The Collaboration

The Cornish Banjo Company was launched in 2014 by luthier Louis Bauress and banjo player John Dowling after many years of research and investigation.

Respectively they both had the idea of a Cornish banjo on their minds prior to their first meeting but it was the partnership they formed which allowed the project to flourish. 

John has the experience of a long and successful performing and teaching career and the knowledge of what makes a banjo sound good and comfortable to play. Louis has the highly reputable expertise, craftsmanship and the ability to build amazing banjos.



Louis Bauress 

Louis's love and interest in joinery began at an early age. His grandfather, who started his joinery apprenticeship at the age of 14, taught Louis how to use his tools and followed a common family skill passed down through several generations.  
He has always loved making things out of wood and since leaving school has worked for himself and other firms as a joiner, although he really honed his skills making complex bespoke staircases for a local manufacturer. But after becoming a father to twins in 2007 Louis decided to work entirely for himself.
He played guitar as a child and played the trumpet for the Brighton based ska band 'Ska gal and the Hands of Ra' in the late 1990's. But he has always had a love for folk music and especially the sound of the banjo. 
Since running his own workshop Louis has been able to bring his two passions together, woodwork and music, building guitars and banjos alongside regular joinery work.
Over the last few years he has evolved and developed as a master luthier having a deep interest in the effects on tone and sound created by materials and construction technique. 

John Dowling 
John became a banjo teacher and performer during his school years. Originally a classical violinist he began playing the banjo at the age of 13. He won the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Awards at 18 years. When he was 21 years he became the first person from outside the United States to win the prestigious Walnut Valley Banjo Contest held in Winfield, Kansas, the largest known Banjo competition in America.
He worked alongside Jools Holland, Mark Knopfler and Courtney Pine in the prime time BBC documentary ‘Play it Again’ where he taught British stand up comedian Frank Skinner how to play the Banjo.
His debut album, ‘The Underground Sessions’, was entirely recorded in a 300 year old Cornish tin mine and chosen as one of the top ten favourite albums of 2011 by American periodical Banjo Newsletter.

John is published by Faber Music and is author of
'The Contemporary Banjo Player'.