Johnny Keenan Banjo Festival
The Banjo may not be an instrument that often gets top billing but that is certainly not the case in Longford in September, where some of the best players from Ireland and abroad will gather.
Not surprisingly the overseas contingent is largely from the USA, with Grammy nominee Tony Trischka, the Peter Rowen Bluegrass Band, Pete Wernick (“Dr. Banjo”) and Leroy Troy among those making the trip. From Spain comes the Barcelona Bluegrass Band while Irish favorites the Niall Toner Band and Tupelo are back once again.
A series of workshops encompasses not just banjo (for beginners and more expert players) but also guitar, vocals and mouth organ among others.
There will be plenty of music on the streets of Longford, with a busking competition running throughout the festival and as this is an event attended my many musicians aside from those on the programme you can also expect both organised and spontaneous sessions in pubs and other venues around the town.
The festival is named for highly regarded multi-instrumentalist and master banjo player Johnny Keenan, who died far to young in 2001.