The Art of Gourd Banjo Making with Jeff Menzies


Learn to make, and take home your very own gourd or tack head banjo, or akonting, with famed instructor, Jeff Menzies.

2 in stock


July 5 – 10, 2022

9 am to until everyone is ready to call it a day

Skill Level:  Novice to Advanced

Class Registration Fee:  Early Bird – by June 3, 2022:  $850

After June 3, 2022:  $935

Here’s a remarkable opportunity to work with a banjo building master, and come away with your own hand-made banjo.  Students will produce a functional piece of art, while learning  about the history of the banjo, and while gaining wood working skills.  No previous wood working experience is required.  Each student will make either a gourd banjo, an open tack-head banjo, or an akonting.  Through a watch and do approach, each student will be carefully guided through building their very own banjo.

You will come away from this class with your very own, custom-built (by you!) banjo, and the skills to make more.

Materials fee: (To be collected directly from students by instructor in class):  All materials included in course fee.

Jeff Menzies produces gourd, tackhead and minstrel style banjos, ekontings, gourd fiddles, basses and just about any other instrument one can imagine. Jeff holds a Master’s of Fine Art (MFA) in Sculpture and teaches musical instrument making as an art form at workshops across the US, Canada and Europe. He also teaches drawing at the University of technology in Kingston, Jamaica.
His instruments are in the hands of notable players including Frank Lee, Rafe Stefanini, Mike Seeger, Ray Alden, Chris Wig, Dan Gellert, David Bragger, Joe Ayers, and more.
Jeff’s instruments have been exhibited at the University of Tennessee McClung Museum, and the Museum of Making Music.  His instruments are part of the permanent collections at the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) and the Jamaica Music Museum.

Although Jeff is no longer “in Canada,” here is a demo from one of his customers.