Elation Center for the Arts has presented a bluegrass banjo to Janna Kim in Uzbekistan. Kim is a 24-year-old professional singer who has taught herself how to play banjo using a makeshift instrument. She is the only banjo player in her country and is eager to bring its happy sounds to her part of the world. She also hopes to perform her music internationally.
To assist this talented young artist in achieving her creative goals, ECA sent Kim a top-of-the-line bluegrass banjo, made by Tom Nechville.
“What I like about the bluegrass, old-time and acoustic music community, is that it is international,” said Nechville.”“That fact gives us common ground upon which we can form the foundation of friendship.”
Contributions for the project have already been received from banjoists in the US, Russia, Japan, France, Uzbekistan, Belgium and the UK. These banjoists, from around the world, became acquainted with Kim and her music through the Banjo Hangout, an online forum for banjo enthusiasts.
“She is clearly a talented young musician, who is promoting something unusual in her land,” says hangout member Mike Johnston, a banjo-playing priest in the Isle of Wight, UK. “I can’t really think of a better music-related cause to support.” Other supporters include author and former pro football player, Pat Toomay.
In July, ECA will sponsor a multicultural concert at the Ruby M. Sisson Memorial Library in Pagosa Springs, in support of this cultural philanthropic endeavor. For more information, call 731-3117.