A master musician, Ken Pelman is considered, by those who know, to be the finest 'clawhammer' style banjo player in the world. Having watched him play, I'd find it very difficult to disagree! Take a look at the videos below, and you'll get a flavour of what I mean.
About Ken Perlman
"the Heifetz of the Banjo"
The Chronicle Herald (
) Halifax, Nova Scotia
Superb instrumentalist, acclaimed teacher of instrumental skills, gifted performer, award-winning folklorist, Ken Perlman is surely a welcome addition to any festival or concert-series lineup. Ken is both a pioneer of the 5-string banjo style known as "melodic clawhammer," and a master of fingerstyle guitar. He is considered one of the top clawhammer players in the world, known in particular for his skillful adaptations of Celtic tunes to the style. On guitar, Ken's sparkling finger-picked renditions of traditional Celtic and Southern fiddle tunes are simply not to be missed.
He draws his material from traditional sources -- the music of
Scotland, Ireland, and the American South. His approach to the music, however, is highly innovative. He has developed many new instrumental techniques, and much of his repertoire has never before been played on 5-string banjo or guitar. Cape Breton, Prince Edward Island