Close Kin, Our Roots Run Deep Featured Artist - Jonah Horton

03.01.2014

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Jonah Horton began playing mandolin when he was seven years old. He developed an interest in the mandolin while attending Merle Fest in Wilkesboro in 2008. He asked for a mandolin for Christmas that same year, and the rest is history! Jonah began taking mandolin lessons from Wilkes County music teacher, Larry Skipper. Jonah credits "Mr. Larry" for giving him the foundation of his mandolin training. Currently, Jonah is taking lessons via Skype with Wayne Benson, mandolin player for the group, "Russell Moore and IIIrd Tyme Out."

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onah has received several honors for his mandolin talent. He was the winner of the 2011 Wilkes Has Talent competition. In 2012, he won the Youth Mandolin contest held at the annual Galax Fiddlers' Convention in Galax, VA.  He was the third place winner in the 2013 Galax Fiddlers' Convention "Open" (Adult and Youth) Mandolin competition. Jonah was also honored to be the first recipient of the Wilkes Acoustic Folk Society's Pete Wernick Jam Camp Scholarship in  2013. This camp is held annually Monday through Thursday during the week of MerleFest at YMCA Camp Harrison in Boomer, NC.
 
During the summer of 2013, Jonah was asked to perform on a CD/DVD recording project called, "Generation Bluegrass 2: The Grass Roots Up" along with several other up and coming young bluegrass musicians from all over the country. Last September, Jonah auditioned and was selected to be a part of the "Kids on Bluegrass" component of the International Bluegrass Music Association's (IBMA) Conference in Raleigh. Jonah and other talented youth from across the country performed during the conference's street festival, and they were a huge hit!  A special highlight for Jonah was meeting award-winning musicians, Ricky Skaggs and Adam Steffey.
 
Following the IBMA Conference, Jonah was given an invitation to be a part of yet another CD/DVD recording project called, "Close Kin: Our Roots Run Deep." This youth project is the sequel to the popular and award winning "Close Kin: A Reunion of Bluegrass & Old Time Music." To be released in April, it will again feature the blending of bluegrass, old-time and American styles of music in one album. This time, it will spotlight youth musicians (ages 11-17) from Southwest VA and NC. Jonah plays both the mandolin and guitar on this project.
Jonah enjoys bluegrass.  But, he also has a love for other genres of music, including jazz.  In November 2013, Jonah was the guest performer at ASU's Fall Jazz Ensemble I concert. He was joined on stage by ASU Jazz professor, Todd Wright and ASU jazz guitar instructor, Andy Page, for three entertaining jazz songs.  It was an evening and experience Jonah will never forget!

 He has played with the following musicians/groups:  Sierra Hull, The Greencards, The Snyder Family Band, Wayne Henderson and Jeff Little to name a few.  You can check out Jonah's performances with these musicians, as well as other select videos, on "YouTube" by typing "Jonah Horton" in the Search bar.  Jonah also loves to play at church, community events, benefit concerts, and even the Farmers' Markets in Boone and North Wilkesboro.  Above all, Jonah credits the Lord for his musical ability and talent.

Jonah is the son of Mark and Laura Horton of Wilkesboro, NC.  He is 12 years old and is homeschooled.


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