Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center hosts David O’Dell

The Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center’s Trunk of Traditional Tunes continues Sunday, February 20 at 2 p.m. with musician and West Virginia Folk Festival President David O’Dell. A Trunk of Traditional Tunes is a series dedicated to celebrating traditional West Virginia music, funded by the West Virginia Humanities Council through a CARES Act Emergency Relief Grant.

During O’Dell’s presentation, he will discuss the history of the folk festival and the many talented folk musicians who have participated in the festival over the years.

O’Dell is originally from West Virginia and has been a traditional musician for over 40 years. He plays banjo, fiddle, guitar, Appalachian dulcimer, mandolin and double bass. However, he mainly plays the banjo in the claw hammer style.

O’Dell has given workshops at the Augusta Heritage Center at Davis and Elkins College and at Allegheny Echoes in Pocahontas County. He has also performed at traditional music festivals throughout the state, including the Vandalia Gathering, Mountain State Art and Craft Fair, Stonewall Jackson Jubilee, and West Virginia State Folk Festival. He is currently the banjo player for the Mack Samples Band and the MacAbre Brothers.

“We look forward to welcoming David O’Dell to Fairmont State as he presents as part of our Trunk of Traditional Tunes series,” said Fairmont State University President Mirta M. Martin. “As the cultural hub of our region and the state, we strive to create programming that is entertaining and deeply rooted in the region’s cultural heritage. Fairmont State’s mission includes providing access to education to anyone who seeks it. Through The Trunk of Traditional Tunes project, we can support this mission and help keep these incredible cultural traditions alive for generations to come.

The Trunk of Traditional Tunes will continue throughout the spring semester with guests such as John Morris on March 6 at 2 p.m., Sarah Sullivan on March 13 at 2 p.m. and Emily Hillard on March 16 at 7 p.m.

Events are open free to the in-person public at the Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center. Audiences are limited and attendees are required to follow University health and safety protocols at all times. Each event will be streamed live on the Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center Facebook page. Recordings of these events will be added to an online program available to teachers, schools and other community organizations.

The Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center is housed in a historic barn on the campus of Fairmont State University. The Center’s mission is to preserve and perpetuate the rich cultural heritage of West Virginia. For more information, contact 304-367-4403.

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