Jake Blount is an award-winning musician and scholar. He is a recipient of the prestigious Steve Martin Banjo Prize, and a two-time winner of the Appalachian String Band Music Festival (better known as Clifftop).
He is a specialist in the early folk music of Black Americans, and his latest record, The New Faith, was released on September 23, 2022 as part of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings' African American Legacy Series, in collaboration with the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Deering Live is honored to host the Steve Martin Banjo Prize 2022! Jamie and David from Deering Live will be joined by special guest Alison Brown as we reveal the 2022 Steve Martin Banjo Prize winners.
This episode of Deering Live is presented by the Freshgrass Foundation and Compass Records.
Jake Sawicki is the banjo player for the self-described thrash grass band, The Native Howl who hail from Leonard, MI. Their 2016 release of "Thrash Grass" unleashed the newly-coined genre of the same name, combining the aggressiveness and intensity of thrash metal with the melodicism and precision of bluegrass. Jake is here to talk about pushing the boundaries of how a banjo can be used, appearing on the TV Show "No Cover" and spending the last few months touring with shock rockers GWAR.
We're very excited to feature the longtime banjoist for Alison Kraus & Union Station, Ron Block, on Deering Live. When it comes to bluegrass banjo, Ron is simply one of the best in the business. His feel, tone, and timing drive the music that is rooted deeply in tradition but continues to push it into the future.
Trajan "Tray" Wellington joins us on Deering Live on the eve of his greatly anticipated solo effort, "Black Banjo", which is available from May 13th! In this episode, Tray talks to us about the inspiration behind "Black Banjo", and discusses his own experiences as a black banjo player in bluegrass music.
Michael J Miles is a composer and musician who grew up in the heart of urban Chicago and teaches at the infamous Old Town School of Music. His inner jukebox spins with 500 years of pop songs on late night radio, infused with conversations about poetry, politics, and singing around the piano with his Irish family. These songs turn into setlists, and compositions and as they say, the rest is history.
Michael is an electrifying performer, educator, and bender of genres. You simply have to hear him play.
Deemed a "banjo virtuoso" by the Washington Post, Adam Hurt has fused several traditional old-time idioms to create his own elegantly innovative clawhammer banjo style, having been introduced to the instrument at age eleven in his native Minnesota. A respected performer and teacher of traditional music, Adam has played at the Kennedy Center, conducted banjo and fiddle workshops at many venues around the country and abroad, and been featured on the cover of Banjo Newsletter.
Max Allard is a gifted young 5-string banjoist in the 3 finger style. He has been the winner of the 2018 RockyGrass Banjo Competition and the 2019 FreshGrass Banjo Award. He performs as a solo artist, in a duo with his brother Otto Allard, and has toured the midwest with the Minneapolis based progressive bluegrass band Barbaro.
"A new mature and poetic voice on the 5 string banjo. Beautiful compositions and a very nice touch.”
— Béla Fleck