MBHead Mando & Banjo Week Staff - July 31-August 6, 2016



Tony Trischka | www.tonytrischka.com

Tony Trischka is perhaps the most influential banjo player in the roots music world. In his 40-plus years as a consummate banjo artist, his stylings have inspired generations of bluegrass and acoustic musicians. His technical and conceptual advances opened the way for such players as Bela Fleck and Alison Brown and his recordings with them and others, from Earl Scruggs, Ralph Stanley and Pete Seeger are part of every banjo- lovers musical reference. A native of Syracuse, NY, Trischka’s interest in banjo was sparked in 1963 by the Kingston Trio’s hit, “Charlie and the MTA.” Over the next decade and a half, he was a member of a number of influential groups including the Down City Ramblers, Country Cooking, Country Granola, and Breakfast Special. These last three comprised his “food band” period. After his second solo album, Banjoland, was released in 1976, he became the musical leader for the Broadway show, The Robber Bridegroom. In the early 1980s, he formed a new group, Skyline, with whom he recorded four albums, and in 1984, he performed in his first feature film, Foxfire. Three years later, he worked on the soundtrack for Driving Miss Daisy. He has also appeared on Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion, Mountain Stage, From Our Front Porch, and other radio shows, and recently produced Steve Martin’s Grammy-nominated Rare Bird Alert (Rounder), which features performances by Paul McCartney and the Dixie Chicks. His 2007 release, Double Banjo Bluegrass Spectacular, featured appearances by Steve Martin, Earl Scruggs, Bela Fleck, Alison Brown and more, was nominated for a Grammy and won three IBMA awards including Banjo Player of the Year for Tony. His recent recording, Territory, was named Best Americana Album at the Independent Music Awards. Tony is the musical director and associate producer of the documentary, Give Me the Banjo, which aired on PBS and has been released on DVD. He has created numerous instructional books, DVDs, CDs and the groundbreaking Tony Trischka School of Banjo, that is the online banjo home for students from around the world. Tony was also recently one of 50 recipients to receive a fellowship from United States Artists, a privately endowed organization that annually awards grants to participants in all of the arts, including music, dance, visual artists, and literature. His new album, Great Big World, featuring Steve Martin, John Goodman, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Noam Pikelny and many others, was released on Rounder Records this past February.

Mike Marshall | www.mikemarshall.net

Mike Marshall is one of the world’s most accomplished and versatile string instrumentalists and a living compendium of musical styles. A master of mandolin, guitar, mandocello and violin, he has created some of the most adventurous and interesting instrumental music imaginable on over 40 recordings that seamlessly blend his American roots background with a deep commitment and understanding of Brazilian music, European classical and folk music, and American jazz and pop. Mike is able to swing gracefully between all of these musical styles with a unique blend of virtuosity, depth and musical integrity that is rare in the cross-cultural musical world of today. Mike cut his teeth on traditional American music in Florida where he had his own teenage bluegrass band, but by age 19 he was snatched up by the groundbreaking David Grisman Quintet to tour and record with jazz violin legend Stephane Grappelli. He went on to record for the Windham Hill label and can now be heard on Sony Classical, Rounder, Sugar Hill, Compass and his own Adventure Music label. His most recent recording projects include the 2014 Grammy nominated recording, Mike Marshall & The Turtle Island Quartet as well as a new CD of Bach duets for mandolin and mandocello with his partner, Caterina Lichtenberg. Mike’s Brazilian group Choro Famoso also released their second CD in 2015, entitled Secondo Vez. A committed mandolin educator, Mike has spent much of the past four years developing his own online education website at ArtistWorks’ Mike Marshall School of Mandolin. There, hundreds of mandolinists from around the world get access to Mike through a video exchange system and receive direct comments about their playing from Mike personally. In 2003, Mike founded the Mandolin Symposium with David Grisman where over 100 mandolinists and 10 of the greatest player/teachers in the world gather each June. Mike is also is the director of the American Music Seminar at the Savannah Music Festival, where each spring he hand-selects 15 of the hottest young acoustic musicians from all over the country to meet for a week long intensive. A short list of some of the groups that Mike helped found includes The David Grisman Quintet, Montreux, The Modern Mandolin Quartet, New Grange, The Big Trio, Psychograss, and Choro Famoso, while his list of duo partners includes Caterina Lichtenberg, Darol Anger, Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile, Hamilton De Holanda, Jovino Santos Neto, and Andy Narell

