Chatham County's Traditional Music Festival

September 12 - 14, 2024

Concert

Jerron Paxton

Friday, September 13th at 8pm

Photo by Mike Miller

Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton may be one of the most versatile musicians of our day. He sings and plays banjo, guitar, piano, fiddle, harmonica, Cajun accordion, and the bones. Paxton has an eerie ability to transform traditional jazz, blues, folk, and country into the here and now, and make it real. In addition, he mesmerizes audiences with his humor and storytelling. He’s a world-class talent and a uniquely colorful character that has been on the cover of Living Blues Magazine and the Village Voice. Paxton’s sound is influenced by the likes of Fats Waller and Blind Lemon Jefferson. According to Will Friedwald in the Wall Street Journal, Paxton is “virtually the only music-maker of his generation—playing guitar, banjo, piano and violin, among other implements—to fully assimilate the blues idiom of the 1920s and ’30s.”

Originally from the Watts district of Los Angeles, Paxton’s grandparents moved from Louisiana to California in 1956. These Southern roots would have an influence on Paxton as a young boy. After spending time listening to his hometown blues radio station, as well as the old Cajun and country blues songs his grandmother used to sing, Paxton became interested in these early sounds, developing a breadth of knowledge about the music along the way. He began playing the fiddle when he was twelve, only to pick up the banjo two years later. 

As a teenager, he began to go blind, losing most of his eyesight by the age of 16. As a Verbum Dei student, he had a corporate work-study assignment at the Braille Institute of America.

We are delighted to bring you a Friday evening performance by this young musical master. Be sure to stop by his banjo workshop earlier in the afternoon.

Special thanks to the Chatham Arts Council and NC Arts Council for helping to produce this concert!

Thank you to our WONDERFUL sponsors! We couldn’t do it without these folks:

 

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