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Musician Jayme Stone Pays Tribute to Alan Lomax with Latest Project

Jayme Stone

Alan Lomax wore many hats in his life. He was a musician, folklorist, oral historian, archivist and ethnomusicologist, among other things. Lomax is perhaps most remembered for his work as a field collector of folk music, recording thousands of songs and interviews for the Archive of American Folk Song at the Library of Congress. 

It's perhaps no surprise that a musician like Jayme Stone would draw inspiration from Lomax's life. Stone is a Canadian banjoist and composer, and what you might call a disciple of Alan Lomax. He first learned about Lomax's work after reading the biography, Alan Lomax: The Man Who Recorded the World

Jayme Stone’s Lomax Project, recorded in 2015, owes a lot to the folklorist. "Even though I'm a contemporary musician and I often play more modern styles, a lot of my work is grounded in old songs and traditions," says Stone. 

He says he listened to thousands of songs and interviews from Lomax's collection, which inspired him to create his latest album. Jayme Stone's Folklife is due out next month, and brings together musicians to reinterpret spirituals, calypsos and Appalachian dances for the 21st century. 

"It dawned on me that a really great way to explore the archive more deeply would be to gather musicians that I love together to collectively unearth some of these songs, and dust them off, splash some cold water on them, and see what we could do with them," he says. 

Stone and some fellow musicians will be in Milwaukee to perform Saturday, March 24 at the South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center

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Bonnie North
Bonnie joined WUWM in March 2006 as the Arts Producer of the locally produced weekday magazine program Lake Effect.