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Bryant, Bill




Bill Bryant is an expert dulcimer player. He was a Coordinator of Visual Art in the School of Creative and Performing Arts at Northwestern State University. He saw his first dulcimer in 1972, made one the following year and has been playing ever since. His passion with the dulcimer began in Lexington, Kentucky, while teaching at the University of Kentucky. Even though his interest in the dulcimer began as an adult, a lifetime interest in folk music and stringed instruments prompted him to learn to play this instrument. String band music was traditional in his family, which is probably why he also plays the fiddle, guitar, banjo, and Irish penny whistle.

Bryant began playing in an established band in about 1977 with Hurst Hall and Bill Hunt. Another band he participated in, called Mountain Music, which featured Bill Hunt, Kelly Knowlton, Valerie Clark, and Hurst Hall. Much later in the 1990s, Richard Rose, Michael Yankowski, and Karen Gordy joined them in a band known as the Back Porch Band. The Back Porch Band still participates in many events all over central Louisiana, including the Green Market and the Natchitoches-NSU Folk Festival. Because of his musical talent, Dr. Bill Bryant was inducted into the Louisiana Folklife Center’s Hall of Master Folk Artists in 2001. 


Researched and rewritten by Samantha Sullivan


Updated September 5, 2017 by Natchitoches-NSU Louisiana Folklife Center Staff