"Genius...in a musician's paradise, the viral videos would be artists like Michael J. Miles playing his banjo."
A master player of a diverse range of banjo styles -- notably clawhammer -- and an equally skilled guitarist, Michael creates a unique kaleidoscope of swirling musical textures that have surprised and delighted audiences on three continents for decades.
Many concerts feature Michael playing highly unusual instruments like his 1855 Ashborn fretless banjo that links soulful 19th century vocals to 20th century blues, and the ancient hajuj from Morocco, one the grand elders of the drum-with-string banjo.
Whatever the instrument, Michael's artistry and the music he produces consistently transcend expectations and genre.
Think you know what banjo sounds like?
“Most beautiful I’ve heard….this is enough to make me want to learn the banjo all over again.” - Pete Seeger
Michael plays his composition, "Chicago Trilogy." On his New Century Suite recording, this tune is part of 11 minute performance featuring Bela Feck playing a second banjo line, and Bob Lizik (Beach Boys) playing an exquisite bass line.
In this video, Michael demonstrates this Ashborne banjo and describes more detail about its builder and its magical sounds. This remarkable instrument was known in 1855 as the "Steinway" of the banjo world.