The mozart of the banjo: Joe Morley

"Mozart of the Banjo is just spectacular! Aaron’s playing and overall musicality is just top notch. Bravo, what else can I say? Tone is fantastic, timing is spot on, just full of life. Piano playing is truly awesome. What a commitment --astounding." Jens Kruger

"I’m hugely impressed. Aaron brings back these good old days --I’m just loving it. Aaron is so deep inside this style and his playing is great." Tony Trischka

Aaron Jonah Lewis is available with a performance of the music of Joe Morley, forgotten banjo master. The program features Aaron Jonah Lewis on banjo and Tessa Hartle on piano.

"I call Joe Morley “the Mozart of the banjo” because of the two composers’ striking similarities: they were both child prodigies, they were both prolific composers whose music endures to this day, and they both died poor and were buried in unmarked graves. Unlike Mozart, however, Morley’s name has been all but forgotten, and this project aims to change that. I also compare Morley to Mozart in order to give people a point of reference for understanding his music. Although the music of Joe Morley wasn’t “classical” in the same way as Mozart’s, it did occupy an interesting space in that it appealed to royalty, the upper and middle classes and the lower classes of society as well. Classic fingerstyle banjo was onsidered both “morally uplifting” (or highbrow) and “entertaining” (or lowbrow). This degree of social acceptability contributed to the classic fingerstyle banjo becoming the most popular form of music during the decades around the turn of the 20th century."

Aaron Jonah Lewis

To find out more biographical information on Joe Morley go to the following link:

The album is at the following link:

Aaron Jonah Lewis is a champion fiddler who has been elbow-deep in traditional American fiddle and banjo music since his first lessons at the age of five with Kentucky native Robert Oppelt. Aaron has taken blue ribbons at the Appalachian String Band Festival in Clifftop, WV, and at the Old Fiddlers Convention in Galax, VA, the oldest and largest fiddlers convention in the country. He is also noted for his mastery of multiple banjo styles.

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