Jim Bollman has been researching and collecting 19th century banjos and other fretted instruments since the 1960s. In 1974 he co-founded The Music Emporium, Inc. in Cambridge, Massachusetts with Stuart Cohen and Eric Schoenberg. The Emporium, located now in Lexington, remains one of the premier acoustic instruments shops in the Northeast, if not the country. He retired from store management in 2003, but continues to buy, sell, and trade vintage instruments. To date he has sold more than 8,000 banjos.
For many years he’s played banjo and banjo ukulele with Roustabout, a Washington, DC-based string band. When not plucking his 1850’s H.D. Dawson Minstrel Banjo or his 1907 Fairbanks Imperial Electric, he can be found on the tennis court or at an old time music festival. Or perhaps on a dance floor.