designed to be the
BEST PLAYING CONTEMPORARY GOURD BANJO
Inspired by INSTRUMENTS MADE BY THE MANDE PEOPLE of West Africa
This gourd banjo was conceived for a contemporary musical settings rather than a strict historic reproduction. Fr over 20 years, Pete has continued to look for ways to improve its tone and playability after his apprenticeship with the late Scott Didlake, of Jackson, Mississippi. The instrument is simple in design, but endlessly variable though use of different woods, stains, and finishes; geared tuners and electric pick ups are even options.
Banza-Kat 4-string Base Price $825
Banza-Kat 5-string Base Price $875
Mande Banza 4-string base price $950
Mande Banza 5-string base price $1050
The Banza-Kat is the latest re-engineering of the Mande Banza. The reconfigured neck-gourd joint adds strength, while the entire neck is flatter and more stream-lined. Four strings, curly maple with red-brown stain, dark goat-skin head, and dark tacks.
The Mande Banza is a further evolution of the instrument Pete learned to make with Scott in Mississippi. Leaving some of Scott's ideas aside, Pete has returned to the use of all natural materials and drawn from West African musical instruments for aesthetic inspiration and enhanced structural strength.
Curly maple with wenge fingerboard, specialized with pickup.
Bubinga neck with wenge fingerboard.
Wenge neck with bloodwood fingerboard.
Wenge neck with fretted bloodwood fingerboard.