Music of Grant Rogers to be featured

ContributedThe Canal Street String Band will perform virtually Saturday, June 5.

The Grant Rogers Project, a collaboration between Music on the Delaware and Walton’s William B. Ogden Library, will present a free virtual concert with musicians from the Canal Street String Band from 7 to 8 p.m. Saturday, June 5.

“Grant Rogers and Delaware County’s Homespun Music” will be available on Zoom at https://tinyurl.com/2nkncp4. Registration may also be completed at www.waltontheatre.org

According to a media release, the concert will emphasize the music of Grant Rogers, a mid-1900s popular Delaware County fiddler, guitarist and singer, as well as music from the wider Delaware County area.

An added feature will be tunes recently discovered that were played by Grant’s mother and a neighbor. The concert will also include pieces from the broader American folk tradition.

It was during a Music on the Delaware concert in 2014 with the same band that songs by Grant Rogers were featured. It prompted members of Music on the Delaware and Ogden Library to create a project to preserve the music, dancing and storytelling of the area.

The Grant Rogers Project Committee began to interview local musicians, created a website (grantrogers.org), collected relevant materials and has sponsored workshops and concerts around the topics of traditional music and dance over the past five years.

Audio, video and print records of the events, as well as Grant Rogers’ history and recordings, have all been archived on the Grant Rogers website.

Members of the Canal Street String Band are Phil Banaszak, Dave Ruch and Jim Whitford.

Banaszak plays fiddle, mandolin and guitar. He is a New York state fiddle champion and member of the North American Fiddlers Hall of Fame.

Ruch is a full-time musician/performer/music researcher/teaching artist who plays mandolin, guitar, banjo, octave mandolin, bones, spoons and jaw harp. 

Whitford is a Buffalo Music Hall of Famer and plays the string bass, dobro and guitar. All three sing.

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