Jayme Stone’s Folklife
“THE YO-YO MA OF THE BANJO.” – SONGLINES
Two-time Juno-winning banjoist, composer and instigator Jayme Stone makes music inspired by sounds from around the world—bridging folk, jazz and chamber music. His award-winning albums both defy and honor the banjo’s long role in the world’s music, turning historical connections into compelling sounds.
Jayme Stone’s Folklife (2017) follows the bends and bayous through the deep river of song and story. Evolving out of Stone’s “Lomax Project,” this gathering of versatile musicians blows the dust off of old songs and remakes them for modern ears. With spellbinding singing, virtuosic playing and captivating storytelling, their concerts and educational programs are moving, inventive and participatory experiences. Think Sea Island spirituals, Creole calypsos and stomp-down Appalachian dance tunes. The album is due out in March on Borealis Records.
Jayme Stone’s Lomax Project (2015) focuses on songs collected by folklorist and field recording pioneer Alan Lomax. This collaboratory brings together distinctive and creative roots musicians to revive, recycle and re-imagine traditional music. The repertoire includes Bahamian sea shanties, Sea Island spirituals, Appalachian ballads, fiddle tunes and work songs collected from both well-known musicians and everyday folk: sea captains, cowhands, fishermen, prisoners and homemakers. Collaborators include Grammy-winning singer Tim O’Brien, Bruce Molsky, Margaret Glaspy, Moira Smiley, Brittany Haas, Julian Lage and more.
The Other Side of the Air (2013) is a travelogue of imaginary landscapes and faraway lands. The album traverses the Cinnamon Route through Persia and India, revisits and reinvents melodies Stone collected in West Africa and includes a Concerto for Banjo and Chamber Symphony. Room of Wonders (2010) explores music from Norway, Sweden, Bulgaria, Brazil, Italy and America. The repertoire includes a movement from Bach’s French Suite, a Moorish sword-fighting dance and Stone’s lush, edgy originals. Africa to Appalachia (2008) is a boundary-crossing musical collaboration with griot singer Mansa Sissoko that explores the banjo’s African roots and Stone’s adventures in Mali. The Utmost (2007) draws inspiration from Japanese poetry and Brazilian literature and includes a tiny symphony that takes place inside an imaginary light bulb.
Stone is the consummate collaborator, unearthing musical artifacts and magnetizing extraordinary artists to help rekindle these understudied sounds. He is a passionate educator, producer and instigator.