Entertainment TED Conferences

Bluegrass from, er, New Jersey: Sleepy Man Banjo Boys at TED2013

Posted by: Helen Walters
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Photos: James Duncan Davidson

We’ve seen a number of “the young” of the conference’s theme in this session of TED2013. Now, to play us off out into the night are Sleepy Man Banjo Boys, a trio of brothers from New Jersey, the youngest of whom became a YouTube sensation in 2011 when he was only eight years old. “They’re fantastic musicians, really incredible players,” says TED music advisor Bill Bragin of the three, the oldest of whom even now is only 15 years old. “And there’s something about the interaction of a bluegrass band and the way the fiddle, the banjo, and the guitar intersect because they’re brothers. There’s a real intuitive sense that happens when they’re locked in that really comes across.” The crowd certainly feels it; whoops and hollers round off the end of the rollercoaster first day at TED.

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The Sleepy Man Banjo Boys’ performance is now available for viewing. Watch it on TED.com »