Home » Jazz Musicians » THE EBONY HILLBILLIES


THE EBONY HILLBILLIES........Based in NYC, they are the toast of the north. They have performed extensively at esteemed venues, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, on TV (BBC, Good Morning America, NBC, CBS, etc.), Int’l Music workshops and Festivals, visual artist collaborations@Museums (i.e. The Whitney with phenom Kara Walker, Smithsonian, etc.), Guest School programs, foot-stomping and hand-clapping dances, etc...Inspiring such stars as the Carolina Chocolate Drops and appreciated by the likes of the legendary Pete Seeger family, the Ebony Hillbillies are reviving a lost artform and American legacy. Consisting of fiddle, banjo, washboard and bass fiddle, they have successfully created a following that has bridged a gap in audiences in Pop, Country, Bluegrass, Folk, Jazz and beyond while maintaing their grassroots credibility. Their 19th century string dance band sound was popular in the 1920's and 1930's; and was a key element in the genesis of jazz and virtually everything after (blues, bluegrass, rockabilly, rock & roll, etc...). This is a rare event!

Bringing a fresh urgency to the genre for a 21st Century world in need of some deep musical education, the ensemble led by Henrique Prince (fiddle, vocals) and Norris Bennett (banjo, mountain dulcimer, guitar, vocals)— featuring Gloria Thomas Gassaway on vocals and bones, William “Salty Bill” Salter on acoustic bass with A.R. and Newman Taylor Baker on washboard and percussion—creates an untamed and joyful vibe that echoes across the generations and transcends all racial and cultural boundaries

Collectively they've worked with the greatest pioneers and trailblazers of American Music…i.e. Pete Seeger, Odetta, Harry Belafonte, Miriam Makeba, James Brown, Aaron Copland, Herbie Mann, Oscar Brown, Jr. Marvin Gaye, Bill Withers, Roberta Flack, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Bette Midler, Levon Helm, Horace Silver, Ahmad Jamal, Joe Henderson, and many others…Not to mention Grammy achievements for popular music classics, "Where Is The Love" and "Just The Two Of Us" were penned by bass fiddler Mr. Bill Salter. With a nothing’s off limits repertoire that pays homage to tradition but keeps an eye and ear on the present and future, The Ebony Hillbillies play a mix of tasty originals, unique renditions of classics we know and love (“Cotton Eyed Joe,” “Shenandoah,” “Liza Jane,” “Oh Susanna,” “Cluck Ol’ Hen,” “Jericho”) and wonderfully unexpected contemporary pop/soul songs like Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing.”


EH Quotes...

"...the premiere black string band in AMERICA" -Tony Thomas, Black Banjo Association

"They provide NYC's sound track...it's a fact of life..."

-Paul Lieberman, LA Times

“The Real Y’Alternative!!!”

-Kandia Crazy Horse, Creative Loafing

"...the music was good and sweet...and stuck in my mind"


“What a wonderful connection to all our humanity!”

-The New York Times

”…if you often take the shuttle from Central

Park, you’ve probably stopped to listen to an

African-American string band called the

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