Bill Evans | www.billevansbanjo.com

Bill has taught hundreds of thousands of banjo players of all levels from all over the world through his best-selling books and DVDs, hundreds of camps and workshop appearances and private lessons. His books Banjo For Dummies, Bluegrass Banjo For Dummies and Parking Lot Pickers Songbook: Banjo Edition, along with six Homespun, Murphy Method and AcuTab DVD projects have set the modern standard for bluegrass banjo instruction. He has mentored professional players such as Chris Pandolfi (The Infamous Stringdusters), Greg Liszt (Crooked Still, Deadly Gentlemen, Bruce Springsteen), Wes Corbett (Joy Kills Sorrow), Jayme Stone (The Lomax Project), among many others. Bill’s latest CD release is More Fine Times At Fletcher’s House with Norman & Nancy Blake. He has performed with David Bromberg, Dry Branch Fire Squad, Peter Rowan, David Grisman, Laurie Lewis, Jody Stecher and many other performers in a career that now spans over four decades. He currently tours with his solo show, The Banjo in America, featuring over 250 years of banjo music, and with guitar flatpicking legend Dan Crary and singer-songwriter Steve Spurgin in the new trio Crary, Evans & Spurgin.

Alan Bibey | www.alanbibey.com

Since first hitting the professional scene in the early 1980’s, Alan has made a name for himself as one of the most creative and technically gifted mandolinists in bluegrass and acoustic music. He was an original member of such ground-breaking bands as The New Quicksilver, IIIrd Tyme Out, BlueRidge and, for the last 9 years, Alan Bibey & Grasstowne. He was selected as Mandolin Performer Of The Year for 2007, 2009 and 2010 by the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America (SPBGMA) and won Album of the Year in 2008. His IBMA awards include Instrumental Album of the Year in 2001, Album of the Year in 2006, and Recorded Event in 2012. He has had numerous #1 albums and songs, including Grasstowne’s latest, “Cold Dark Ground”, which he wrote with country great Mark Collie and Ronnie Bowman. His latest project, The Mandolin Chronicles, was nominated last year for 5 IBMA awards. 2004’s BlueRidge project for which he wrote the title track was nominated for a Grammy. He was included in the Mel Bay book Greatest Mandolin Players of the Twentieth Century, and in 2004, the Gibson Company put into production the Alan Bibey Signature line of mandolins, reaffirming his status as one of the most influential mandolin players in bluegrass and acoustic music history.

Leonard Podolak

Leonard Podolak has been playing clawhammer banjo since the age of 16, and has been playing professionally for 21 years. At the age of 19 he founded his first band called Scrüj Mac Duhk. This group covered a lot of musical territory, tapping into the repertoires of Appalachia, Newfoundland, Ireland and Scotland. What started as a fun band to play local pubs in Winnipeg on weekends became an international touring ensemble that found it self on every mainstage at festivals in Canada. In 2001, Scrüj ended, and Leonard founded the Duhks. Carrying on the spirit of his first band,the Duhks became known as a group that could not easily be defined due to their open attitude towards arranging and performing music and celebrating similarities in different musical traditions, rather than pointing out their differences. They recorded four CDs for Sugar Hill Records, produced by Mark Schatz, Bela Fleck, and Tim O’Brien, were nominated for 4 Juno awards , winning once for Traditional Music, and even picked up a Grammy Award for their participation in Beautiful Dreamer-A tribute to Stephen Foster. In 2011, Leonard was invited to be apart of The Cecil Sharp Project, a collaboration of The English Folk Song and Dance Society, and The Shrewsbury Folk Festival. In addition to the Duhks, he performs with songwriters Nathan Rogers and JD Edwards, and also tours England and Ireland once a year with fiddler Matt Gordon, formerly of The Fiddle Puppet Dancers. Leonard is extremely excited to make his first return to Swannanoa since 1993-95 where he attended as a student with money his grandmother had left him to go to university.

