The Sacramento Banjo Band was formed in 1960. Banjoists in the Sacramento area were concerned that "America's unique instrument" and its music could be lost. They couldn't allow this to happen! They put an ad in the local paper inviting banjo players to meet for a jam session. They were astonished when a very large number of banjo players showed up! This intense interest lead to an active group that became the Sacramento Banjo Band, a charitable, nonprofit organization governed by a set of By-laws. The bonding power that holds the band together is a common love of banjos, banjo music, and the frequent opportunities to perform together. The result is a musical family, both on and off stage, with strong social ties.
Band members are all volunteers who play without compensation. Consequently the band is as affordable as it is entertaining. Proceeds above actual expenses are contributed to charities that involve caring for children, for example, the "Shriner's Hospitals for Children". We contribute approximately $12,000 to charities each year!!
Our band has performed at diverse venues, for example, at sea on the Carnival Cruise Ship "Holiday", at the California State Fair, at the California State Capitol, at the Banjo-rama, and at the annual Sacramento Jazz Jubilee where crowds typically exceed 100,000 during the Memorial Day weekend.
Our music director is Ralph Congdon.
The future of our band is bright! We have a youth banjo band, known as "Capitol Kids", directed by Peggy Lewis. Talented kids get free lessons from Sacramento Banjo Band members, using banjos donated by the banjo community.
Each year the Sacramento Magazine readers and editors pick Sacramento's best in a variety of categories. Recently the Sacramento Banjo band was named the "best strumming ensemble", a great honor for this proud band!