Adam Larrabee (M.M. ’98) shouldn’t fret over his summer schedule, he’s been a banjo-playing rockstar!
This summer, he took his skills to the Miles of Music Island Camp, a week-long retreat exploring traditional folk music, modern songwriting, and how they work together. Larrabee served as an instructor at the camp which was held in June on a private, 43-acre rocky woodland island on New Hampshire’s Lake Winnipesaukee.
In addition to his teaching, he also made the cover of Banjo Newsletter Magazine. While content is only available to subscribers, there is a brief snippet online:
“If you take any important tradition there’s a canon, or a body of work that becomes the foundation of the genre,” explains Adam Larrabee, the banjo player for the Charlottesville-based bluegrass band Love Canon. “It might be jigs and reels and O’Carolan tunes for Celtic musicians, or the ‘American songbook’ for a jazz guy. Even the London Symphony Orchestra, if you think about it—they are also covering genres. So Jesse [Love Canon singer-guitarist Jesse Harper] and I were driving one day, and I was playing mandolin along with a classic rock station, and we thought, ‘What if in a different world, the true tradition of bluegrass was ’80s pop music?’ And that was funny to us. So that was the concept.”
Larrabee graduated from the jazz studies track of the Music department, and he also taught jazz and classical guitar at VCU for several years. He received his undergraduate degree in Jazz Guitar at Oberlin Conservatory. He was the original banjo player in the neo-bluegrass pop band “Joy Kills Sorrow” and has recorded with many artists; including, Bruce Hornsby and rising jazz saxophone prodigy Grace Kelly, in a number of different styles.
Image from Miles of Music Island Camp website and from Banjo Newsletter Magazine