Friday November 11, 2016 7:30 PM
Kuumbwa Jazz Center, Santa Cruz CA

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Featuring Joe Newberry, Bill Evans, & Danny Barnes


This year’s annual northern California five-string banjo celebration features eclectic banjoist Danny Barnes, old-time music master, singer-songwriter and A Prairie Home Companion regular Joe Newberry and California favorite Bill Evans. Joining them is their All-Star West Coast band featuring John Reischman (mandolin), Chad Manning (fiddle), Sharon Gilchrist (bass & mandolin) and Jim Nunally (guitar) for an evening of bluegrass, old-time, and beyond, focusing on the many different kinds of music played today on the five-string banjo.

Danny Barnes first emerged on the national music scene in the early 1990’s with the Austin, TX band Bad Livers, that blended bluegrass, punk and pop music sounds. In the 21st century, Danny has recorded 15 projects and performed with rock icon Dave Matthews, modern jazz guitarist Bill Frisell, Darol Anger and many others. Danny has also performed with Robert Earl Keen and the Jeff Austin Band and is the winner of the 2015 Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass. A true banjo iconoclast, Danny is also the innovator of a musical aesthetic he calls “Barnyard Electronics,” combining his banjo with computer software and sampling.

Missouri native and North Carolina transplant Joe Newberry has made music most of his life. He grew up in a family full of singers and dancers, took up thes guitar and banjo as a teenager, and learned fiddle tunes from great Missouri fiddlers. Known around the world for his exquisite clawhammer banjo playing, Joe Newberry is also a powerful singer and songwriter who has been a frequent guest on A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor. His song “They Called It Music,” co-written with Eric Gibson, was the 2013 IBMA “Song of the Year” award winner while his composition “Singing As We Rise” won the 2012 IBMA “Gospel Recorded Performance” award for recording artist Ricky Skaggs. He performs with mandolinist Mike Compton, fiddler Bruce Molsky and with old-time music legends Bill Hicks, Mike Craver and Jim Watson.

San Francisco Bay Area musician Bill Evans has spent a lifetime bringing together folks who love and play the five-string banjo. His books Bluegrass Banjo For Dummies and Banjo For Dummies are among the most popular instructional books in the world. His most recent recorded project is Songs That Are Mostly Older Than Us with Fletcher Bright and Norman and Nancy Blake. These days, you’ll find Bill performing with his solo show The Banjo in America and with flatpicking legend Dan Crary and singer-songwriter in the trio Crary, Evans and Sprugin. Over the last fifteen years, he has performed with David Bromberg, David Grisman, Peter Rowan, the Steep Canyon Rangers, J. D. Crowe, Kathy Kallick, Claire Lynch and Jody Stecher, among many others.

Accompanying these internationally celebrated banjoists is an All-Star band consisting of some of the finest bluegrass musicians in the world, including John Reischman (mandolin); Chad Manning (fiddle, from the David Grisman Sextet); Jim Nunally (guitar, from the David Grisman Bluegrass Experience) and Sharon Gilchrist (bass, from Uncle Earl and Peter Rowan & Tony Rice).

What They’re Saying About Danny, Joe & Bill:

Danny Barnes: “The music is smart and soulful, and the lyrics are profound. It is heaven and earth. It is Americana, from the back porch to the pulpit, shattered dreams on angel’s wings. I can’t stop listening. In the haze of over produced, ‘perfect’ recordings, Danny Barnes spent less than two weeks banging out an album that may well save your soul.” Dave Matthews talking about Danny’s CD Pizza Box

Joe Newberry: “Most contemporary old-time artists get their inspiration from recordings either commercial or field made.  Most of the time the artists spend their energy trying to copy the sound of their source.  Joe Newberry goes one step further… He takes the music and makes it his own, and always respectfully.” — SingOut! Magazine

Bill Evans: “Bill Evans does for the five-string banjo what Van Gogh did for colour…treats it in a different way and then shares it with you. And his recent release In Good Company is a virtuoso master class in exploring bluegrass from the tradition to the far edges of alternative.” Tom Franks, FolkWords

Danny Barnes’ Website
Joe Newberry’s Website
Bill Evans’ Website

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