Roger Sprung

Roger Sprung

American bluegrass banjo player from New York City, New York.

His first band was the Folksay Trio, who were founded around 1954 and included Erik Darling and Bob Carey. Their recordings were released by Stinson Records on American Folksay Ballads And Dances Volume 2. His next band was The Shanty Boys which included Mike Cohen (brother of John Cohen of the New Lost City Ramblers) on guitar and Lionel Kilberg on washtub bass. They performed at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center several times, and recorded for Elektra.

Starting in 1950, Roger began traveling south to collect music from the Appalchian players and to attend music festivals. There he fell in with the greats of the Old Time music scene like Bascom Lamar Lundsford, Samantha Bumgarner, Buell Kazee, and Jean Ritchie, Bill Monroe, and Peter Rowan, among others.

In 1970 Roger won World Champion at the Union Grove Old Time Fiddler's Festival with a rendition of Whiskey Before Breakfast that he learned from Tommy Jackson. He has been attending the Galax Old Fiddlers Convention annually since 1965 as well as the Clifftop festival. Roger has many recordings, both with The Progressive Bluegrassers and with other artists. Five of his albums are on the Smithsonian-Folkways label. In 2009 he performed at the ROMP festival at the International Bluegrass Music Museum in Owensboro, Kentucky where he was honored as a "Pioneer of Bluegrass". Roger was a featured act at a 2010 reunion show for the artists of Gerde's Folk City in New York. He also performs annually at the Galax Old Fiddler's Convention.

Roger currently lives in Newtown, Connecticut with his wife, two daughters, and 45 pets.

Born August 29, 1930 in New York City, NY.
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