Ryan spent the early aughts impressing judges at banjo competitions like Renofest, Merlefest and RockyGrass, each of which crowned his as champion.
Though known now primarily for his jazz and progressive acoustic music, he maintains a passion for bluegrass as well.
“I have always loved bluegrass, because it is where I come from, but I also love the history of jazz in America, because it involves the banjo.”
In the mag, Ryan is interviewed by fellow banjo man Ned Luberecki, who offers high praise for Cavanaugh’s work ethic.
“Ryan Cavanaugh is possibly the most driven musician I’ve ever met. After discovering the banjo at an early age, Ryan was consumed by a hunger to figure it all out. Inspired by the sounds of Bela Fleck, Jimi Hendrix, Charlie Parker and other jazz greats, Ryan set about studying music theory at an advanced level while still in high school. He also developed an amazing set of chops, applying blues, rock, Irish and heavy metal shred guitar techniques to the banjo.
Sometimes he even invented new techniques, like playing single-string lines using three fingers on one string instead of two fingers. In addition to his impressive technique, Ryan plays with great tone, timing and depth.”
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