November/December 2015

Now in its seventh season, the Peabody Award-winning series Craft in America presents two new episodes: “Music” and “Celebration.”

“Music” focuses on how fine instruments are handmade and the world-renowned artists who play them. A fine musical instrument has a distinct personality, which is enhanced by the person who plays it. You’ll watch as skilled artisans use techniques passed down through generations to make guitars, banjos, and trumpets-one piece at a time.

Musical instruments are made all over America. In Hawaii, the Kamaka family has been making ukuleles since 1916. Resulting from detailing careful construction and tuning, this often-misunderstood instrument is receiving its rightful place among other fine string instruments. Jake Shimabukuro performs with his innovative style and passion, taking his ukulele to new artistic heights.

In the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina, Geoff Stelling and his master crafters turn out some of the finest bluegrass banjos ever created. “Geoff Stelling’s banjo has power. It changes the way we play music,” says banjo master Tony Ellis, who contributes instrumental performances.

Joan Baez welcomes us into her home to explain the role of her Martin guitar in her 50-year career of music and activism. By exploring how instruments are perfected and used, “Music” offers a journey through our country’s musical past.