Banjo player Bill Evans has worn a lot of hats over the years – as a teacher, writer, ethnomusicologist, IBMA board member, IBMM associate director, workshop leader and as a banjo player with Dry Branch Fire Squad. Next week, Bill launches his own all star band, Bill Evans String Summit, with three northern California performances.
The Bill Evans String Summit is Scott Nygaard on guitar (a former editor of Acoustic Guitar magazine, and well known for his work with Laurie Lewis, Tim O’Brien, and the Darol Anger); LA dobro phenom Michael Witcher (who has performed with Dolly Parton and Herb Pedersen); bassist Cindy Browne (who has performed with jazz greats Mel Torme and Lionel Hampton) and four-time National Fiddling Champions Tashina and Tristan Clarridge. Tristan will also be playing cello with the band.
“Bluegrass is a meeting ground for a diverse group of musicians in the String Summit who have also been influenced by jazz, classical and various world music traditions. We’ve started on a path where we are performing a good deal of my own compositions, which for the most part are firmly within the bluegrass tradition. However, I’m hoping as time goes on that everyone will be contributing original tunes to the band. We’ll venture in whatever directions the tunes take us. Ultimately, I think that’s what all musicians do. I’ve been writing new tunes for this band and I hope we can go into the studio soon and do some recording.
Bill Evans String Summit takes advantage of the growing youth movement in acoustic music – Tristan, Tashina and Michael are all under the age of 25. The band makes its northern California debut with the following three shows:
March 23: Mill Valley, CA: The Sweetwater Saloon
March 24: Redding, CA: Bernie’s Guitar for the Oaksong Society
You can find more info on these dates, and others with String Summit, on Bill’s web site.