For lovers of real Appalachian roots music, West Virginia will debut a brand-new music festival this summer. The Hammons Family Fiddle and Banjo Contest and World-Class Jam will take place Saturday, July 9, as a highlight of the Pioneer Days Festival, July 7 – 10 in Marlinton.
The fiddle and banjo contests, which begin at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 9 at the Discovery Junction outdoor venue in downtown Marlinton, are open to participants of all ages. Registration is FREE and those who register online by July 1 at tinyurl.com/HammonsFamilyFestival will be entered into drawings for T-shirts and prizes. After a panel of distinguished guest judges tallies the scores, award checks of $500, $200 and $100 will be presented to the first, second and third place winners of each contest: fiddle, clawhammer banjo and bluegrass banjo.
Immediately following the contests, at approximately 5 p.m., a FREE concert will kick off at Discovery Junction, as part of the county’s Pioneer Days and Bicentennial Celebration.
Scheduled performers include the legendary Bing Brothers featuring Jake Krack; 1970s and ‘80s bluegrass greats Richard Hefner and the Black Mountain Bluegrass Boys; and multiple IBMA award-winners Danny Paisley and Southern Grass.
Dedicated to the legendary Hammons Family, whose members influenced generations of West Virginia musicians from the 1800s to the late 1900s, this event is inspired by local musicians and music lovers’ reverence for the joy of passing the music down and the gratitude for the regional masters and carriers of the torch, the songs and the stories.
The Hammons Family will host a booth at the event where visitors will have a chance to play some of the family’s own treasured vintage instruments, and to learn more of its extraordinary legacy.
As a very special and unique aspect of the festival, multiple jam sessions are scheduled throughout the day of the event at various locations in downtown Marlinton. Visitors are welcome to wander from jam to jam and enjoy the music. Some of the region’s finest professional musicians will host the jams, providing rare opportunities for aspiring “pickers” to jam with their heroes.
More information on the Hammons Family Fiddle and Banjo Contest and World-Class Jam, and an online contest registration form and rules, can be found at tinyurl.com/HammonsFamilyFestival