Bart Reiter Banjos


Recognized for their artistry, craftsmanship and performance, Bart Reiter Banjos were one of 26 select Builders included in the North American Banjo Builder Series.  The series - filmed entirely on location by Craig Evans - will become a permanent part of the Smithsonian Folkways "Instrument Builder" Collection in late 2013. Enjoy the following short excerpt from Craig's interview with Bart in May, 2011, at the banjo workshop. Many thanks to Laura Boosinger for the beautiful banjo music. (Guest cameo from Mia "the destroyer.") Most of all, a huge thank you to Craig Evans for embarking on this labor of love -- to seek out and record for posterity the banjomaking community.

Bart Reiter from Craig Evans on Vimeo.

Where it's at . . .

Bart & banjo Squirrel

Bart Reiter at his East Lansing, Michigan workshop.
Over 25 years working in the swamp and still no indoor plumbing but great wildlife viewing.

Work force of one window view
shop tour shop tour southeast view

Time clock/phone shrine and more "Bart Art"...

Time clock shrine Bart art Bart art

Random notes . . .

dulcimer polishing

Early luthier days dulcimer polishing (1970's)

Bart 1970's

Hey Ted, let's rock! (1971)

70's Reiter acoustic guitar

Starving guitarmaker (1970's)

Elderly Instruments Repair Shop Pretty Shakey String Band - 1970's

Elderly Instruments shop (left). Head repairman Bart (group photo, back row on right) unplugs his belt sander and picks up the bass with the Elderly Instruments "Pretty Shakey" in-house string band. (1978)

Reiter, Ramsey, Sweeney burial site

Bart Reiter and Mike Ramsey (Chanterelle banjos) pay homage to the Virginia burial site of 5-string banjo developer, Joel Walker Sweeney (circa 1810-1860).

greetings from banjo family greetings! Banjo T

1980's banjo stylin'.

banjo apprentice B-day

Banjo apprentice daughter Eva crafting fine firewood (left). Fifteen years later, Bart celebrating with MSU mechanical engineering student, Eva (who was overheard stating, in the words of Dilbert, she would "rather staple a skunk to her forehead" than make banjos for a living.)

Cutting wood 1971

Bart cutting firewood 70's-style.

saw fest

saw fest

"Stihl" cutting firewood... Saw races, winter of '09

EZ Reiter

EZ Reiter with banjo shipment ready and waiting for the friendly brown trucks.

Couch Potato

The sun sets on Bart and cat, "Mia the Destroyer", at the end of another long but fun-filled day at the banjo shop.

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