b. 20 July 1934, Passaic, New Jersey, USA, d. 2 July 1994, Washington, DC, USA. A leading exponent of American folklore, Rinzler became acquainted with traditional music while in his teens. He studied in London under A.L. Lloyd and, in 1959, replaced Eric Weissberg in the Greenbriar Boys. An accomplished mandolin player, Rinzler performed with this influential bluegrass attraction until 1964. He then became director of field research for the Newport Folk Festival, and as such undertook several recording trips with archivist Alan Lomax. Three years later Rinzler became director of the Festival Of American Folklife at the Smithsonian Institution and embarked on a concurrent filming career. His documentaries have included two studies of traditional pottery, while he has published books about handicraft work and several folk artists, including Doc Watson and Uncle Dave Macon.
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