I first have to thank my dear friend Sarah Spencer — essential in so many ways — for telling me about the first video (as well as being the central part of those that follow). This small post is about the divinely inspired Jimmy Mazzy, banjo icon, magnificent singer, and occasionally philosopher-humorist.
Jimmy was inducted into the American Banjo Museum’s Hall of Fame in September 2019, and happily there is a video tribute. The first five minutes are a respectful overview of his career, with delightful photographs and a snippet of performance, leading up to his own solo turn on MY PRAYER.
Dear viewers, please make time to drink in the majesty of this performance. I think of Jimmy as at heart shy — but when he begins to sing, passion courses through him and comes straight to us. It’s electrifying, and it is a prayer.
As a kind of aesthetic palate-cleanser (that’s a compliment, son) here is Steve Provizer’s wonderful profile of Jimmy in THE SYNCOPATED TIMES, notable for Jimmy’s deeply-felt candor and humanity.
I have had only one extended occasion to witness Jimmy — majestic, funky, hilarious, and completely soulful — right up close, at Sarah’s Wine Bar, in Ridgefield, Connecticut, when he appeared with Sarah, Art Hovey, and Bill Sinclair on August 28, 2016. Again, divinely inspired, joyous, and touching. The performance is here in three parts: here, here, and here. At the time, we knew this evening was something special: it radiates even more strongly now.
May your happiness increase!