Roy "Futureman" Wooten (2018)

(Weed Concert Only) FROM DRUMS TO SYMPHONIC WORKS -            Roy "Futureman" Wooten is a modern day renaissance man, a groundbreaking drummer, an inventor, composer, and a five time GRAMMY Award winning member of Béla Fleck and the Flecktones. Audiences became curious when he first appeared in 1988 playing a "Drumitar" – his own invention, using a unique hand drumming technique which allows him to play the drum set electronically with his hands and fingers instead of drum sticks...

Futureman's rhythmic, melodic, harmonic and symphonic explorations led him to compose a new kind of music and a series of large musical works. Young Roy Wooten remembers "I used to keep a quote in my wallet by Miles Davis that said "the melody would be found again in the rhythm of the drums and the bass".  With this new approach to melody, Futureman created his own original ballet dedicated to the many stages of Matriarchy, entitled "Evolution d' Amour" along with a prequel Symphonic work dedicated to Le Comte de Saint Germain, "the Secret of Kings". He composed an " Aesthetic Mathematics" translation of Pi and the golden ratio into a rhythmic and symphonic musical message and also an 8 movement symphonic work and a screenplay for his passion project "CHEVALIER - To Play & To Fight" - A true story celebrating the extraordinary life and times of a mix-raced 18th century composer, conductor, virtuoso violinist and sword fighter who rose from slavery to legendary status.

"It's no accident" Futureman says "especially now that I have realized my own way to melody, harmony and rhythm, that I now see the drumset as a piano and the piano as a drumset".  FuturemanLive.com- Flecktones.com 

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Peter Rowan (2018)

(Weed Concert Only) Grammy winning Bluegrass icon Peter Rowan is a singer and songwriter who's career spans five decades. From his early years playing under the tutelage of Bluegrass god Bill Monroe, to his time in Old & In the Way (with Jerry Garcia & David Grisman) and four decades as a solo musician and bandleader, Rowan has built a devoted, international fan base through a solid stream of beloved original songs, collaborative projects and recordings.

Born in Wayland, Massachusetts, Rowan learned guitar from his uncle. He enrolled in college, but left academia to pursue a life in music. In 1963 he joined Bluegrass founder Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys, as singer, rhythm guitarist and songwriter. "One thing I started to like about the Monroe style was that there was a lot more blues in it than other styles of bluegrass," reflects Rowan. "It was darker. It had more of an edge to it. And yet it still had the ballad tradition in it, and I loved that."
The late '60s and early 70's saw Rowan involved in a number of rock, folk and bluegrass projects, including Earth Opera, Muleskinner, and alongside brothers Chris and Lorin Rowan. He then joined David Grisman, Jerry Garcia, Vassar Clements and John Kahn to form legendary bluegrass band Old & In the Way. It was during this incarnation that Rowan made his mark on The Stone's Wild Horses, and penned songs that include Land of the Navajo, Midnight Moonlight, and Panama Red, a subsequent hit for the New Riders of the Purple Sage and a classic ever since.
Rowan embarked on a well-received solo career in the late '70s, releasing critically acclaimed records such as Dustbowl Children (a Woody-Guthrie style song cycle about the Great Depression), Yonder (old-time country music with dobro ace Jerry Douglas) and two extraordinarily fine bluegrass albums, The First Whippoorwill and Bluegrass Boy, as well as High Lonesome Cowboy, a recording of traditional and old-time mountain music with Don Edwards, Tony Rice, and Norman Blake. More recent releases include Quartet, (a collaboration with Tony Rice) and Legacy with the Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band (feat. Jody Stecher & Keith Little). Rowan also appears with Big Twang Theory and its Texas cousin Twang n Groove, as well as rock band The Free Mexican Air Force.

