Diane is an award winning performer and educator who is a veteran of New York's High School of Music and Art. She developed her fretted instrument skills as a classical guitar performance major at SUNY Stony Brook. American music, folklore, and banjo studies with the Red Clay Ramblers' Tommy Thompson inspired and fueled her music's stylistic, cultural and philosophical odyssey in the summer of 1975. She later earned a degree in music education from the University of Massachusetts.
The traditional music, dance and folklore community
is a vibrant part of Western Massachusetts' cultural brilliance. This reputation
is largely due to the vision and dedicated works of members of the Pioneer
Valley Folklore Society. The society's 1980's projects greatly enriched the
community's educational and entertainment offerings. PVFS projects included
artist residencies in the schools, workshops and concerts, as well as research
and publications about
Her students include members from an eclectic list of social groups, generations and abilities. She worked as an artist in residence and music specialist in the valley's public schools for a decade, and currently enjoys her position as banjo instructor at area colleges such as Amherst and Smith. She is also the founding mother and director of BanjoMucho, an eccentric and lovable turn of this century mostly banjo community band.
Folk music's memorable melodies help maintain its' vital role in a community's cultural identity and legacy. The Banjo Queen helps maintain her vital role in this community's cultural identity and legacy by keeping an analytical and truthful ear on history's memories, putting an intuitive and forgiving finger on popular culture's current pulse, and sustaining a hopeful, open minded creative vision for the invisible future.
Diane Sanabria teaches music lessons in Florence, Massachusetts, and downtown Northampton's summer main street is often decorated with the sounds of her banjo streetplaying tunes. Stop by and say hello, toss a greenback dollar into the banjo case, and offer her a double espresso. You can then request your favorite song and probably engage
her in a lively philosophical rant about almost anything.