Banjo

Alan O’Bryant – Banjo


Alan O'Bryant - BanjoAlan O’Bryant (aka OBanyon)
is best known as a singer, songwriter and banjo player with The Nashville Bluegrass Band. Originally from Reidsville, NC his career in Nashville spans some forty plus years of recording, producing, teaching and performing worldwide. His appearances have included workshop classes on banjo technique and instrument set-up, vocal and band performance dynamics and more at venues including; Suwanee Banjo Camp Live Oak Fl, Augusta Heritage Center Elkins WV, American Banjo Camp Seattle WA, Wintergrass Academy Tacoma WA, Vancouver Folk Festival, Rocky Grass Academy Lyons CO, Midwest Banjo Camp Olivet MI, Disney Institute Orlando FL, and Nashcamp in Cumberland Furnace, TN. Along with NBB and his home project studio Alan currently enjoys pickin’ with his two sons Calan and Ian, learning old time tunes on the mandolin and five string banjo and gives private lessons at The Musical Heritage Center of Middle Tennessee, “The Fiddle & Pick” near his home in Pegram, TN.

James Mckinney – Banjo

James McKinney - BanjoJames McKinney is a true Master of the 5-string banjo. One of the most advanced players anywhere and a Scruggs and Reno style expert, James is also considered a leading expert in jazz and theory in the banjo world, having been mentored by renowned jazz educator, David Baker, and Mr. Henry Ferrel (teacher of Chet Atkins and Jethro Burns).

In his early days James played often with legends such as Bill Monroe, Vassar Clements, and John Hartford. James won the South U.S. Banjo Championship at age 15 and in 1982 he won the National Banjo Championship at Winfield, Kansas, as well as first-place in dozens of state and regional championships. He made the first of several appearances on the Grand Ole Opry, The Porter Wagoner Show, and the stages of Opryland at age 19 as part of
“Smoky Mountain Sunshine” combining his talents as a banjoist with those of musical arranger.

In the 1980’s he lived in Dallas and recorded and toured with his band “Danger in the Air” and later moved to Nashville to do full-time touring and studio work.

James spent many years as a popular studio musician in Nashville and performed/recorded with the likes of Porter Wagoner, Barbara Mandrell, John Hartford, and Johnny Cash in addition to a long and close friendship and professional relationship with legendary fiddler ,
Vassar Clements,  with whom he toured and performed as “The Vassar Clements Band”.

James has recorded on many projects and taught at many major banjo camps including SPGBMA workshops and other Master workshops all over the USA and in Australia. NightTravelers.com

Bill Evans – Banjo

Bill Evans - BanjoBill Evans is an internationally known five-string banjo life force. As a performer, teacher, writer, scholar and composer, he brings a deep knowledge, intense virtuosity and contagious passion to all things banjo, with thousands of music fans and banjo students from all over the world in a career that spans over thirty-five years.

In Bill’s solo concert presentation “The Banjo in America,” he presents the banjo from its West African roots to the New World, performing musical examples from the 1700’s to the present day on a variety of vintage instruments, ranging from an African ekonting to a mid-19th century minstrel banjo, a modern bluegrass banjo and even an electric banjo. From an 18th century African dance tune to the music of the Civil War, and from early 20th century ragtime to folk and bluegrass banjo styles to Bill’s own incredible original music,The Banjo in America illuminates as well as entertains, exposing audiences to over 250 years of American music.

Bill also assembles first-rate progressive acoustic ensembles to perform music from his CDs at major festivals around the world. Acoustic luminaries Todd Phillips, Josh Williams, Don Rigsby, Matt Flinner, Barbara Lamb, Jim Nunally, Chad Manning, Mike Barnett, Lincoln Meyers, Missy Raines, Steve Smith, Joe Walsh, Tashina & Tristan Clarridge, Mike Witcher and Sharon Gilchrist are just some of the folks who have shared the stage with Bill in a moving musical feast he calls “The Bill Evans String Summit.”