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Jody Stecher (2018)

(Both concerts) Jody Stecher's deep and vivid music has inspired four generations of musicians and music lovers on five continents. A renowned singer and multi-instrumentalist regarded as one of America's leading traditional folk artists, Jody has collaborated with David Grisman, Jerry Garcia, Peter Rowan, Alasdair Fraser, Krishna Bhatt and Kate Brislin to name a few. His Grammy nominated, Indy Award winning recordings span bluegrass, traditional old-time and Indian classical.  Jody is known for his "ability to capture the essence and core of traditional music" and "to crystalize the spiritual essence of a song while making it his own". Accolades include " a creative master", "achingly expressive" and "a national treasure".  David Bromberg said, "Jody Stecher was basically my teacher. He opened my ears to more beautiful music than anyone else ever did... more than I ever knew existed. He is also one of my favorite musicians on Earth to play with."  "A high, hotly honed voice, sometimes cutting through melodies like a scythe, sometimes unfolding like fine old velvet, warm and worn just right, beyond his years. His guitar, fiddle and mandolin playing are the stuff for which the critical cliches "soulful" and "masterful" were invented. Singing like the ghost of himself, lost in the foggy ruins of time and dreams, Stecher lands the most elusive catch of all – the truth." -No Depression  "sublimely honest vocals" -Sing Out!

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Stuart Duncan (2018)

(Weed Concert Only) Whether folks know him by name or not, Stuart Duncan could easily be called America's favorite fiddler. His tasteful touch has been enjoyed by millions of Country, Americana and Bluegrass music fans for over 40 years via the recording studio and on tour. He is featured on many soundtracks including O Brother Where Art Thou and Cold Mountain, and on more than 800 recordings, with Nashville Bluegrass Band, Alison Kraus, Bela Fleck, Ricky Skaggs, Robert Plant, Dolly Parton, George Strait, Victor Wooten, Tim O'Brien, Elvis Costello, Alan Jackson, Guy Clark, Diana Krall, Chris Thile, and Edgar Meyer to name a few...

http://www.nashvillebluegrassband.net/

Ethan Jodziewicz (2018)

(Weed Concert Only) Ethan Jodziewicz fully embodies the notion that nearly anything is possible on the bass. His zeal, musical omnivorousness, and technical ability allow him to not only thrive in bluegrass, jazz, old-time, funk, symphonic and chamber music, but also to push the boundaries of bass playing beyond its traditional roles. Ethan studied from Edgar Meyer at Curtis Institute of Music. He tours with Sierra Hull (their recording earned a Grammy nomination) has shared the stage with Bela Fleck, Ralph Stanley, and David Grisman to name a few.  "We've all heard bass players take a stab at fiddle tunes... But Ethan plays them fully realized, as smoothly as Kenny Baker ever pulled a bow.” — Bluegrass Today

Bernie Pháid (2018)

(Weed Concert only) Hailing from the cultural wellsprings of the Dingle Peninsula, Ireland, with roots firmly planted in her tradition, Bernie Pháid's engaging presence and soulful songs captivate audiences as she effortlessly transmits a love of story and song that spans generations. In her wide-ranging, bilingual repertoire, Bernie pairs uplifting, rootsy songs with achingly honest ballads, infusing them all with an infectious warmth.

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Dale Russ (2018)

(Weed Concert Only) Dale Russ  "...plays with precision, fluidity and grace (Victory Music Review). 

"[Dale Russ] is one of the greatest fiddlers I know in Irish traditional music."
-Martin Hayes 

"...in the top echelon of traditional fiddlers in the country, one of the very best."
-Mick Moloney

 

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Matthew Hartz (2018)

(Both Concerts) Legendary Texas fiddle master Matthew Hartz has an "ability to express through music what most of us can only feel." (in the words of Texas fiddle legend Jim "Texas Shorty" Chancellor). From an early age, Matthew's ear was bent toward old-time fiddle masters Benny Thomasson, Oroville Burns, Texas Shorty and Terry Morris; but also The Beach Boys, the Ramones, Fleetwood Mac, The Rolling Stones and Johnny Cash... Renowned in many fiddling circles for his deep groove and rhythmic integrity in any style he touches, Matthew was crowned Grand Champion numerous times at the Grand National Fiddle Championships in Weiser ID, the Grand Master Fiddle Championships in Nashville, TN, and the World Championships of Fiddling in Crockett, TX...

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Kala Ramnath (2018)

(Berkeley concert only) "incredibly lyrical playing... one of the greatest musicians on the planet.” -San Francisco Chronicle

The contemporary torch bearer of the Mewati Gharana, Kala Ramnath stands today amongst the most outstanding instrumental musicians in the North Indian classical genre. Born into a family of prodigious musical talent which has given Indian music such violin legends as Prof. T.N. Krishnan and Dr. N. Rajam, Kala began violin studies at age 3, under the strict tutelage of her grandfather Vidwan. NARAYAN IYER. Simultaneously she received training from her aunt Dr. Smt. N. RAJAM. For fifteen years she put herself under the training of Mewati vocal maestro, Sangeet Martand PANDIT JASRAJ. This has brought a rare vocal emotionalism to her art.

