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24th Annual Bill Russell Lecture: The Banjo at the Crossroads of New Orleans and the Caribbean

April 12 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm


The Historic New Orleans Collection presents Laurent Dubois and Don Vappie in conversation about the history of the banjo, an instrument that embodies the centuries-old cultural exchange between New Orleans and the Caribbean. The program will meld lecture, musical performance, and an archival show-and-tell on THNOC’s holdings related to the banjo.

Laurent Dubois is the John L. Nau Bicentennial Professor of the History and Principles of Democracy and the Academic Director of the Karsh Institute of Democracy at the University of Virginia. He is the author of seven books, including Avengers of the New World: The Story of the Haitian Revolution (2004), Haiti: The Aftershocks of History (2012), and The Banjo: America’s African Instrument (2016).

Don Vappie is a musician, composer, and educator based in New Orleans. He has produced seven of his own albums; coproduced and starred in a PBS documentary; and performed as a featured artist with orchestras, in movie and television soundtracks, and at concerts and festivals around the world. His highly regarded unique and original tenor banjo style is equal only to his love of his Creole heritage and tradition.

The Bill Russell Lecture is generously sponsored by The Derbes Family Foundation.  


Registration opens February 27 for THNOC members and March 6 for the general public. Visit hnoc.org/support/membership to become a member.


April 12
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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The Historic New Orleans Collection
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The Historic New Orleans Collections
533 Royal Street
New Orleans, United States
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