Bill is the author of “Banjo For Dummies,” the most popular banjo book in the world and has been a Banjo Newsletter columnist for over fifteen years. He has also performed with acoustic legends David Grisman, Peter Rowan, David Bromberg, Dry Branch Fire Squad, Tony Trischka, Jody Stecher, Laurie Lewis, James Nash and Kathy Kallick, among many others.

Bill has appeared at many bluegrass and folk festivals all across North America, including appearances at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass (San Francisco, CA); FreshGrass (North Adams, MA) and Wintergrass (Bellvue, WA). In 2012, Bill performed in 12 states, Canada, Germany and participated in a U. S. State Department-sponsored tour of Russia. Venues played in 2012 include the Birchmere Restaurant, VA; Banjo Camp Munich, Germany and an appearance with the San Francisco Symphony.

Bill will make his debut appearance on “A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor” in February 2013.

Bill’s 2012 CD “In Good Company” features 26 guest artists, including The Infamous Stringdusters, Tim O’Brien, Joy Kills Sorrow, Stuart Duncan, Rob Ickes, Darol Anger, Mike Marshall, David Grier, Todd Phillips and many others. “In Good Company” was the #1 CD on the Roots Music Report national Bluegrass Charts for the first two weeks of November 2012 and was the #1 CD on the Folk DJ-List charts for May 2012.

“In Good Company” occupied either the #1 or #2 chart position on the California Roots Music Report charts from May to October 2012. This project received a Spotlight Review in the August 2012 edition of “Bluegrass Unlimited” magazine. “In Good Company” has been named to many “Best of 2012” CD lists, including Pop Matters, Folk Alley, Kansas Public Radio, Engine 145, Prescription Bluegrass, and WDHX-FM.

Bill has a Master’s Degree in Music from the University of California, Berkeley with a specialization in American music history and he has been a scholar/artist in residence at many universities across the United States. He has served as a consultant to the National Endowment for the Arts and is the former Associate Director of the International Bluegrass Music Museum in Owenboro, Kentucky.

Tony Trischka – Banjo

Tony TrischkaTony Trischka is perhaps the most influential banjo player in the roots music world. For more than 35 years, his stylings have inspired a whole generation of bluegrass and acoustic musicians. He was not only considered among the very best pickers, he was also one of the instrument’s top teachers, and created numerous instructional books, teaching video tapes and cassettes.

A native of Syracuse, New York, Trischka’s interest in banjo was sparked by the Kingston Trio’s “Charlie and the MTA” in 1963. Two years later, he joined the Down City Ramblers, where he remained through 1971. That year, Trischka made his recording debut on 15 Bluegrass Instrumentals with the band Country Cooking; at the same time, he was also a member of Country Granola. In 1973, he began a two-year stint with Breakfast Special. Between 1974 and 1975, he recorded two solo albums, Bluegrass Light and Heartlands. After one more solo album in 1976, Banjoland, he went on to become musical leader for the Broadway show The Robber Bridegroom. Trischka toured with the show in 1978, the year he also played with the Monroe Doctrine.

Beginning in 1978, he also played with artists such as Peter Rowan, Richard Greene, and Stacy Phillips. In the early 1980s, he began recording with his new group Skyline, which recorded its first album in 1983. Subsequent albums included Robot Plane Flies over Arkansas (solo, 1983), Stranded in the Moonlight (with Skyline, 1984) and Hill Country (solo, 1985). In 1984, he performed in his first feature film, Foxfire. Three years later, he worked on the soundtrack for Driving Miss Daisy. Trischka produced the Belgian group Gold Rush’s No More Angels in 1988. The following year, Skyline recorded its final album, Fire of Grace. He also recorded the theme song for Books on the Air, a popular National Public Radio Show, and continued his affiliation with the network by appearing on Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion, Mountain Stage, From Our Front Porch, and other radio shows. Trischka’s solo recordings include 1993’s World Turning, 1995’s Glory Shone Around: A Christmas Collection and 1999’s Bend. New Deal followed in 2003. The new studio album was a bluesy adaptation of bluegrass standards that featured, among other things, a vocal cameo by Loudon Wainwright.