Matt Flinner | www.mattflinner.com

Grammy-nominated mandolinist Matt Flinner has made a career out of playing acoustic music in new ways. Whether it’s with his own Matt Flinner Trio or with the Frank Vignola Quartet, Phillips, Grier and Flinner, Darrell Scott, Steve Martin, the Ying Quartet, Leftover Salmon or the Modern Mandolin Quartet, Flinner’s style and compositional ability have established him as one of the most accomplished and musically diverse mandolinists in the world. Originally a banjo prodigy who was playing bluegrass festivals before he entered his teens, Flinner later took up the mandolin, won the National Banjo Competition in Winfield, KS in 1990, and won the mandolin award there the following year. Matt now tours regularly with the Matt Flinner Trio, which is known for its off-the-cuff compositional daring, writing music the same day it’s performed on most of their shows. He also tours regularly with the Modern Mandolin Quartet, which was nominated for three Grammy awards for their CD Americana in 2013. Some of Matt’s compositions have been performed by the Ying Quartet, the Nashville Chamber Orchestra, the Expedition Quintet and the Modern Mandolin Quartet.

John Reischman | www.johnreischman.com

A Juno-nominated and Grammy-award winning artist, John Reischman is one of the premier mandolinists of his generation, known for his work with his band, the Jaybirds, and his acclaimed solo albums, but he got his start in the late 1970s as an original member of the Tony Rice Unit with whom he helped define the “new acoustic music” movement. Influenced by Bill Monroe, but also by such adventurous players as Sam Bush, David Grisman, and jazz mandolinist Jethro Burns, Reischman performed during the 1980s with the seminal bluegrass band, The Good Ol’ Persons. In 1996, he won a Grammy as part of Todd Phillips’ all-star tribute album to Bill Monroe, and he’s collaborated with a remarkably wide range of artists, such as Kathy Kallick, Scott Nygaard, Tony Furtado, Chinese Music ensemble Red Chamber, and more. Long inspired by Latin American roots music, from Puerto Rican cuatro to Brazilian choro music, John’s been exploring this music and forging new compositions from these inspirations in his duo with Seattle master acoustic guitarist John Miller. In 2013, John released his third solo album, Walk Along John, a celebration of his long career, with old friends like fiddler Bruce Molsky, banjoist Tony Trischka, the Punch Brothers’ Chris Thile, bluegrass guitarist Kenny Smith, plus members of the Jaybirds, and new friends such as guitarist Eli West of The Deadly Gentlemen.

Don Stiernberg | www.donstiernberg.com

While still in his teens, Don Stiernberg learned to play the mandolin from the innovative and influential virtuoso Jethro Burns of Homer & Jethro. Jethro referred to Don as his “graduate student”, hired him to play in his band, and guided him to a career as a professional musician. A leading exponent of jazz mandolin style, Don has eight recording projects of his own and appears on many others by a variety of artists in all styles.The most recent of these is Mandoboppin’! , a jazz quintet CD featuring his original tunes. In late 2015, two online video instruction courses, Swing Chords & Progressions and Crafting Jazzier Solo Lines were released by Soundslice.com. Jazz Mandolin Appetizers, a long-awaited Mel Bay method book for improvising mandolinists is also now available. In addition to performing with The Don Stiernberg Trio, he stays busy around his native Chicago on various sideman gigs and recording sessions. He has been an instructor at mandolin events such as The Mandolin Symposium, Swannanoa Gathering, Mandolin Camp North, River of the West Mandolin Camp, Cape Cod Mandolin Camp, Steve Kaufman Acoustic Kamp, Ashokan Swing Week, Accademia Internacionale di Mandolino(Italy), European Mandoline Akademy(Germany) and Momento Rio Bandolim(Brazil).

