the NC banjo players here in one year, so we will do some each time. We want to honor Raymond Fairchild, AL Wood and Al Batten this first year. They have all done so much for the banjo, and two of them have passed on.

This is not just for banjo players. It’s for anyone who loves the Earl Scruggs sound and traditional bluegrass stage shows. It is especially for fans that love to jam and attend workshops on all instruments.”

Lorraine has tapped her young banjo protege, Garrett Newton, as host for the debut event, who says that they want to share banjo knowledge as well as music.

“The banjo is dominant in North Carolina. A lot of bands in bluegrass have a NC banjo player. Most play the Earl Scruggs style, and that style came out of the Piedmont of North Carolina where Earl Scruggs is from. I thought it would be great to bring the North Carolina banjo players together with their bands for a stage show. Since they will all be there, why not do workshops and jamming with our fans?”

Concerts will be held on Friday and Saturday evening, with time set aside for jamming as well. Then on Saturday afternoon, attendees have the opportunity to check out several workshop on site.

  • 12:00 – 1:00: Banjo – Randy Smith / Ben Greene
  • 1:00 – 2:00: Mandolin – Jason Fraley
  • 2:30 – 3:30: Guitar – Parks Icenhour
  • 4:00 – 5:00: Banjo – Steve Dilling / Mark Templeton
  • 5:00 – 6:00: Banjo – Garrett Newton / Terry Baucom
  • 6:00 – 7:00: Fiddle – Matt Hooper

A complete list of performers can be found online, which includes Terry Baucom & The Dukes of Drive, Junior Sisk, Danny Paisley, Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road, Mark Templeton Band, and several others.

Accommodations at the Village Inn Event Center are available at a reduced rate for the weekend.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.