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Fridays at Noon performance to feature award-winning banjo player

Arts for the Community at Thomas University’s next performance in the Fridays at Noon series will feature award-winning banjo player Mary Z. Cox at 12 p.m. April 20 in Balfour Chapel on TU’s Forbes Campus.

Cox stated in a 2014 interview that she started learning the banjo after trying piano.

“Then I heard a banjo and begged for one,” Cox said. “My Granddad Thompson had been a professional banjoist and musician before and during WWII, so my mom was instantly sympathetic to the idea. My parents saved up and bought me the $49 banjo from the Sears Catalog when I was 12 years old.”

Cox is a two-time Florida and North Carolina banjo champion. She recently released her 10th recording, “Good Morning Banjo,” with North Carolina fiddler Tim Gardner. Cox is also an award-winning dulcimer player. She has taught many dulcimer workshops, including those at the Suwannee Dulcimer Retreat, the Florida Folk Festival and the Will McClean Festival in Dunnelon, Florida.

When asked about what keeps the passion of the banjo alive in her heart along with singing, Cox stated, “It’s the letters and emails from folks all over the world who take the time to write about how much they enjoy my music that keeps me excited about playing and recording. I am grateful and thankful for every one of these friends and fans.”

Cox will bring to TU a wide array of banjos, including the “Missing Link” baritone banjo. It was designed by Wayne Rogers and Bela Fleck. Cox had it set up for claw hammer banjo for a unique sound.

For additional information about this Fridays at Noon performance or other ACTU events, email actu@thomasu.edu or call 229-227-6964. 

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