Maple Leaf Rag

Aaron Jonah Lewis & Ragtime Banjo Revival

Ragtime Banjo Revival’s first release is now available on Bandcamp and all streaming platforms. Downloads from Bandcamp include high quality printable 8.5″x11″ PDF downloads for AJL’s original banjo arrangement in standard notation and five-string banjo tablature. Liner notes and album credits included on back cover.

“When you want a real syncopated rag, well done with plenty of gravy, have it served hot on a banjo.” — Thomas Armstrong (1859-1932)

Ragtime Banjo Revival Rehearsal Recordings

Most of the selections are classic or novelty ragtime pieces from US composers. Included here are some classical pieces from the same time period from European composers, and a ragtime piece from an English banjo virtuoso written in 1948, long after the Golden Age of Ragtime had ended. I’m excited to share the stories connecting these pieces as well (e.g. “Russian Rag” is an interpolation of Rachmaninoff’s “Prelude”). This music has prompted an interest in history I’ve never felt before, and I feel compelled to share.

100 years ago classic banjo, was the most popular sort of music in the English-speaking world, and today it is all but forgotten. This music has its roots in African-American music that was appropriated for minstrel shows and mingled with other popular styles of European and distinctly American origin. It gave rise to ragtime, which fed into the development of jazz, etc.

Dos Señoritas – Classic Banjo Duets

Aaron Jonah Lewis and Ben Belcher

This collection of classic banjo duets represents some of the most popular music of the English-speaking world just before audio recording technology became widely available.

The music offers a variety of evocative moods to excite the imagination — it’s technically challenging to execute but very easy to listen to.

This may be the first collection of exclusively classic banjo duets ever recorded, including two pieces by the Mozart of the Banjo himself, Joe Morley, two by another great UK banjo composer, Emile Grimshaw, and a monstrous Grand Polka de Concert by US composer, Paul Eno, entitled Cupid’s Arrow.

Mozart of the Banjo · The Joe Morley Project

Modern day banjo virtuoso Aaron Jonah Lewis performs various pieces by the legendary classic finger-style banjoist Joe Morley, aka the “Lightning Player,” on this stunning new Tiki Parlour CD release.

This CD features a densely-packed booklet of liner notes written by several contributors including Smithsonian’s Greg Adams, musician Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton and Aaron Jonah Lewis himself.

Live at New England Conservatory

Watch a video of Ragtime Banjo Revival at the New England Conservatory. Featured here is “Grace and Beauty” by James Scott performed during the sixth annual Gunther Schuller Legacy Concert; a joint presentation of New England Conservatory and the Gunther Schuller Society at NEC’s Jordan Hall in Boston, MA, on November 21, 2023.

Featuring: Aaron Jonah Lewis (banjo) Roman Barten-Sherman (guitar), Giulia Haible (cello), Honor Hickman (flute), Corinne Foley (oboe), Evan Chu (clarinet), Abigail Heyrich (bassoon), Graham Lovely (French horn), Ethan Shen (bass saxophone)

Original arrangements by Aaron Jonah Lewis.