Aaron Jonah Lewis offers residencies and performances for university music departments, music schools, professional orchestras, cultural institutions, K-12, and music festivals. Engage audiences of all levels to learn about the connection between pre-recorded era popular music and American cultural history, specifically around the banjo and the innovations of Black American composers and musicians.

Click on dropdown arrow below for more specific program information.

University Educational Programs

Aaron Jonah Lewis is available for educational residencies. Bring Aaron to your college or university for an immersive experience focusing on the history, technique, theory, and revival of ragtime banjo. Depending on your educational needs, engagements include lectures, masterclasses, a concert, or series of concerts.

Aaron has written over thirty original arrangements of historic ragtime music for various ensembles including full orchestra, string quartet, wind ensemble, percussion ensemble, banjo/organ duets, etc. Aaron will work with your ensembles and coach them on how to play elements of performance style unique to ragtime. Your musicians will play the arrangements and Aaron will play the banjo parts.

Arrangements are “open source” which provides the opportunity for composition students to freely customize written arrangements for unique ensembles. Arrangements are open Instrumentation.

Cross Departmental Engagement: Music Performance, Musicology, Cultural Studies, African-American Studies, History

Questions or Booking? Email Aaron.

Watch a Selection of the Residency Performance at the New England Conservatory


Watch the Full Residency Performance at Ohio Northern University

Lecture Offerings

Aaron Jonah Lewis is available to present lectures on a wide variety of topics. While lectures focus on history and education, many of Aaron’s lectures include accompanied musical demonstrations.

Available Lecture Topics

From Suzuki Violin to Bluegrass Fiddle to Classic Banjo: An Autoethnographic Presentation

The Banjo in America: A Brief Cultural History Survey

Mozart of the Banjo: The Story of Joe Morley and the Banjo in England

With a Banjo on Her Knee: Gender, Race, Class, and the American Classical Banjo Tradition, 1880-1915

Traditional American Fiddle and Banjo Styles

“Classical” vs. “Folk” Music: A False Binary?

Independent Historical Music Recording in the 21st Century: The Process of Researching, Arranging, Rehearsing and Producing

Survival Tips and Tricks for the Independent Non-Mainstream Musician

Questions or Booking? Email Aaron.

Youth Programs

Engage K-12 students with interactive educational programming presented by Aaron. Aaron will work with your students and provide an engaging joyful experience through demonstrations, lessons, interactive exercises, and games. Your students will have fun while learning about musicality, performance, history, and cultural context tailored for your age group. 

Questions or Booking? Email Aaron.