The National Jug Band Jubilee

Category: Institution
Time period: Present day

Date nominated: Apr 26, 2010
Date inducted: Sep 1, 2011
Ratings: 17
Average rating: 4.05

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The National Jug Band Jubilee was started in 2005 with a kick-off river cruise on the Belle of Louisville. It was started by Rod Wenz and his wife, Gloria who were Louisville residents. They had to travel to Birmingham, AL to learn about Jug Band Music and its historic ties to Louisville. In Birmingham they saw Louisville's own Juggernuaut Jug Band and became instant friends and fans. They decided that Louisville needed to celebrate its jug band history! So the idea of the Belle Cruise was thought up to "test the waters" so to speak and see if this idea had legs. Two jug bands played on a completely sold out cruise and it was decided that this idea did have the community support it needed in order to move forward. From two bands on a boat in 2005, the event has grown tremendously. In 2009 the National Jug Band Jubilee went international when it featured 9 bands, including the first international band featured - the Old Southern Jug Blowers from Japan! In 2009 The National Jug Band Jubilee also honored Louisville jug player Earl McDonald - with a headstone for his previously unmarked grave, as well as with a historic highway marker placed inside of the amphitheater where the Jubilee takes place.