Wayne Henderson and Helen White
Wayne Henderson is a National Heritage Award recipient honored for his craftsmanship as a luthier and his renowned finger-style Appalachian guitar playing. His instruments are coveted worldwide and he sports a long waiting list for his guitars, mandolins, and banjos. Sponsored through the National Council for Traditional Arts, the Smithsonian Institute, Office of Arts America, European World of Bluegrass, Chet Atkins International Appreciation Society and numerous individual venues, Wayne has toured broadly in the U.S., Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. His lightening fast, articulate playing style was influenced by Doc Watson and EC Ball, both close friends and neighbors in this musically rich corner where Southwest Virginia meets Northwest North Carolina. His repertoire includes Appalachian fiddle tunes, Carter Family melodies and a few swing and rockabilly standards. He has won more awards at the Galax Fiddlers Convention than any other competitor in its 80 year history.
A singer, fiddler, guitarist and tunesmith, Helen White has toured extensively with Wayne in the U.S. and Europe. Her compositions include works for theater and video projects as well as a Booklist honored recording of original songs for children. Helen is the founder and served as Executive Director of the Junior Appalachian Musicians (JAM) program for fifteen years. This important program serves students in 40 mountain counties in 5 states introducing them to their musical heritage through small group instruction in the instruments and music common to the region. Helen is currently a student at Radford University studying music composition and related subjects.
Both Wayne and Helen are frequent instructors at major traditional music camps across the country.
Photo Credit: Janet Bachman, National Park Service Blue Ridge Music Center
Video of Wayne Henderson and Helen White at River House