Professors of Bluegrass

Professors of BluegrassWe ran a piece earlier this week about the International Bluegrass Music Museum’s fourth annual festival, ROMP.

At the time we mentioned the names of several of the bluegrass artists who would be performing at the festival. Since that time another group has come to my attention and I thought the group was interesting enough to share with you here.

They call themselves the Professors of Bluegrass. No, they’re not music teachers. They are professors though, well most of them anyway. They hail from Connecticut’s Yale University. The band has been around since the early 1990’s and the only remaining original member, Peter Salovey, is now Dean of Yale College, the undergraduate program. Salovey plays bass and sings in the band.

Salovey is joined by Craig Harwood on mandolin. Harwood serves as Dean of Davenport College, one of Yale’s residential colleges.

Oscar Hills, an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, plays banjo in the band. Josh Viertel, Director of the Yale Sustainable Food Project, plays guitar and sings. Doctoral student Katie Scharf is the band’s fiddle player and also contributes vocals. And local artisan woodworker, Sten Havumaki contributes guitar and vocals as well.

This group sure defeats the stereotype of bluegrass musicians being uneducated!

You can visit the Professors of Bluegrass online either at their website or their MySpace, where you can hear them perform Earl’s Breakdown. Or just stop by ROMP this weekend and check them out.