Ban-Joes of Michigan
The Ban-Joes of Michigan are one of the oldest jazz banjo Bands and Clubs in the U.S.A and have been in operation for over 50 years. The club has performed on Television, Radio and at other public venues entertaining thousands of people over the years.
The Ban-Joes of Michigan are a group of diverse individuals who all share a love of Americas favorite instrument...the banjo! They are working hard to preserve this great instrument and the jazz music of the early 20th century. Their mix of members include accountants, firemen, truck drivers, dentists, teachers, computer programmers and even an air traffic controller and a crane operator just to mention a few!
The Ban-Joes of Michigan are currently practicing in Southfield, Michigan on a weekly basis weather permitting. They meet at the Church in the Burgh Historical Park in Southfield, MI. Parking is close and the grounds provide a beautiful setting for an occasional outdoor practice.
Burgh Historical Park
23960 Civic Center Drive
Southfield, MI 48033
Practice Day and Times
Practice is generally 7:00pm - 9:00pm on Tuesday evenings October-May.
Summer Practice is generally 7:00pm-9:00pm on MONDAY evenings June-September.
From an early beginning that boasted more enthusiasm than members, a handful of banjo-players met in the basement of one of the members and started jamming. With a start as obscure as that, the seed for the "Ban-Joel of Michigan" was planted. Nurtured by excitement and the common bond of banjo playing the jamming sessions were moved to the "Drake House", which offered more room for the fast-growing club. During the early years of its growth, the club was a close friend of the famed Eddie Peabody, known throughout the land as "Mr. Banjo". Unchallenged as the finest banjo player that ever lived, Eddie Peabody performed across the continent and was instrumental in popularizing the plectrum banjo as we know it today. Many people were fortunate to see Peabody play on television before his death. Whenever Eddie played in the Detroit area, the members of the club would gather in force and attend his performances, and many times some would join him on stage with their banjos. After performances Eddie Peabody would join the members at their homes or meetings places and jam for hours. Eddie Peabody is an honorary member of the "Ban-Joes of Michigan".
As the banjo club grew in numbers and the reincarnation of banjo music started to spread across the country, the "Ban-Joel of Michigan" needed a larger building to hold the fast-growing membership. Now housed in a local historic church that can handle the 100 - plus members who meet once a week for rehearsals, jamming sessions, and just-plain fun playing. The banjo club boasts a back room band for new members, beginners and any other players that may not be able to play with the regular band. Made up of men and women from all walks of life, including students, housewives, retirees, actively employed people, amateur and professional musicians, the make-up of the club is highly varied. Ex-iting crowds wherever they play, the banjo club always elicits an enthusiastic response from people with their up-beat happy style of playing. From a river barge on the Detroit River, playing to American and Canadian audiences with an international flair to the Cherry Festival in northern Michigan, the "Ban-Joes of Michigan" will make goose-pimples rise on your skin when you hear the popular marches, Charlestons, polkas, patriotic medleys, and soft swinging romantic waltzes. In great demand to play at civic events, parades, dinners, supper clubs, and many other occasions, the "Ban-Joes of Michigan" always make time to play at Veterans' Hospitals, nursing homes, senior citizen homes, and to shut-ins who would otherwise not be able to enjoy entertainment. One of the highlights of the year for the "Ban-Joes of Michigan" and for the local residents is the Banjo Jamboree. Sponsored by the "Ban-Joes of Michigan" this feast and fest is a day long panorama of outstanding banjo artists from across the Country. The Banjo Band of Michigan continues to be one of the outstanding features of the day. If the "Ban-Joes of Michigan" had a theme it would he: "Make people happy with banjo Music!"
- Ban-Joes of Michigan - 33 rpm LP (1970's) More Info