The Joel Sweeney Banjo Festival will have “stations” set up throughout the historic village of Appomattox Court House featuring traditional banjo players, banjo historians, and collectors of original 19th century banjos that will be on display.
Demonstrations will show how the instrument Joel Sweeney played more than 160 years ago has evolved.
Throughout the day there will be programs that will include: musical performances of Sweeney music, lectures on Sweeney and the early banjo, luthiers demonstrating banjo making techniques, and curators of early banjos presenting original early banjos and their histories.
The day will also include a specialized tour of the Charles Sweeney Cabin also located inside the park and just outside the village. This is the only remaining Sweeney home in the park and is also believed to be where Joel died in 1860. This tour will include a visit to Joel Sweeney’s grave.
The evening will culminate with a concert by all the participating musicians of traditional, “Sweeney Style” music in the shadows of the Clover Hill Tavern in the heart of Joel’s hometown.