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Tom Banyai

Roots Host

Bluegrass Junction, 7-11pm, Tuesday

Tom Banyai grew up in a household exposed to all sorts of wonderful music, especially classical and jazz. When he went to his first music festival (Newport ’66) he was captivated by live acoustic performance. Coffee houses and small clubs from New Haven to New York City were a hotbed of folk and roots music where he grew to love the energy and immediacy of live performance. The early days of FM radio in the city and on Connecticut colleges recreated some of this same excitement. After hearing radio tributes to Joe Val, he attended his first Bluegrass Festival (WinterHawk ’85) and was captured by the heart & soul of the music. Tom still prefers a live concert or festival, but when he discovered Bluegrass on the radio on stations like WICN, he became a huge fan. When WICN put out a call for volunteers, Tom was already well known to the Bluegrass DJs through his financial backing and persistent calls for requests. After volunteering at the station, it was natural that Tom would end up as a regular host behind the microphone sharing his love of the music. He has been doing a weekly Bluegrass show on WICN since October, 1989. “Being a DJ is like getting to play some of your favorite songs for a friend – except that you have a huge library of songs and the friend is always there for 4 hours every Tuesday night.”

Email: tom@wicn.org

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