Professor Julian Vincent is a world authority on biomimetics (the application of biological structures to engineering) and Chair of Trustees at BRLSI, but all that pales into insignificance besides his real passion in life – playing the banjo. He took it up, aged 13, after a brief spell in a George Formby tribute act, and briefly considered a musical career before deciding on academia instead. Today he’s the editor of the Banjoist’s Broadsheet, Europe’s longest-running banjo publication.
Now Julian’s bringing the banjo to BRLSI as organiser of the 2011 Bath International Banjo Festival, which will be held at the Institution on the 11th and 12th of June. The lineup promises banjo music for all tastes, with Jazz Pianist Keith Nicholls as musical advisor, Leon Hunt, one of Europe’s finest bluegrass players, and Alison Williams from the Appalachians with her fusion of punk rock and traditional clawhammer. Saturday afternoon will feature a silent movie with accompaniment by a live piano/banjo trio (including the Prof), and there’ll also be the first appearance of the Rondo Quartet, direct from the back streets of Ilford with a set list that includes ‘Boil That Cabbage’.
Booking isn’t necessary – just turn up on the day. For a taste of what’s in store, click the video above to hear Julian play a short medley including ‘Jeeper’s Creepers’.