For the second year in a row, the International Bluegrass Music Association has awarded a scholarship to a promising young picker to attend the Blue Ridge Banjo Camp, hosted by Béla Fleck. The 2019 recipient is 16 year old G Rockwell from Bridgeport, CT, who has been playing both banjo and guitar this past 8 years.
The camp, in its second year, is held in Brevard, NC August 14-18. An intensive banjo experience, Béla and his staff challenge players to think about the banjo – and banjo music – in new ways. With him this year as instructors are fellow virtuosos Noam Pikelny, Tony Trischka, Kristin Scott Benson, and Alan Munde.
Rockwell has already won acclaim in banjo circles, taking first place in the 2017 Scott Street Five String Finals in Richmond, VA and again at the Roxbury Pickin’ and Fiddlin’ Contest back home in Connecticut. He has studied the playing of the early bluegrass pioneers, as well as more contemporary banjo players who have taken the instrument into jazz and classical realms.
IBMA Executive Director Paul Schiminger says that they are proud to participate by supporting education programs and efforts to make bluegrass more accessible to a younger audience.
“We are especially honored to work with Blue Ridge Banjo Camp on this scholarship selection. Supporting bluegrass education is always top of mind for our organization, and it’s particularly exciting to see young new talent taking part in opportunities like these.”
Rockwell’s scholarship will cover his full tuition to attend the camp in August, with costs covered by the IBMA.
Here’s a look at G picking through a version of the Pike County Breakdown.
You can learn more about this exciting young musician at his web site.