The Banjo in Beijing

Abigail Washburn on CBSCBS recently ran a short piece on Abigail Washburn and her banjo. What makes Abigail newsworthy is the fact that she’s playing, and singing, American music in China.

The video shows footage of her performing at the Beijing Jazz Festival, and in the studio. There is even a short segment of her singing the bluegrass tune “Winter’s Come And Gone” in Chinese.

During the course of the interview segments, Washburn explains how she became interested in the banjo.

It was actually spending all this time living in China and feeling awkward in a different country that led me to look back to my own roots and discover what it was about my country that made me feel like I belonged. And that’s when I found the banjo.

I feel like the attraction for me is that it really leads me back home… And it makes home clearly greater than anything one could possibly put into words.

Washburn plays old-time style clawhammer banjo, not Scruggs style three-finger banjo. She performs with the all girl, old-time band, Uncle Earl, as well as engagements as a solo artist.

The clip is only two and half minutes long, though you will have to sit through an advertisement before getting to the content.