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Homegrown Plus: Jayme Stone’s Folklife

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Jayme Stone performs folk and dance music from his Folklife project with Moira Smiley, Sumaia Jackson and Joe Phillips during a Homegrown Concert Series event, May 4, 2017. Photo by Shawn Miller.

In the Homegrown Plus series, we present Homegrown concerts that also had accompanying oral history interviews, placing both together in an easy-to-find blog post. (Find the whole series here!) We’re continuing the series with Jayme Stone’s Folklife.

A two-time Juno-winning banjoist, composer and (as he likes to say) instigator, Jayme Stone makes music inspired by sounds from around the world—bridging folk, jazz and chamber music. His award-winning albums both defy and honor the banjo’s long role in the world’s music, turning historical connections into compelling sounds. In 2015, he issued Jayme Stone’s Lomax Project (2015), focusing on songs collected by folklorist and field recording pioneer Alan Lomax, whose collections reside at the American Folklife Center. Stone brought together distinctive and creative roots musicians to revive, recycle and reimagine traditional music. His next project, Jayme Stone’s Folklife (2017) took a similar tack with more great traditional music. The repertoire includes Bahamian sea shanties, Sea Island spirituals, Appalachian ballads, fiddle tunes and work songs collected from both well-known musicians and everyday folk: sea captains, cowhands, fishermen, prisoners, and homemakers.

Jayme Stone’s Folklife played at the Library of Congress on May 4, 2017.

In the first player, watch the concert.  Then scroll down for the oral history!

Jayme Stone is also a long time researcher at the American Folklife Center. During the Open Mic talk, Alan Lomax Collection curator Todd Harvey asked Jayme to talk about his discoveries in the AFC archive.

Jayme Stone discusses his Folklife project with Todd Harvey, May 4, 2017. Photo by Stephen Winick.
Jayme Stone discusses his Folklife project with Todd Harvey, May 4, 2017. Photo by Stephen Winick.

They spoke about the process of adapting AFC’s field recordings into contemporary performances, Jayme’s musical influences, and the pristine cleanliness of AFC’s shelves in the Library of Congress stacks! Watch the oral history in the player below:

You can find both of these videos with more bibliographic information on the Library of Congress website, with the concert here at this link and the oral history at this link.

Read more about the artist at his website.

The American Folklife Center’s Homegrown Concert Series brings music, dance, and spoken arts from across the country, and some from further afield, to the Library of Congress.  For information on current concerts, visit the Folklife Concerts page at Concerts from the Library of Congress. For past concerts, including links to webcasts and other information, visit the Homegrown Concerts Online Archive.

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