Caterina Lichtenberg | www.caterinalichtenberg.de

Caterina Lichtenberg is one of the most important classical mandolinists in the world today. Raised in Germany, she has spent the past 20 years recording, teaching and touring throughout Europe, Japan, Taiwan, South America, Canada and the U.S. Since 2007, Caterina has held the world’s only professorship for classical mandolin/soprano lute at the Music Conservatory in Cologne. As a featured soloist, Ms Lichtenberg has performed with the New Century Orchestra under Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, the LA Guitar Quartet, the Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester of Frankfurt, Germany under Diego Fasolis, and the Aachen Chamber Orchestra. She has also performed with the Dresden Symphony Orchestra, the MDR Orchestra under Fabio Luisi, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra under Riccardo Chailly, the MDR Sinfonie Orchestra under Howard Arman, the Radio Symphony Orchestra of Berlin and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra under Lorin Maazel, and with Art Garfunkel on live German TV. To date, Caterina has released 10 CDs under her own leadership in a variety of chamber music settings and five with Mirko Schrader (lute/guitar). As a specialist on early period instruments, Caterina was invited to record on a 1775 mandolin from the Ferdinandeum Museum in Innsbruck in Austria. She has performed at The Carmel Bach Festival, Rockygrass Bluegrass Festival, Festival de Mandolins de Lunel France, The Savannah Music Festival, and the Baroque Festival in Santa Cruz, CA. She has also been a juror and a sought-after lecturer at numerous events including the European Plucked String Orchestra in Logroño (Spain) and Bologna (Italy), the International Mandolin Festival in Kobe (Japan), The International Mandolin Convention in Washington Minneapolis and San Diego (USA), The Mandolin Symposium and she has been a part of Mando & Banjo Week since its inception. Her collaborations with husband Mike Marshall blur the lines between their classical, jazz, bluegrass and Brazilian musical backgrounds. She has published instructional books and filmed two DVD instructional videos for Homespun music, and in January of 2016 launched her online Classical Mandolin School through ArtistWorks where students will receive direct comments about their playing from Caterina personally through a video exchange system.

Jere Canote | www.canote.com

Jere and twin brother Greg Canote have been performing together since childhood, from their first-grade role as Christmas elves tap-dancing around the wishing well, to their thirteen-year stint as the affable sidekicks on NPR’s Sandy Bradley’s Potluck. With Greg on the fiddle and Jere on guitar and banjo, they have played for concerts, dances and musical events in forty-seven states and a few foreign countries. Jere also got bit by the banjo building bug, resulting in his own open-back 5-strings, minstrel banjos, pony, piccolo, and guitar banjos, and many banjo ukes! In 2010, Jere released 5 String Circus, a collection of songs and tunes played on the Gold Tone Cello Banjo. Soon after, he released Uke Life, featuring flatpicking and clawhammer technique on the ukulele. Jere says “I love the one man band quality of clawhammer banjo, and love to teach how to combine melody, chords, and rhythmic bounce into one happy sound.” For over thirty years, the twins have taught a thriving Seattle string band workshop and have been regular teachers at the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, Rocky Mountain Fiddle Camp, Portland Uke Fest and many more.

Alan Munde | www.almundesbanjocollege.com

Alan Munde began his long career in bluegrass music with the 1968 recording of Poor Richard’s Almanac featuring Sam Bush and Wayne Stewart, followed by a grounding in traditional bluegrass music with IBMA Hall of Fame member Jimmy Martin and the Sunny Mountain Boys. In 1972, Alan joined his college picking friend Byron Berline in the forward-leaning bluegrass group Country Gazette. Alan continued as the anchor of the group for 21 years. Along the way, he recorded many highly-regarded albums including Banjo Sandwich, the Festival Favorites series and he was featured on the 2001 IBMA Instrumental Album of the Year, Knee Deep in Bluegrass. His most recent recording is a duo CD with mandolin player Billy Bright entitled Bright Munde. He taught in the Bluegrass Music Program at South Plains College in Levelland, Texas for 20 years and has also published many instructional books for Mel Bay, instructional DVDs for Texas Music and Video, and participated in music workshops and camps in both America and Europe.

