Bill Evans moves to Virginia – Banjo Essentials workshop on for December 10

Most people who have followed the work of banjo performer and instructor Bill Evans think of him as a west coast guy. That makes sense, as he has lived most of his adult life in the Bay Area of California.

But, in fact, Bill was raised in coastal Virginia, leaving from there to study at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, before he ever made the trek out west. He also lived for a while in Owensboro, KY while working at the Bluegrass Museum during its early days.

Now he has returned to his Virginia roots, with his wife and fellow banjo picker, Babi, living in a rural community near Waynesboro. Evans continues to offer private banjo lessons, both in person and online, and is in constant demand as an instructor for banjo camps and workshops all over the US.

Bill will also continue to offer one of his most popular offerings each year, his Banjo Essentials workshop, taught alongside Ron Block and Kristin Scott Benson. The 2023 edition of the online class is scheduled for December 10 from 1:00-6:00 p.m. (EST) on Zoom.

Banjo players have long admired Ron Block for his work as a member of Alison Krauss & Union Station, on his multiple solo projects, and with his own instructional materials. Kristin Scott Benson, a four time IBMA Banjo Player of the Year honoree, has earned her stripes with The Grascals, and before that with Larry Stephenson.

The full title of this workshop offers a more granular description of its content – Banjo Essentials: Developing Great Playing and Practice Techniques & Using Your Ear To Become A Better Player Every Day.

Evans explains it thusly…

This afternoon of workshops is designed for all levels of players. All sessions will be recorded for later viewing and study for years to come via a YouTube link available only to participating students. All handouts will be distributed before the workshop session and will be permanently available for download after the session via a private Google docs folder.

The workshop brings together three of the world’s best players and teachers of bluegrass banjo for an afternoon of Banjo Essentials, designed to help players of all levels to develop a great sound, play with relaxation, develop your ear, and organize your practice time to keep growing and moving forward as a banjo player.

Each of three instructors will tackle portions of the five hour workshop.

  • Kristin Scott Benson: Right- and Left-Hand Essentials – the Secrets to Sounding Great
  • Ron Block: Developing Focused & Effective Practice Techniques
  • Bill Evans: Integrating Creative Listening and Ear Training Into Daily Practice

The fee to attend the workshop on Zoom December 10 is $85, which entitles a student to view the Zoom session live, and keep a copy of the full video and the various handouts in perpetuity. Payment can be made via Venmo, Zelle, PayPal, credit card, or check.

More details about what will be covered in the Banjo Essentials workshop, and details about payment, can be found online.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.