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Chris Ownby

As Professor Banza Calabash

Chris Ownby is known on the stage as "Professor Banza Calabash, Learned Skolar ob Music." A minstrel musician from the East, Chris came around the horn to the gold rush, much as did Thomas Whaley. After a period of bumming, mostly in the southern mines, he made his way back down to San Diego; it is 1858.

His entire repertoire is from the songsters of the period, and he does not present songs that have not been written yet! The banjos he uses are the type favored by stage professionals of the 1840s, 50s and into the 60s, and he utilizes the African derived "stroke" style of playing the instrument.

Chris plays weekdays on the verandah of the Whaley House entertaining visitors and is a vital part of what we are able to offer to the Old Town Fourth Grade program. He is a volunteer and does many other things for the Museum. Chris sets the standard for the hopes of our clothing program at the Museum and advises us on many subjects relative to the early 19th century.

2004 - Volume 35, Issue 3


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Court Sets Aside Port's Coronado Belt Line Lease

SOHO Takes Leadership Role

Disposable World

San Diego's Un-Recovered Past Obliterated & Forever Lost

The Event of the Season

People In Preservation Award Winners

Coronado Ordinance Scores a Victory for Local Historic Preservation
Designation of Coronado Railroad to be Appealed

SOHO's Dedication to Preservation

Eleven Most Endangered Historic Resources

Another Save!!!

New Resources in the California Room

Meet Summer Intern Stephanie Gordin

Chris Ownby

Whaley House Educational Series


A Home Run for Preservation

2004 Annual Membership Meeting

Annual Call for Board of Director Nominations

The Whaley House Interior Restoration

The Verna House Restoration

The SOHO Museum Shop Reopens

A Guide to Modern San Diego

San Diego Modernism Weekend

SOHO Museum Shop at the Whaley House

Strength in Numbers

Lost San Diego

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2476 San Diego Avenue · San Diego CA 92110 · Phone (619) 297-9327
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