Jayme Stone

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Jayme Stone is a composer, banjoist, instigator, producer, and educator. On any given day, you might find him in his studio reworking a little-known hymn learned from a field recording, producing a session with musicians from Bamako or New York, creating experimental soundscapes with electric banjo and pedals, or tucking his kids in on time so he can get back to writing the next verse of a new song. Stone, a “consummate team player” (Downbeat), has developed a process of trawling for understudied sounds in the more arcane corners of the world to see how they’ll land in his musical universe. His many collaborators have included Margaret Glaspy, Moira Smiley, Tim O’Brien, Bruce Molsky, Julian Lage, Dom Flemons, Bassekou Kouyate, and more. Guided by his own aesthetic compass and a desire to let his collaborators “make the sounds that only they know how to make”, he has made a surprise album every two or three years—seven total. Albums like Africa to Appalachia, a polyrhythmic tale of two continents; the Lomax Project, which re-imagines songs collected by American folklorist Alan Lomax; and most recently, Folklife, a companion album to the latter that treats old field recordings not as time capsules, but as heirloom seeds planted in modern soil. It’s for this reason that Stone has also been called “a musical evangelist” who “loves using fresh approaches that get people hooked on wider musical traditions” (Edmonton Journal).

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