The Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center’s Trunk of Traditional Tunes continues Sunday, February 20 at 2 p.m. with musician and president of the West Virginia Folk Festival, David O’Dell. A Trunk of Traditional Tunes is a series dedicated to celebrating the traditional music of West Virginia, funded by the West Virginia Humanities Council through a CARES Act Emergency Relief Grant.
During O’Dell’s presentation, he will discuss the history of the Folk Festival and the many talented folk musicians who have participated in the festival over the years.
O’Dell is a native West Virginian and has been a traditional musician for more than 40 years. He plays the banjo, fiddle, guitar, Appalachian dulcimer, mandolin and upright bass. However, he primarily plays the banjo in the claw hammer style.
O’Dell has taught workshops at the Augusta Heritage Center at Davis and Elkins College and Allegheny Echoes in Pocahontas County. He has also played at traditional music festivals throughout the state including the Vandalia Gathering, the Mountain State Art and Craft Fair, the Stonewall Jackson Jubilee and the West Virginia State Folk Festival. He is currently the banjo player of the Mack Samples Band and The MacAbre Brothers.
“We look forward to welcoming David O’Dell home to Fairmont State as he presents as part of our Trunk of Traditional Tunes series,” said Fairmont State University President, Mirta M. Martin. “As a center of culture for our region and the state, we strive to create programming that is entertaining and deeply rooted in the region’s cultural heritage. Fairmont State’s mission includes providing access to education to anyone who seeks it. Through The Trunk of Traditional Tunes project, we can uphold that mission and help keep those amazing cultural traditions alive for generations to come.”
The Trunk of Traditional Tunes will continue through the spring semester with guests including John Morris on March 6 at 2 p.m., Sarah Sullivan on March 13 at 2 p.m. and Emily Hillard on March 16 at 7 p.m.
The events are open for free in-person public attendance at the Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center. Audiences are limited and participants are required to follow the University’s health and safety protocols at all times. Each event will be livestreamed on the Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center’s Facebook page. Recordings of these events will be added to an online curriculum available to teachers, schools and other community organizations.
The Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center is in a historic barn on the campus of Fairmont State University. The Center’s mission is to preserve and perpetuate West Virginia’s rich cultural heritage. For further information, contact 304-367-4403.