About Jenny Blackadder Continued


2007 is a dream come true for our Banjo Queen as she has been invited to America to play at the “32nd National Old Time Country music Festival” and to be inducted into; “ America’s Old Time Country Music Hall of Fame.”  This was a real honour and  was an amazing trip to the USA .First she travelled to the Missouri Valley where she was greatly received by thousands of people. When the festival was all over she travelled down to Nashvile to stay with some wonderful NZ friends. While in Nashville Jenny had the pleasure of meeting the
Vice President of Warner Brothers Records and play a session with him on guitar and her on the Banjo. She was then taken on a journey around  the big recording studios to meet all the session musicians. One night she had dinner with the original Roy Orbison band and Luther Tom Smith from Nashville.  Tom Smith is a very clever 5 string Banjo player with a very unuique style of playing. After another 2 weeks of amazing music events in the music capital of the world she flew home.


2008  Jenny was invited back to the USA to be crowned "The Queen of the Banjo" in  Iowa.This was awarded to her for her unique playing talent in keeping America"s traditional banjo music alive in New Zealand and other parts of the world she visits. This was a huge honour for her because after all the years that she had been playing, she had not realised that she was  playing  the same style as America's King of the Banjo "Eddie Peabody". While in Iowa she played concerts every day at the Old Time Country Music Festival run by Bob and Shelia Everheart. The crowds loved her music as she was the only 4string banjo player there.

On her return to NZ she flew to Norfolk Island for the Norfolk Island Country Music Festival to play as a guest artist and as the NZ Judge for the Trans Tasman Country Music Awards. This was a wonderful week playing music with artists from NZ, Australia and  Charlie Groth who was the artist from the USA.

2009 January 1 is possibly the biggest day in Jennys life as she was recognised by Her Majesty The Queen along with the New Zealand Government for her services to country music. She was awarded the QUEENS SERVICE MEDAL (QSM). An extremely humbling experience that bought all those years of work, practice, performing and teaching into perspective." 

April 09 saw Jenny return the USA, she was invited to perform in Branson Missouri, 76 shows over a period of 30 days to some very large crowds. While there she represented New Zealand at the world music fest (the first New Zealander to do so.) It was extremely hard work as the weather varied between 5degc and 25degc but was very rewarding and exciting to play at these events.

While in Branson she had the opportunity to meet some famous musicians and artists including Mickey Gilley, who she had dinner with along with Wayne Horsborough from Australia. They were guests at the Mickey Gilley Show at the Mickey Gilley Theatre downtown Branson.

Also in Branson, Jenny had the chance to play some dixieland jazz music with the famous Russian Academic Jazz band from Russia. The band loved her style of Banjo playing and asked her to join them, They consisted of drums, bass, keyboard, guitar, trombone, saxaphone, clarinet and two trumpets. Jenny decribes it as a fantastic experience and a highlight in her music life.

On her return to New Zealand she was kept busy playing music and performing around NZ. She flew to Hamilton in August to guest and judge the New Zealand Entertainer of the year. Jenny also appeared as a guest at  NZ Gold Guitars, a fantastic performance that had the audience wanting more. You could see the benefits of her regular playing during the preceeding months.

The 31st December 2009 ended with a fun Show at Hornby Working Mens Club in Christchurch with the wonderful country band "Remedy" plus Paddy Long on Pedal Steel Guitar and Butch Green on Trumpet. Ben McDondald from Christchurch played a feature spot on his piano and Jenny on the Banjo. They all had a great night of music and a successful New Years Eve Party.

 She has also just recorded two CD’s Country Gospel and a Country Banjo CD for Rajon Music NZ

Jenny is now looking forward to 2010 as it unfolds, she has some wonderful plans for the year for music. To dateshe has just played 2 wonderful gigs in Central Otago(Cromwell and Wanaka) and met up with a lot of old friends, fans and entertainers that she had not seen in a while. To say she had a ball would be an understatement and has really kicked the year off in great style.

Top NZ Guitarist Bob Heinz wrote: Jenny’s executed melodies and sparkling Tremelo lines, present the authentic banjo sound, rich, vibrant, and in every way an harmonically complete solo instrument.

Jenny Blackadder proudly says that she is passing on her music legacy to her family.
Her son Geoffrey is a Top NZ Male Vocalist and Bass guitarist and her daughter Debbie is an accomplished Guitarist. She also has 3 granddaughters Rochelle, Hannah, and Melanie who sing, yodel and play guitar, banjo, and drums. She is very proud of them all.

Today Jenny says she still loves her music and wants to carry on as long and as people want to listen to her play.