Double Banjo Bluegrass Spectacular, featuring an appearance by comedian Steve Martin, Earl Scruggs and many other luminaries, came out four years later. For this recording he went back to Bluegrass and reinvigorated the double banjo tradition of that style along the way and brought along some fine companions. In October 2007, Tony was given an IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) award for Banjo Player of the Year 2007. Double Banjo Bluegrass Spectacular received IBMA awards for Recorded Event of the Year, Instrumental Album of the Year and a Grammy Nomination.

With his fearless musical curiosity as the guiding force, Tony Trischka’s latest critically acclaimed release, Territory roams widely through the banjo’s creative terrain. Nine selections partner Tony with fellow banjoists Pete Seeger, Mike Seeger, Bill Evans, Bill Keith, Bruce Molsky, and twelve all-Trischka solo tracks explore a panorama of tunings, banjo sounds, and traditions; tapping the creative potential of America’s signature musical instrument.

Throughout his upcoming tours, Tony will be presenting both his Solo works from Territory and will continue to present an “astonishing” (Boston Herald) group of musicians to perform his Double Banjo Bluegrass Spectacular.

Biographical info:
Courtesy Rounder Records
Courtesy Smithsonian Folkways
Courtesy Hi-Gain Management
Sandra Brennan – courtesy All Music Guide

“…the godfather of what’s sometimes called new acoustic music.”
– New York Times

“…most influential banjo player of the latter part of the 20th century, certainly in terms of his profound influence on succeeding generations of modern players.”
– Banjo Newsletter

“Urban bluegrass whiz.”
– Time Magazine

“Explosive banjo playing.”
– Boston Globe

“One of the most impressive banjoists alive.”
– Billboard

“Keep playing them new notes.”
– Bill Monroe

TONY TRISCHKA HAS PLAYED WITH:

The Boston Pops Orchestra
Barry Bostwick*
Sam Bush*
David Bromberg
William S. Burroughs*
Buddy Cage*
Larry Campbell*
Keith Carradine
Vassar Clements*
Ornette Coleman
John Denver*
Hazel Dickens*
Jerry Douglas*
Bill Evans (saxophonist with Miles Davis)*
Bela Fleck*
The Flecktones
John Goodman
Richard Greene*
Merv Griffin Orchestra
Nancy Griffith
David Grisman*
Thomas Hampson*
John Hartford
Levon Helm
Chris Hillman
Garth Hudson
Ferlin Huskey
David Johansen (aka Buster Poindexter)*
Jorma Kaukonen
Jeannie Kendall
Alison Krauss*
Malachy McCourt
Roger McGuinn
Steve Martin*
John Medeski
Natalie Merchant*
Edgar Meyer
Jane Monheit
Bill Monroe
National Radio Orchestra of Korea
Mark O’Connor*
Odetta
Charles Osgood*
Van Dyke Parks*
Tom Paxton
Robert Randolph
The Roche Sisters*
Peter Rowan*
Earl Scruggs*
Mike Seeger*
Pete Seeger*
Ricky Skaggs
Phoebe Snow
Bruce Springsteen
Ralph Stanley*
Tanya Tucker
Jay Ungar and Molly Mason*
Violent Femmes*
Loudon Wainwright*
Doc Watson
Waverly Consort*
The Whites*
Wichita Percussion Ensemble
Tom Wopat
*denotes recordings

Television Appearances

Live at the Quick, with Bela Fleck, 2004-2006
ABC “Views”, with Bela Fleck – Summer 1997
“ABC World News Tonight” with Peter Jennings – Summer1996
“CBS Sunday Morning” with Charles Osgood – feature story (including Bela Fleck), 1995
“Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?” (PBS), 1992
British Television Production of “Voice of America: History of the Banjo” , 1989
CBS “Hallmark Hall of Fame” production of “Foxfire” with Jessica Tandy, Hume Cronyn and John Denver, 1987
Ralph Emory’s “Frets” Awards Show, The Nashville Network, 1987
Nashville Network’s “Fire on the Mountain,” 1986, 1984
Merv Griffin Show, 1976