Kala has performed at all the major music festivals in India and dozens of music festivals worldwide, such as North Sea Jazz Festival in Cape Town, South Africa, Celebrations of India's fiftieth year of Independence in Europe and the Festival of India presented by Government of India in Dhaka Bangladesh.  She has also extensively toured the United States, Canada, UK, Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands, Italy, France, Belgium, Greece, Russia, South Africa, Seychelles, Middle East, Trinidad, Kenya, Tanzania, Australia, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Mauritius etc.  www.KalaRamnath.com

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Eamon O'Leary (2018)

(Weed concert only) Eamon O'Leary started playing Irish music while growing up in Dublin through his friendship with the Mayock family, traditional musicians from County Mayo. When he moved to New York City in the early 90's, he immersed himself in the city's traditional music scene and traveled widely, performing with many of the great players in Irish music. In 2004 he and fiddler Patrick Ourceau released the album Live at Mona's. Eamon has taught at many traditional music programs in the US and also records and performs original music. His last solo record, Old Clump, was released in 2012.

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Jesse Harper (2018)

(Weed concert only) A powerfully deft songwriter, singer, guitarist, arranger, and a charismatic performer, Jesse Harper is a founding member and lead singer of acclaimed supergroups Old School Freight Train and Love Canon. A resident of Charlottesville Virginia, Jesse has played thousands of concerts in North America and Europe and performed with many of his musical heroes including David Grisman, Madeleine Peyroux, k.d. lang, Jason Mraz, Josh Ritter, Ricky Skaggs and others. His latest release, One True Thing, draws from his signature synthesis of early Jazz, Classical, Folk and Pop music, featuring Jesse's songwriting and collaborations with all of the geniuses he is lucky enough to be friends with.

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The Bee Eaters - T&T Clarridge (2018)

(Both concerts) Featuring hammer dulcimer wizard Simon Chrisman with 6-time Grand National Fiddle Champion siblings Tristan and Tashina Clarridge, The Bee Eaters combines "chamber music's finely calibrated arrangements with bluegrass's playful virtuosity and pop music's melodic resourcefulness" according to The Boston Globe.  Tashina has performed at Carnegie Hall with renowned bassist Edgar Meyer, and has toured with Mark O'Connor, Laurie Lewis, Tony Trischka and others.   An innovative cellist, Tristan is a member of internationally acclaimed group Crooked Still and has toured with Natalie MacMaster, Darol Anger, Mike Marshall, and Bruce Molsky.
www.BeeEaters.com

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John Herrmann & Chicken Train (2018)

(Both concerts)  A master of Appalachian mountain music, John Herrmann has played banjo for 50 years and traveled the world performing for thirty plus years, with extensive touring in France, Germany, Italy and Japan.  Equally adept on banjo, fiddle, mandolin, bass, and guitar, he has recorded at least fifty records on labels such as Rounder, County, and Sugar Hill, (most notably with Art Stamper and Ralph Blizard), and performed numerous times at the Smithsonian Folk Festival, and the National Heritage Award Ceremony.  Together he and North Carolina fiddler John Engle focus on the North Carolina fiddling style and on African-American folk songs that pre-date the strict blues form, from a time when music passed freely between black and white rural communities.

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Luke & Rachael Price (2018)

(Weed concert only) Luke Price is a talented young multi-instrumentalist known for pushing genres, styles, and fellow musicians into new territory while delicately respecting the great musical traditions that have come before.  A masterful Texas fiddler, Luke began competing in fiddle contests at age 7, going on to win a long list of fiddling championships, including the Grand National title the past 2 years running, and the Grand Masters in Nashville TN.  While continuing to carry on the Texas fiddling traditions, Luke began to expand his playing to many other styles, namely; jazz, soul, blues, funk, bluegrass, and pop.  Rachael Price is a phenomenally gifted vocalist and songwriter - together they form the Old Soul Pop duo, Dean!  Watch a beautiful video of Dean! here.

