The 2019 California Banjo Extravaganza is set to kick off tomorrow in Paradise, CA.
The annual tour is managed by banjoist Bill Evans, who each year tours up and down the state for several days with two other top banjo players in tow. As a rule, Bill chooses musicians who don’t frequently tour out west, giving Golden State audiences a chance to hear several top pickers in a single concert.
His guests this year are Leroy Troy, the heir apparent to the great Uncle Dave Macon, of Grand Ole Opry fame, and Gina Furtado who tours with her Gina Furtado Project. Leroy excels in the old time banjo styles, and in telling stories and entertaining audiences of every kind. It’s a type of musical performance we seldom see in today’s ‘bright lights and fast stepping’ stage shows. Gina writes and performs her original vocal and instrumental material, which mixes elements of her bluegrass training with the swing and jazz harmonies she has come to favor.
Of course, Evans is a top-notch banjo man himself, with several albums of original music to his credit. Bill is a favorite at banjo seminars and workshops all over the US, and is the author of the popular Banjo For Dummies book. He has again assembled a group of west coast super pickers to tour with his banjo greats over the course of five nights in California. John Reischman is on mandolin, Dale Adkins on guitar, Chad Manning on fiddle, and Sharon Gilchrist on bass.
The following shows are part of the 2019 Extravaganza:
- November 7: Paradise Center for the Arts, Paradise – 7:00 p.m.
- November 8: The Palms Playhouse, Winters – 7:30 p.m.
- November 9: The Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, Berkeley – 7:00 p.m.
- November 10: Sebastopol Community Cultural Center Annex, Sebastopol – 7:30 p.m. (Kevin Russell at 707-824-1858 or Krussellmft@aol.com for info)
- November 11: The Great Room, Los Gatos (Santa Cruz mountains) at the home of Suzanne Suwanda and Robert Cornelius. Jamming at 4:00 p.m., dinner at 6:00 (optional), concert at 8:00. (Phone 408-655-3333 or email TheGreatRoom@surfnetc.com for reservations).
There will also be a banjo workshop with Bill, Leroy, and Gina on Saturday, November 9 at the Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse from 1:00-5:00 p.m. John Reischman will also offer a mandolin workshop, as will Dale Adkins on guitar. Tickets for the workshops can be purchased online.
This year marks the 8th that Bill has put on these shows in California, which started when he was living in the San Francisco Bay area. Now residing in New Mexico, he is maintaining the tradition close to his former home.
Could there be a New Mexico Banjo Extravaganza in the near future?
Find details for all the shows and workshops on Bill’s web site.