Performances

Double Banjo Bluegrass Spectacular Tour – Currently touring with guitarist/vocalist michael daves, fiddler brittany haas, bassist skip ward & double banjo seat filled by noam pikelny, gordon stone, and others.
Tony Trischka Band – Kennedy Center (2000), Seaside Jazz Festival (2002), plus tours throughout the United States, Canada, and Germany, 1997-present
Solo tours throughout the United States and Korea, Japan, Finland, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Italy, Croatia, 1986-present
World Turning – Metropolitan Museum of Art (NYC) 1997, Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Winterhawk Bluegrass Festival, Black Mountain Folk Festival, and countless concerts and club dates, 1993-2002
National Public Radio – “Next Big Thing”, 2005, “World Café”, 2004, 2001, “Morning Edition”, “Fresh Air”, Mountain Stage”, 2001, 1995 and 1994; The Connection (2001), “Prairie Home Companion”, 1996, 1982
With Skyline – appearances in 40 states, five tours throughout Europe; two tours of Japan, 1981-Present
Performances With Others

Duo performances with Bela Fleck – tours of U.S., and New Zealand, 1992-2006
With John Modeskey and Robert Randolph, 2001
Leftover Salmon, Flecktones, Vassar Clements, and Violent Femmes, 1999-2001
Old and in the Way reunion at Rocky Grass Festival (CO), 1997
Waverly Consort – 1998 Spring tour, NPR’s Performance Today, Summer 1996; Metropolitan Museum of Art (NYC), 1995.
With Peter Rowan and Richard Greene – Telluride,CO, 1996, Japan and Hawaii, 1978
Guest soloist with National Radio Orchestra of Korea, in Seoul: “The Slavery Documents”, 1991
Guest soloist with Wichita Percussion Ensemble: “The Void Beneath the Coffee Table” a three movement banjo concerto composed by Paul Elwood for Tony Trischka, 1986
“Foxfire” with Jessica Tandy, Hume Cronyn, and Keith Carradine, Los Angeles and Denver, 1985-1986
“The Robber Bridegroom” – Ford’s Theater, Washington, D.C., 1978; bus and truck tour, 1978; musical leader of Broadway production, 1976-1977
With David Bromberg and Ferlin Husky – Avery Fisher Hall, NYC, 1973

Instructional Materials

Mel Bay

Fiddle Tunes for Banjo, to be published in 2006
Alfred Publishing

Banjo for Beginners, 2001
Hal Leonard Publications

The Tony Trischka Collection, 1999
AcuTab Publications

Masters of the 5 String Banjo (with Peter Wernick) 2000 (re-pubublication)
Glory Shone Around, 1995
Books for Oak Publications

The Complete Banjo Player, to be published 2006/2007
Masters of the Five String Banjo (with Peter Wernick), 1987 (first publication)
Hot Licks for Bluegrass Banjo, 1983
Bill Keith, 1979
Teach Yourself Bluegrass Banjo, 1977
The Banjo Songbook, 1975
Melodic Banjo, 1973
Independently Published Books

Tablature for Hill Country
Tablature for Robot Plane Flies Over Arkansas
Homespun Tapes

BOOK

Bluegrass Repertoire, to be published 2006
Tablature to Solo Banjo Works, with Bela Fleck, 1998
VIDEO and DVD

Classic Bluegrass Banjo Solos, and Practicing Tips, 2002, 2003
Bluegrass Banjo: Tunes and Tips, 1990

AUDIO

Easy Banjo Solos, 1988
Hot Licks for Bluegrass Banjo, 1986
Advanced Banjo (with Bill Keith), 1979

Ned Luberecki – Banjo

Ned is the 2018 IBMA Banjo Player Of The Year and an all-around bluegrass legend. Ned is an incredible banjo picker and music educator. Ned is funny.  He was a member of Paul Adkins & The Borderline Band, The Rarely Herd and, most recently, Chris Jones & The Night Drivers for over a decade. 

