We’re sending out here a big ‘Thank you’ to everyone that attended our 40th Anniversary event with the Deering Banjo Company at Eagle Music, The North Light Gallery, Huddersfield on November 7th 2015. The Eagle Music team were also congratulated on this special day for maintaining their status as the number one world dealership for the Deering Banjo Company for the past nine consecutive years.
Our sincere thanks go out to all of you for attending and being with us, and for making it such a special big banjo day! We’re now busier than ever and only just getting round to sorting through the pictures that were taken on the day! Herewith a few reminders of the wonderful time that was had by all.
The day commenced at 9.30am with complimentary tea and coffee and greetings to our friends and visitors old and new and the introduction of the artists that were to perform on the day. The Eagle Music trade stand was hot off the mark giving amazing discounts and 40th anniversary special deals. The opportunity to try out and play dozens of different Deering Banjo models, mandolins, ukuleles etc. was enjoyed by many throughout the day.
Greg and Janet Deering had a magnetic presence in the William Gallery, greeting visitors and discussing banjos. Greg was busy as in all previous years setting up banjos for visitors that introduced themselves to him, it was a rare chance for so many banjo players to have their banjos personally set up by the man himself!
The multi talented Nick Mann took to the stage at midday and performed a wonderful set of tunes and songs that he played on both the Deering Goodtime Banjo Ukulele and the Tenor Ukulele. It was an enlightening performance and showcased what can be achieved when playing fingerstyle Ukulele Banjo.
All the way from Cork in Ireland, long neck banjo maestro Pat Kelleher gave a brilliant workshop on the playing techniques for the long neck banjo. Pat made many friends on the day and will be a special guest / performer at our future Eagle Banjo Days.
Our guests of honour Greg, Janet and Jamie Deering presented their on-stage workshop in the early afternoon and and talked about their amazing journey in banjo making. They explained how they have evolved over the past forty years to become the world’s greatest banjo makers, producing models that are played by world class players including Jens Kruger, Bela Fleck and Tony Trischka just to mention three of the world’s greatest players. They were joined on-stage by the world famous virtuoso banjoist Jens Kruger. Jens conveyed to the audience his belief in Deering Banjos and how he is involved in the continued development and design of Deering Banjos.
Greg and Janet specifically outlined their pride in the Deering Goodtime range of banjos that are designed and built with the same precision as the professional models but at a price that student players can afford.
The Kruger Brothers followed the Deerings on stage to give their amazing on stage performance workshop. we were treated to how the Kruger Brothers arrange their music and how they interact with each other to produce such on-stage professional magic, this afternoon performance was just a warm up to their wonderful evening concert!
The Kruger Brothers invited everyone on stage to play their own musical instruments and perform ‘Oh Susanna’ The set was opened by Uwe Kruger singing special words for Greg and Janet Deering that were written by Steve Noon in celebration of their forty years of banjo making. The ‘Oh Susanna’ set was filmed and can be watched by following this link to YouTube.
All the way from Tullamore in Ireland, the brilliant multi talented JigJam took to the stage late afternoon and gave us an amazing performance of songs and tunes on both 5-string and tenor banjo, guitars, double bass and fiddle! The crowd were knocked out, there was even dancing in the aisles in the afternoon! Such energetic talent from three superb musicians Jamie McKeogh – Guitar, lead vocal, tenor banjo Daithi Melia – 5-string banjo, vocal, high strung guitar, bass Cathal Guinan – Double bass, Fiddle and guitar. We’re inundated with requests to bring them back again!
Now living in County Clare, Ireland, the mighty Bill Forster came all the way over to be with us on the day and host a brilliant Bluegrass Banjo Workshop. Well known in the UK bluegrass and festival scene for many years, it was excellent for us to see Bill back on his own soil and enjoy Bill passing on the secrets of his banjo skills throughout the day.
When the main event room closed in preparation for the evening concert, our long standing friend Joe Mac did a fantastic job organising and running the Cafe picking session. Joe of the Old Grey Dogs is now an Eagle Banjo Event veteran, coming back each year,Joe has run the picking session and given us some great on stage performances over the years.
The doors re-opened in the main venue at 7.00 pm for what was to be a musically moving and memorable night. The atmosphere was electric in anticipation of the show to follow.
Oh Boy! the fantastic JigJam walked on stage at 7.30pm in support of the Kruger Brothers. The forty minutes that followed were filled with passion, drive and excellent musicianship. The vocals, harmony, arrangements and instrumental musicianship were a breath of fresh air from three multi talented youthful musicians from Tullamore, To say we were all knocked out is an understatement! The lads made many friends after the show and signed dozens of their debut CD ‘Oh Boy!’ You can get yourself the JigJam ‘Oh Boy! CD by clicking on this link. Highly recommended.
During the interval, all the fantastic high-value instrument raffle prizes were won and claimed. The prizes included an Eastman Mandolin, an Ohana Ukulele and a Tanglewood dreadnought guitar.
Greg, Janet and Jamie Deering addressed the audience to introduce the highlight of the evening ‘The Kruger Brothers in Concert’. Before the introduction they surprised Steve Noon by presenting him with Serial Number 0001 of a new Deering Banjo model ‘The White Oak’!
This new model will come into production in 2016.
The Deering family then went on to congratulate all the Eagle Music team on their ninth consecutive year as the number one world dealership for the Deering banjo company. The beautiful engraved maple plaque pictured below is engraved with words that confirm that Eagle Music sold more Deering Banjos in the past year than the largest retail store chain in America! and that Eagle Music have now sold over 3,700 Deering banjos worldwide! Wow!
Steve surprised Greg and Janet by presenting them with a carved Eagle with a brass plate. The brass plate is engraved with special congratulation on their forty years of excellence building banjos. The framed verse written by Steve is also in celebration of their forty years in banjo making.
Greg Deering introduced The Kruger Brothers in Concert. Their performance can only be described as moving and magical, weaving and mixing Uwe’s masterly vocals and excellent guitar playing with the virtuoso banjo playing of his brother Jens Kruger and harmonious bass playing of Joel Landsberg. The sound system was mastered with precision by the great Bernie Velluti. Two standing ovations and two encores closed the evening. The crowd called for more!!! You can check out the Kruger Brothers CD collection by following this link.
Steve thanked the artists and the crowd for coming, and is now wondering ‘how can we beat that for next year?
Great folks at Eagle with a great attitude at this musicians and enthusiasts event and also at their outstanding shop. We really enjoyed our visit and Steve and his team are a beautiful bunch of professional, passionate, understanding, knowledgeable and welcoming people. Can’t wait to go back and see you all again.