Arts & Culture

Folklorist/Ethnomusicologist to Lecture on 'Bluegrass Generation' at UK

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photo of Neil Rosenberg with banjo
photo of cover of "Bluegrass Generation: A Memoir" by Neil Rosenberg

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 20, 2018) Folklorist and ethnomusicologist Neil Rosenberg will deliver this year’s Keith B. MacAdam Lecture on bluegrass music presented by the University of Kentucky Division of Musicology and Ethnomusicology. The event will begin 3:30 p.m. Friday, March 23, at the Niles Gallery, located in the Lucille C. Little Fine Arts Library and Learning Center. The lecture, titled "Confessions of a Bluegrass Moonlighter," is free and open to the public.

Rosenberg will speak on his new book, "Bluegrass Generation: A Memoir", which explores the changing bluegrass scene of the early 1960s. An intimate look at a transformative time, "Bluegrass Generation" tells how an American music tradition came to be. A performing musician since childhood, Rosenberg's interest in banjo music led him to being on stage at the Jamboree. And after meeting the legendary Bill Monroe and managing the Jamboree for four months, his heightened perspective allowed him to see bluegrass' emergence from the shadow of country music into its own unique art form.

An expert in the history of bluegrass music, Rosenberg is professor emeritus of folklore at Memorial University, where he taught from 1968 to 2004. At Memorial, he specialized in the study of contemporary folk music traditions, investigating the interaction between popular music and local and regional folk music traditions. Rosenberg has conducted research on professional, semi-professional and amateur old-time, bluegrass, country and folk musicians in both Canada and the United States.

As former recorded sounds reviews editor of the Journal of American Folklore, Rosenberg won a 1997 Grammy Award for his contribution to the brochure for the Smithsonian/Folkways reissue of Harry Smith's "Anthology of American Folk Music." He was also awarded the International Bluegrass Music Association's "Best Liner Notes" in 2014 for his notes for Compass Records' "Noam Pikelny Plays Kenny Baker Plays Bill Monroe."

Rosenberg, who holds a doctoral degree in folklore from Indiana University, is a fellow of the American Folklore Society, recipient of the Marius Barbeau Medal for lifetime achievement from the Folklore Studies Association of Canada, and a member of the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame.

The UK School of Music in the UK College of Fine Arts has garnered national recognition for high-caliber education in opera, choral and instrumental music performance, as well as music education, music therapy, composition, and theory and music history.

UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue