New programs and more great bands are coming to 14th National Jug Band Jubilee
LOUISVILLE, KY, (July 25, 2018) – It is hard to believe in the midst of the summer heat, but fall is fast approaching and with it the 2018 National Jug Band Jubilee. The free, all-day festival will take place on Saturday, September 15, 2018 at the Brown-Forman Amphitheater in Waterfront Park. The 14thyear of the Jubilee will feature a few additions, among them a panel discussion on Friday, September 14 dealing with racial issues within the history of jug band music.
What will never change at the Jubilee is the quality of the music. This year the festival will offer another top-notch lineup of early jazz, jug band, and string band performers. The duo of Chris Rodriguez and Abby the Spoon Lady is the act that has drawn the most attention thus far. The Asheville, N.C.-based musicians are Youtube sensations thanks to their videos showcasing Abby’s percussion skills and Rodriguez’s unique blues-Appalachian style guitar and vocals. Another highlight of this year’s festival is Hubby Jenkins, a talented multi-instrumentalist from Brooklyn who is also a member of the Grammy-award winning Carolina Chocolate Drops.
Academics and Seattle songsters Ben Hunter and Joe Seamons will take part in the Friday night panel discussion. The Jubilee will release more details on that at a later date, but we can tell you that Hunter and Seamons will dazzle the audience at the festival with their combination of banjo and fiddle breakdowns, a cappella field hollers, and gospel tunes.
New Orleans supergroup Frog & Henry is coming to the Jubilee to perform dance hits and early jazz music from the 1900s on brass and string instruments. Another Asheville group, Vanden Landers and the Do Rights, will complement Frog & Henry with a blend of blues, ragtime, jazz, western swing, country and old-time Appalachian music.
The rest of the Jubilee line-up consists of some old friends. Louisville’s own Juggernaut Jug Band and the Cincinnati Dancing Pigs have appeared at every Jubilee since the beginning of the festival. The groups return this year to perform their collective repertoireof novelty tunes and jug band classics. Louisville’s Derby City Dandies will also make a return engagement to the 2018 National Jug Band Jubilee. The Dandy’s perform Prohibition-era standards.
The music at the Jubilee begins at Noon on Saturday and ends at 11 p.m. In addition to the bands, the Jubilee features other fun activities for kids ages 2 to 82. Volunteers from Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana will make and decorate instruments with kids from Noon to 6 p.m. The South Louisville-based Little Loomhouse will have several of its namesake small looms on hand so festival-goers can weave their own mug rugs and other small items from Noon to 6 p.m. The Steam Exchange, a community arts organization based in Smoketown, will be doing jug band screen printing activities for kids from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. And as always, the National Jug Band Jubilee will take a break from the music at 4 p.m. for a number of workshops of its own.
The National Jug Band Jubilee was created to celebrate the legacy of jug band music in the River City. Louisville is the acknowledged home of jug band music, a pre-war jazz style that features traditional and homemade instruments. In the late 19th century, African American musicians walked the streets of the River City playing tunes on improvised instruments like empty liquor jugs (“the poor man’s tuba”), kazoos and washboards. By the time the sound reached its peak in the 1930s, it had infiltrated towns up and down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, especially Memphis and New Orleans.
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National Jug Band Jubilee