“I started playing the banjo at age 15 and never stopped.”
On May 20th, Ben Freed died of a massive heart attack. He leaves behind his wife Nomi, their daughters Madelyn and Liza, and a far reaching network of musicians with whom he shared his love of the banjo and bluegrass music. He was generous with his knowledge and a highly respected instructor who mentored many of our finest young banjo players.
Ben developed a dynamically driving style, citing Pete Seeger, Earl Scruggs, Tony Trischka and Alan Munde as major influences. Four CDs of all original music attest to his gifts as a composer, producer, and player. Pete Wernick called Ben’s Suite for Bluegrass Banjo “one of the best banjo records, ever.” Ben also played on the soundtrack of the Coen Brothers film “Raising Arizona”, “The Simpsons”, and numerous commercial soundtracks.
As a member of Diamonds in the Rough, Laurie and the Locals, American Flyer, The Soy Boys, The Corn Fed Dogs, and most recently, The Sleepy Hollow String Band, Ben declared that “performing live music with my friends is an exhilaration that is hard to describe.”
The Manor at Woodside
168 Academy Street
Held on the first and third Wednesdays of each month.
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All of our jam sessions feature the Slow Jam, which happens during the first 60 minutes. From 6:30 to 7:00, we invite you to play at a sane pace in a supportive, non-competitive environment. The regular jam lasts the full four hours.
For info, call Dave at (845) 462.8871
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