On July 12th, Austin Scelzo, a Connecticut native and professional fiddle player, launched the Connecticut Bluegrass Association (CTBA) web site. Scelzo shared his idea to create the state’s first bluegrass association with the already thriving bluegrass associations in the state, as well as every Connecticut contact he has made in the bluegrass community over the years. They unanimously supported his desire to create a central location to share and spread news, events, and information about their active state bluegrass scene.
Unfortunately, most of those people just haven’t found time to put one together. Scelzo decided that between gigs, festivals, bluegrass camps, and teaching fiddle, he would make time to get the CTBA website up and running.
The site, still in its infancy, currently maintains an active calendar of all statewide jams, concerts, festivals, and performances, as well as a contact list for Connecticut bluegrass bands. Future additions to the site will include a Learner Loaner Program like the one offered by the Rhode Island Bluegrass Alliance where folks can loan out bluegrass instruments to try them out for 6 months at a time. The association also plans to expand Podunk’s Kids Academy and to offer year-long bluegrass instruction for interested young musicians. CTBA hopes to one day sponsor and host events like the Podunk sponsored event, A Taste of Bluegrass, which brought Michael Cleveland to Connecticut for a concert this past spring.
While the CTBA online presence has begun, Scelzo plans to launch the Connecticut Bluegrass Association in person at the Podunk Bluegrass Festival in Goshen, Connecticut this August. The Podunk organizers, huge supporters of the CTBA, have provided Scelzo with a booth where he can begin to spread the news. He is thrilled about the support he has received from the state’s bluegrass fans and other New England bluegrass associations.
Scelzo grew up in Wallingford, CT and says that attending a Berklee and Mark O’Connor Summer String Camp during high school opened a whole new world of music to him, one which he loves. He currently works in the Darian Public School system, teaching students of all ages instruments, ranging from strings to brass. He also offers on-line courses in creative string playing, harmony vocals, and country/bluegrass fiddle, and hosts Wernick Method group jam classes. In what little time he has left, he sings and plays fiddle in the bluegrass groups The Rock Hearts, the Angry O’Hara’s, and On the Trail. You can check him out online.
To see what is happening in Connecticut Bluegrass scene or list your band, visit the CTBA website. You can also see what is happening in Connecticut’s bluegrass scene by visiting the CTBA Facebook page. If, however you are one of those people who prefer speaking with someone in person, and you are in Connecticut between August 11-15, you can meet Austin at his Podunk booth and see for yourself what is happening in bluegrass here in Connecticut!