Jim Hartel

In the 17th century, slaves transported from Africa to America began making early banjos based on indigenous African instruments. The banjo has since developed into a versatile instrument used in many styles of music: Bluegrass, Dixieland, Country, and Classical. Among the great banjo builders in the U.S. is Jim Hartel of Hartel Banjos (Franklin, NY),  maker of authentic minstrel banjos based on designs from 19th century American minstrelsy.