The Akonting: Banjo Ancestor: Illustrated Poem Story of an African Legacy

The Akonting: Banjo Ancestor: Illustrated Poem Story of an African Legacy

by Steve Levitt
The Akonting: Banjo Ancestor: Illustrated Poem Story of an African Legacy

The Akonting: Banjo Ancestor: Illustrated Poem Story of an African Legacy

by Steve Levitt

Paperback

$9.95 
  • SHIP THIS ITEM
    Qualifies for Free Shipping
    Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for delivery by Thursday, February 29
  • PICK UP IN STORE
    Check Availability at Nearby Stores

Related collections and offers


Overview

This book tells a fascinating story, based on recently uncovered and seldom known history, about an African legacy that appears to have had a profound impact on a musical instrument that America holds dear, the banjo. This illustrated story, in rhyming narrative form, is based on the history of the present day American banjo beginning from a distant ancestor, the Akonting, which is the traditional folk lute of the Jola people of Senegambia, West Africa. The story unfolds as the Akonting, along with similar West African instruments, came to the Americas during the Transatlantic slave trade and led to the development of early slave gourd banjos which ultimately evolved over time to become the banjo we know today. The Akonting's unique combination of a key structural feature along with a specific playing style, today often called 'clawhammer' or 'frailing,' appears to have had a significant influence on how the present open back 5-string banjo is both constructed and often traditionally played. The Akonting is now viewed as an important predecessor of today's banjo and its music.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781484898628
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 06/27/2013
Pages: 54
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.30(d)

About the Author

Steve Levitt authored the historical fiction young reader book "Journey to the Mountain-A Roots Tale" about the multi-ethnic origins of America's traditional folk dance, clogging. He also choreographed and directed the percussive dance concert "Clogging: Back to the Roots-A Creation Myth." As a member of 'Artists in Schools' he combined music, song, dance and storytelling in a program to teach history in North Carolina schools. Steve wrote and performed the poem "From Africa to Blue Grass Sound, Let the Strings of Akonting Resound" in a number of venues and, with modifications and elaboration, it later became the basis for this book (see more at www.duelingshoes.com).

Steve is a student of West African percussion, a multi-instrumentalist and Southern Appalachian percussive dance choreographer and co-founder of the dance group 'Dueling Shoes.' He is also a well published physician and research scientist, former Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychiatry at a major University medical school and President of Pain Resource Center, Inc. where he developed the internationally recognized clinical assessment tool, the 'TMJ Scale.'

Steve lives with his wife Joan and their beagle Ziggy on a farm in North Carolina where they raise miniature donkeys and enjoy being an active part of the wonderful music and dance community where they live.
From the B&N Reads Blog

Customer Reviews