The Baltimore, MD, native, who now makes his home in Nashville, TN, is a partner in the Nedski & Mojo duo and a favored guest on stage and in studio with artists ranging from Jim Lauderdaleto Tony Trischka to Ray Stevens to Sam Bush.  Since the early 1980s, Ned has maintained a busy schedule of private lessons, along with workshops and camps in the U.S., Canada, U.K. and Europe. He is the author of Alfred Publications three-part Complete 5-String Banjo Method and has pioneered on-air instruction with his popular “More Banjo Sunday” and “The Sunday Banjo Lesson” on SiriusXM’s Bluegrass Junction, where he also hosts the regular newgrass show, “Derailed,” keeping us laughing all the way down the road.  For several years now, Ned has also been the voice of the IBMA awards show.  He and his Bluegrass Junction compadres were honored with a 2016 IBMA Distinguished Achievement award.  Check out his critically-acclaimed latest album, Take Five, when you have a moment, as well as his new series of instructional videos for TrueFire.com. Visit Ned online at Nedski.com.

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Gerald Jones – Banjo / Mandolin

Gerald Jones - Banjo / MandolinGerald Jones, founder and director of Acoustic Music Camp, is a favorite instructor at many bluegrass and roots music camps around the nation, teaching banjo, mandolin, and many special topics such as “Jam Survival Skills.” He’s a skilled player in many different styles, including bluegrass, western swing, country, classical banjo and Polish war hymns. He’s played on stage or recorded with Jim “Texas Shorty” Chancellor, Vince Gill, Sam Bush, Hank Thompson, Red Steagall, Jethro Burns, Jerry Douglas, Tanya Tucker, Junior Brown and many more. He is the inventor of the Jones/AcousticPlus banjo pickup endorsed by Earl Scruggs, Bela Fleck, Alan Munde and many others. As a banjoist, he’s been a two-time finalist in the National Bluegrass Banjo championship in Winfield, Kansas.

Gerald has taught music for almost 30 years, and counts among his students Marty and Emily Erwin of the Dixie Chicks, and Max Johnston of the Gourds. He was the editor of Mel Bay’s bimonthly webzine Banjo Sessions and a frequent contributor to Joe Carr’s Mandolin Sessions. As Joe said of Gerald, “Students love him because he jams a lot with them and teaches as much out of class as in!”

For more information about Gerald, visit: TheGeraldJones.com.

 

Alan Tompkins – Banjo

Alan Tompkins - BassBLUEGRASS TODAY calls Alan Tompkins “a true Renaissance man,” and the title certainly fits.  A native of the farming and coal mining country of western Kentucky, Alan grew up steeped in the sounds of classic country, gospel, and bluegrass music.  He performed in several bands in his home town of Madisonville, Kentucky before moving to Texas in 1983, where he earned MBA and law degrees at SMU.

It was a thrill for Alan to produce and record his first album, No Part of Nothin’ , released in 2012.  The album features a lineup of incredibly talented musicians and singers, many of whom are Grammy® or IBMA award winners or nominees.  The list includes Sam Bush, Deryl Dodd, Kenny & Amanda Smith, Ron Stewart, Stephen Mougin, Gerald Jones, Greg Cahill, Ned Luberecki, Mike Bub, Randy Kohrs, Brad Davis, Nate Lee, Bobby Davis, and Steve Rhian.

Alan is the founder and President of the Bluegrass Heritage Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of bluegrass music in America.  The Foundation produced Fanning the Fire, an award-winning short film about bluegrass music that screened in more than 25 film festivals across the United States, in 2011.  He’s a 2009 graduate of the IBMA Leadership Bluegrass program and presently serves as the chair of the planning committee for the program.  Alan plays a Huber Banjo, some great, really old Gibson banjos, a 1961 Kay bass, a New Standard Cleveland bass, Beard dobros, and few other great instruments.

For more information about Alan, visit: AlanTompkins.com