The 13th Annual AFF Banjo Contest
PRESENTED BY THE ANCHORAGE FOLK FESTIVAL IN MEMORY OF KEN TERRY, “MR. BANJO“
The banjo is a uniquely versatile and truly American traditional instrument, and we want to celebrate the many banjo players (and especially banjo students) out there who rarely get the credit and encouragement they deserve. We hope to attract all sorts of banjo players and new fans to celebrate the talents of Alaska’s banjo virtuosos during the Anchorage Folk Festival’s 11th annual banjo contest. Time to dust off that banjo in the corner!
How it works
Contestants need to be at the Amphitheater Stage, PSB 166, at 2 PM to sign up to play, and to warm up. Contestants can enter one playing style category, which they identify: bluegrass, clawhammer, or other.
The contest will start at 2:30 PM on the Amphitheater stage. Order of appearance will be determined before the start of the contest, by drawing numbers. The emcee will introduce each contestant and the song titles.
Each contestant will have up to five minutes to play and ideally should plan to perform two instrumental numbers within that five minutes total (eek, no singing, please!). This will be on the amphitheater stage.
RULE: Players can have one accompanist, to play basically a rhythm part, such as guitar or string bass (not another banjo, please!). The accompanist is there for musical support, but not to play solo or duet parts or in any way overshadow the banjo contestant.
We modeled our judging methods based on established performance criteria used in banjo contests all over the country.
Contestants can enter the joke category, regardless of whether they also enter to compete in a musical category.
For the Style category:
For the Banjo Joke category:
NOTE: All contestants should stay together until the final results are tabulated, because there might be TIES in one or more categories that need to be resolved by a play- off. That means that those players would need to each play one more song for the judges to determine the winner.
Judges will confer to determine the winners. During that time, ALL contestants are requested to gather together on stage…we might have them all play a simple tune!
At the conclusion, winners will be announced, prizes awarded, and Certificates of Performance provided.
Special thanks are due to Dick Sanchis (Local Burger Man) for helping us start this contest and for donating prize money each year. He is a true Champion of Banjo Music. Thanks also to businesses and organizations providing gift certificates (Mammoth Music, Anchorage Concert Association, The Music Man, Alaska Music and Sound), to the judges, our wonderful emcee, and other dedicated volunteers helping run this contest.
All participants are encouraged to become members of the Anchorage Folk Festival and to consider Volunteering too!