“When producer/director Amy Finkel traveled to the Guthrie Four-String Jazz Banjo Festival in 2002, she was bombarded by a strange sub-cultural American phenomenon that she never knew existed. The festival has been listed as one of the top 100 US Events by the American Bus Association and the crowds that flock to it every year are an eclectic mix of retiree culture and dazzling musicians. There’s Don Stevison, a retired nuclear physicist for the US Government with a handlebar mustache lengthy enough for two. Don was one of 17 people in the world on a research panel for handlebar mustache wax. And there’s Jim Jones, a circus ringmaster and funeral director. In addition to their eccentricities, these guys are damn fine musicians! Amy knew that it was her duty to document this event, so she returned the following year with a camera in hand. Her goal would be to raise awareness and help preserve this unique part of American culture.
As America’s only native instrument, the banjo is responsible for the development of numerous musical styles, however, the four-string banjo has an uncertain future in the hands of what is primarily an aged community. With a 26 minute running time, Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart: The Banjomaniacs of Guthrie takes you on a journey into the fascinating world that is four-string banjo culture — everything from its racially stigmatized history to what it currently represents: good old family oriented fun, quality music and excellent musicianship.” Learn more at stringsofmyheart.com.