On June 6, Juno Award-winning artists and old-time banjo makers Pharis and Jason Romero lost their home and instrument studio to a devastating fire on their property in rural British Columbia. While the Romeros and their two children escaped unscathed, both buildings — plus all of their possessions and a stock of newly finished and priceless antique instruments — were lost in the blaze.
If there's one thing we are about here at the BGS, it is community. And the Romeros are an integral part of that, as both artists and instrument makers — and some of the most talented ones we know. So, along with our friends at Deering Banjos, we're auctioning off a top-of-the-line Deering Deluxe 5-string banjo and a banjo head autographed by Ed Helms and all the guests at the 2016 BGS Bonnaroo Superjam (including Sam Bush, Sara and Sean Watkins, the Steep Canyon Rangers, Lee Ann Womack, and many others) with proceeds going directly to the Romero family. It's a small way in which we can all pitch in and support those in our community when it's most needed.
The Romeros' loss hit very close to home for Jamie Deering. "The Romeros make beautiful banjos, and I love the old-time folk style of music they play," she says. "I can only imagine if something like this had happened to my folks in the early years of Deering Banjos and how devastating it would have been. It is incredibly heartwarming to see the community coming together for the Romero family at this time. The entire Deering family and crew are happy to help in this way and look forward to hearing they are back going strong again."