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African Roots of the Banjo at BCM Museum Monday Evening!

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Birthplace of Country Music MuseumBristol, VA/TN -- The Birthplace of Country Music Museum is proud to present "African Roots of the Banjo," a lecture by Dr. Cece Conway, followed by a concert with the renowned Blind Boy Paxton on Monday, October 3 at 7:00 p.m. The lecture and concert is part of the Lift Every Voice Series happening this fall at the museum.

Dr. Cece Conway is a Professor of Appalachian Literature & Culture at Appalachian State University. Her academic specialty is folklore and the roots of mountain music, African roots of the banjo, and ballad keepers. In 2014 Conway received the appointment Alan Lomax Fellow with the John W. Kulge Center of the Library of Congress.

Although only in his 20s, Jerron "Blind Boy" Paxton has earned a reputation for transporting audiences back to the 1920s and making them wish they could stay there for good. Paxton sings and plays banjo, guitar, accordion, and the bones and has the eerie ability to transform traditional jazz, blues, folk, and country into the here and now.

Paxton has performed to a sold-out audience for the Lead Belly Tribute at Carnegie Hall with the likes of Buddy Guy, Eric Burdon, Dom Flemons, Tom Paley, and others. He has been nominated for an inaugural International Folk Music Award in the category of Artist of the Year. Attendees of Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion may remember Paxton's striking performance at the annual music festival back in 2014. Paxton will be a featured teller at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee, October 7-9, 2016.

For more information about upcoming museum events visit

The Birthplace of Country Music Museum, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, explores the history, impact and legacy of the 1927 Bristol Sessions, which included the first recordings by The Carter Family (the First Family of Country Music) and Jimmie Rodgers (the Father of Country Music). Through multiple theater experiences, video and sound, text and artifacts, and technology-infused displays?along with a variety of educational programs, music programs, and community events?the exciting story of this music and its far-reaching influence comes alive! Rotating exhibitions created in-house and by guest curators and other institutions?including the Smithsonian?will be featured throughout the year in the Special Exhibits Gallery. The Museum Store features the handcrafted goods of over 50 regional juried artisans as well as a variety of museum and Bristol Sessions educational and fun items.

The museum is located at 520 Birthplace of Country Music Way in Historic Downtown Bristol, Virginia/Tennessee. For more information about the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, visit or call 423-573-1927.

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