When I traveled to the Hogan Jazz Archive to explore the history of the New Orleans banjo, Bruce Raeburn greeted me with a hand-written list of every banjo player he’d been able to identify. For those interested in delving into this history, I’ve reproduced the list here as well as several images from the collection. Many of these musicians have folders of clippings, interviews, and recordings available in the collection. Some are very well-known, others remain very obscure. Most of these musicians are described, and many pictured, in the wonderful book by Al Rose and Edmond Souchon, New Orleans Jazz: A Family Album.
For now, working with Bruce Raeburn, we have tried to gather together as many photographs of these players as possible into the gallery below. Our long-term goal as we continue to work will be to fill in as much information about each of these players as possible. Of course if you have information or recollections about any of them to share, please let us know in the comments section!