Emory Lester | www.emorylester.com

Emory Lester is one of today’s foremost exponents of the acoustic mandolin. The power and attack of his playing is infectious and his landmark mandolin recordings have placed him among the elite mandolinists of our time. His latest solo recording, At Dusk showcases Emory’s musical creativity and skill as a mandolinist and multi-instrumentalist. Emory has undeniably inspired and influenced many of today’s players with his clean, clear, fast and efficient mandolin technique. Emory performs with his own Emory Lester Set, doing shows across the U.S., Canada, Europe and the U.K. His fourteen-year friendship and musical collaboration with noted ‘clawgrass’ banjoist Mark Johnson has yielded four creative recording projects. Mark and Emory have toured all across the U.S., and have been featured on several performances with Steve Martin, most notably on Late Night with David Letterman. Emory also will be performing with his partner Jill Jones in the new Emory Lester & Jill Jones Band at upcoming concerts and festivals. A Virginia native now living in Ontario, Canada, Emory has taught master series workshops at events such as the Steve Kaufman Kamp, the Mandolin Symposium, Transatlantic Bluegrass School in Wales, U.K., the Goderich Celtic College, the Alaska Guitar Camp, and many other prestigious schools and work- shops far and wide.

David Surette | www.burkesurette.com

One of New England’s premiere instrumentalists, David Surette is highly regarded for his work on the guitar (both flatpicked and fingerstyle), mandolin and bouzouki in a wide variety of settings. As a soloist, he is nationally-known as a top player of Celtic fingerstyle guitar, yet his diverse repertoire also includes original compositions, blues and ragtime, traditional American roots music, and folk music from a variety of traditions, all played with finesse, taste, and virtuosity. He has performed as a duo with his wife, singer Susie Burke, for over 20 years, recording several albums and building a reputation as one of New England’s top folk duos. Their new duo CD, Waiting For The Sun, was released in the fall of 2015. Surette was a founding member of the Airdance band with fiddler Rodney Miller, with whom he recorded four albums and toured nationally. He has also released five solo recordings – his most recent is Return to Kemper, a collection of original and traditional solo guitar pieces from 1990-2011. David is an accomplished and gifted teacher who has taught at workshops and camps throughout the U.S., and the U.K. He is folk music coordinator at the Concord (NH) Community Music School, and artistic director of their March Mandolin Festival. He has authored a book of Celtic fingerstyle guitar arrangements for Mel Bay Publications, and is a regular contributor to Acoustic Guitar and Strings magazines.

Adam Tanner | www.adamtannermusic.com

Adam grew up in northern California, and was exposed to old-time and bluegrass music in his early teens. Proficient on fiddle, mandolin and guitar, he spent countless hours slowing down records trying to pick out every detail of the traditional music he loved. Adam’s approach to playing reflects the diversity of styles heard on the early 78 rpm discs and field recordings from which he draws his greatest inspiration. Over the last twelve years, Adam has toured in both the US and Europe as a member of The Crooked Jades, The Hunger Mountain Boys and The Twilite Broadcasters. As a staff member of the Swannanoa Gathering, Adam has taught at Old-Time, Fiddle and Mando & Banjo Weeks. Adam makes his home in Weaverville NC, and teaches private lessons in old-time fiddle, mandolin and guitar, and he is currently on staff at East Tennessee State University’s, Bluegrass, Old-Time and Country Music program.

Ed Dodson | www.woodandsteelband.com

Ed is the lead guitarist and singer for Wood & Steel, a bluegrass band based in the Piedmont region of North Carolina. Bluegrass Unlimited called their 2007 release, Poor Boy, “a masterpiece of hard-driving bluegrass.” Tony Rice calls their music, “Bluegrass, in one of its most pure, unfiltered forms; played by good musicians.” Wood & Steel’s music was featured nationally in Home & Garden Television’s 2002 special, Barns Revisited, and Ed has recorded three albums with mandolin player/builder Skip Kelley, including their 2010 release, Hopped That Train and… Gone. Ed is an accomplished songwriter, and a powerful rhythm and lead player with a deep abiding love of traditional music.

Lynn Dudenbostel | www.lynndudenbostel.com
Among many players, Lynn’s intruments are some of the most highly prized, and he is usually listed in that rareified handful of the very best luthiers. Inspired by the vintage Martin guitars and Gibson mandolins of the 1920’s and 1930’s, Lynn became a full-time luthier in 1997 and continues to build traditional-style guitars and mandolins in his shop in Maryville, TN. This is Lynn’s third year as our luthier-in-residence during Mando & Banjo Week, and he will be offering repair services throughout the week.