Richard Cifersky with Velvet Blue

Richard CiferskySlovak banjoist Richard Cifersky will be visiting the US again later this month. He will serve as a staff instructor during Acoustic Music Week at Lincoln Memorial University, and perform with east Kentucky’s Velvet Blue while he’s over.

Richard plans to be in the States from June 19 through July 5. The timing of his visit works out perfectly to teach at the camp, which runs June 23-28 in Harrogate, TN, and help out with Velvet Blue, who recently lost their banjo player.

Acoustic Music Week is an instructional project managed by Steve Gulley and Dale Ann Bradley in the Cumberland Gap area of Tennessee. Instructors include Alan Bibey on mandolin, Mike Scott on banjo, Kenny Smith on guitar, Phil Leadbetter on reso-guitar, Brandon Godman on fiddle, and Marshall Wilborn on bass. Steve and Dale Ann will lead workshops on singing and songwriting, and Richard will help with intermediate banjo.

Cifersky is a heralded picker at home in the Slovak Republic, where he has twice been named Banjo Player of the Year by the Slovak Bluegrass Music Association. He has also performed as a member of Fragment, one of Europe’s most celebrated bluegrass bands, and helps arrange tours of eastern Europe for US artists.

Velvet Blue just recently said farewell to Megan McKamey, who had been playing banjo with the group. She has left to work with the Tyler Williams Band, and focus attention on a new solo project, Here’s Your Goodbye.

Here's Your Goodbye - Megan McKameyMegan tells us that the album contains 12 new songs she has written, with her playing banjo and singing lead. Assisting are Steve Gulley on bass, Jason Burleson on mandolin, Tim Stafford on guitar, and Ron Stewart on fiddle. Gulley and Dale Ann Bradley tackle harmony vocals on the project, which was recorded at Gulley’s Curve Studio.

The remaining members of Velvet Blue – Brian Cooper on guitar, Carrie Johnson on bass, and Taylor Hampton on mandolin – are looking forward to having Cifersky with them this month.

“We are excited about playing with Richard, while he’s visiting the US this summer! When you get to work with musicians of Richard’s caliber, it’s an honor share the stage with them. We only wish his visit here could be longer!”

You can check the band’s show dates 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.