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Dominick Leslie (2018)

(Weed concert only) Though only 28 years old, mandolinist Dominick Leslie has spent every one of those years immersed in bluegrass and acoustic music, and his innovative style and musical curiosity are informed by these deep roots. He currently tours with all-star acoustic quartet Hawktail, who's debut album "Unless" just hit the streets. Dominick studied with mandolin masters David Grisman, Mike Marshall and Chris Thile, and performed in France as a member of Mike Marshall's Young American Mandolin Ensemble. He has toured with The Bee Eaters, The Grant Gordy Quartet, Noam Pikelny and Friends and The Deadly Gentlemen.

 

 

Ben Krakauer (2018)

(Weed concert Only) Ben Krakauer is a phenomenal banjoist, ethnomusicologist, and composer, with a strikingly original style drawing on Jazz, Bengali folk music, bluegrass (he toured with David Grisman), and old-time American music.

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Sean Watkins (2018)

(Berkeley concert only) Sean Watkins co-founded Nickel Creek when he was just 12 years old, kickstarting a career that’s taken him from the stage of the Grammy Awards to the top of the bluegrass charts. The groundbreaking trio's platinum selling albums earned them a Grammy Award and the respect of musicians and fans everywhere.  Along the way, he's become a masterful guitarist, singer and songwriter and a member of many different groups, including the touring bands of legendary singers Jackson Browne and Lyle Lovett.  Following the 25 anniversary tour of Nickel Creek, Sean has released two solo albums. He is currently touring in support of his brand new album What To Fear.  SeanWatkins.com

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Scott Nygaard (2017)

(Berkeley concert only) Scott Nygaard is one of the most inventive and original guitarists in bluegrass and acoustic music. His solos, a seamless amalgam of bluegrass, folk, and jazz influences, shift easily from breathtaking virtuosity to soulful melodic musings and his accompaniment is always intriguing, supportive, and propulsive.  He has two solo recordings of original compositions, and has worked with Tim O'Brien, Laurie Lewis and Darol Anger, earning him numerous Grammy nominations. Scott excels at bluegrass, jazz, Cajun, old-time, western
swing, rock and roll, and traditional Swedish and Irish styles.
"A phenomenally talented stylist"–Downbeat - ScottNygaard.com

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Brittany Haas (2017)

(Weed concert)  Old-time fiddle phenomenon Brittany Haas is widely regarded as one of the most influential fiddlers of her generation. Born in Northern California, Brittany grew up honing her craft at string camps nationwide, influenced by mentors Bruce Molsky and Darol Anger. Haas began touring with Darol Anger's Republic of Strings at the age of fourteen. At seventeen, she released her debut, self-titled solo album. She continued to tour and record while simultaneously earning a degree in Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University -it was during this time that Brittany was asked to join the seminal nu-folk group Crooked Still, with whom she has made four recordings and toured the world.
Brittany has performed on Late Night With David Letterman and Saturday Night Live as part of Steve Martin's bluegrass band, and features on Martin's Grammy-winning bluegrass album. She is an active member of the house string band of Chris Thile's Prairie Home Companion. She has collaborated with Bela Fleck, Abigail Washburn, Tony Trischka, Yonder Mountain String Band, Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas (her cellist sister), Nic Gareiss, and many more. Her trio Haas Kowert Tice (featuring bassist Paul Kowert of Punch Brothers and guitarist Jordan Tice) is gearing up to release their 2nd album. In 2015, Haas began touring with the Dave Rawlings Machine (featuring Gillian Welch) and is featured on their latest release "Nashville Obsolete."
"A real roots musician in the most modern sense--Brittany Haas fiddles from a very deep and personal place, the way she feels it, the way she wants to hear it, with seemingly infinite facility, and a spirit that's simply uplifting." -- Bruce Molsky
"Britt opens the window, gets out of the way, and the music floods through in a tide of joy." -- Darol Anger
"Brittany is a joy to listen to and her style just makes you feel happy." -Cape Breton fiddler Natalie MacMaster
BrittanyHaas.com

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Adam Agee (2017)

(Weed concert only) “Adam’s music has been familiar to me for many years… I’ve never heard him play a note that wasn’t sincere and from the heart. His music is true and free from pretense. He constantly seeks the deepest expression of the music.” -Martin Hayes

Raised in the mountains of Santa Cruz, California, Adam Agee came first to Ireland in 2004, basing himself in Ennis, County Clare.  He has studied with many of today's living tradition-bearers, and journeyed deep into the Irish idiom. His connection to his instrument and the transcendent energy in his music are guaranteed to captivate and uplift listeners.

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