Picture a band of 60+ young folks aged 6-18 playing tenor banjos, ukuleles,guitars, drums and bass performing a wide variety of music from oldie-goldies, and gospel tunes to smooth flowing waltzes and pops. This is the All Star Banjo Band, home based in Sagemont Church in Houston, TX, and lead by Buddy Griffin. Buddy himself is a nationally known banjo performer and was inducted in the Hall of Fame and Banjo Museum in Guthrie, OK, in both 2002 and 2005 in recognition of his work in education and instruction.
He recently took a 30-piece contingent to the Fretted Instrument Guild of America’s convention in Oklahoma City. Janet Deering spent some time with Buddy who explained that he starts his students on ukulele and when they pass a test on that instrument, he moves them on to tenor banjo. Janet characterized the band’s performance at the convention as delightful and charming. These young folk have even made trips to Disney World in Florida to play for the folks at the park.
Certainly the flame of banjo burns brightly in Houston, TX!