Airs Thursday, April 24 at 8 p.m. The eight-stringed instrument that looks like a small lute and was played throughout Europe for several centuries is now known everywhere as the mandolin. This unique sounding instrument first entered popular American culture in the mid 19th century, when it was primarily used as a novelty instrument. By the year 1900 however, mandolin ensembles were touring the vaudeville circuit and mandolin orchestras were forming in schools and colleges. The ensuing 40 years saw the proliferation of mandolins across the south and a handful of American virtuosos performed, recorded, composed, and arranged for the mandolin in a variety of musical idioms. In this episode, we listen to David Grisman, Don Stiernberg, Sam Bush, Tony Williamson, and performing in a one-of-a-kind mandolin summit at the Savannah Music Festival.
Airs Thursday, January 16 at 8 p.m. Though his artistic pursuits are difficult to categorize stylistically, there is no doubt that mandolinist, composer, producer, educator and historian David Grisman has an insatiable appetite for music. Hist idiosyncratic artistic journey has been one of elaboration and refinement, so when he formed a trio in 2011 to explore the common musical roots of folk, country and jazz, it was a simple and logical extension of his musical activity.