Mike Marshall - Todd Phillips - David Grier - Darol Anger - Tony Trischka
Violinist, fiddler, composer, producer and educator, Darol Anger is at home in a number of musical genres, some of which he helped to invent. He is well-known as a founding member of five innovative groups: Newgrange, the Anger/Marshall Band, the Turtle Island String Quartet, the Montreux Band, and the David Grisman Quintet. Working with some of the worldÍs greatest improvising string musicians: Stephane Grappelli, Mark O'Connor, Bela Fleck, Michael Manring, Mike Marshall, Michael Hedges, Jerry Douglas, et al., has given Anger a unique perspective on string music, resulting in his inventing and developing innovative string techniques. As well as actively performing all over the world, he has co-led annual seminars with the TISQ at Stanford, Oberlin and Amherst colleges, and numerous lecture-demonstrations throughout the year. He also guest instructs at Berklee College of Music and Mark O'Connor's Fiddle Camps, and is String Chair of the International Association of Jazz Educators. Anger has produced dozens of critically lauded recordings since 1977 which have featured his compositions and performances. Highlights include the Heritage Folk Music project, which brings together some of the most important voices in the traditional, contemporary folk and bluegrass music scene; the Anger/Marshall Band's JAM and Brand New Can, which set new standards for the Newgrass/jazz genre; and his latest release, Diary of a Fiddler, which sets Anger in duet with the most prominent and innovative fiddlers of our time. He has authored seven books dealing with techniques and materials on every aspect of vernacular string playing. Darol is a MacDowell and UCross Fellow, and has received numerous composers' residencies and grants. He is a featured soloist on dozens of recordings and motion picture soundtracks. In addition to touring, he currently teaches at the Berklee College of Music in Boston.
Mike Marshall is now one of the top 4 mandolin players in the world, and an in-demand, influential guitarist. He also collaborates regularly with Bela Fleck, Edgar Meyer, and Sam Bush, as well with his longtime associate Anger with whom he plays in the Anger/Marshall Duo, and the chambergrass ensemble Newgrange. He has produced successful recordings for Laurie Lewis, Alison Brown, Jennifer Berezan, Tony Furtado, and others. Mike's all-around string virtuosity showed early: at age 18 he had won the Florida state fiddle and mandolin championships and taught over 40 students a week in his own studio. Hired to join the David Grisman Quintet after a two hour jam session, Mike supplied brilliant contributions on mandolin, guitar, fiddle, and mandocello for five years and was featured on tours and recordings with Grisman, Stephane Grappelli, Mark O'Connor, Tony Rice, Bela Fleck, Jerry Douglas, and Darol Anger. After leaving the DGQ, Mike developed his partnership with Darol Anger which led to several Duo and solo recordings on the Rounder, Windham-Hill and Compass Labels, highlighted by the group Montreux, which toured extensively through the U.S., Europe, and Japan and helped legitimatize the nascent New Acoustic/World Music movement. In 1986, Mike founded The Modern Mandolin Quartet and released four recordings for Windham Hill Records which redefined the mandolin in a classical music setting. Mike's collaborations include a trio CD entitled Uncommon Ritual on the Sony Classical label with Edgar Meyer and Bela Fleck. In 1999, Edgar Meyer's Short Trip Home, featuring Sam Bush, Joshua Bell and Mike, was released on Sony. The group toured and appeared on the 2000 Grammy Awards. Mike continues to tour and record regularly with Meyer at venues such as Lincoln Center, Royce Hall, Herbst Theatre, and the Aspen Music Festival. Other collaborations include Chris Thile, Hamilton de Holanda, Mike Marshall's Big Trio, Väsen, Caterina Lichtenberg, and others.
Todd Phillips is a founding member of the David Grisman Quintet, Tony Rice's The Bluegrass Album Band, the Montreux Band, and Psychograss. He has participated in many of the most crucial new acoustic music recordings as a mandolinist or bassist and also, as bassist, in many of the best bluegrass projects of the 70s, 80s, and 90s, appearing in over fifty recordings ranging from bluegrass through new acoustic music to jazz. He has made a career as a producer of his own and other albums, such as his In The Pines, the jazz-inflected Time Frame and an all-star tribute to Bill Monroe, True Life Blues, for which he won a Grammy Award. He currently tours with PsychoGrass, and Laurie Lewis. Along with John Doyle and Dirk Powell he forms the Band for Joan Baez.
The most award-winning guitarist in recent memory is David Grier. For the past several years, he has been voted by the members of the International Bluegrass Music Association as Best Guitar Player of the Year. He has also appeared on two Grammy- winning recordings: "True Life Blues-A Tribute to Bill Monroe" and "The Great Dobro Sessions." David is also included in the book, "1,000 Great Guitarists." His inspiration to learn guitar came from exposure to Bill Monroe while his father, Lamar Grier, played banjo for the Blue Grass Boys in the middle 1960s.
David's first solo recording Freewheeling appeared on Rounder Records, as did his acclaimed 1991 duet project Climbing the Walls with mandolinist Mike Compton. David's Lone Soldier project is listed in Acoustic Guitar Magazine's "100 Essential Acoustic Guitar Recordings of All Time. " His most recent solo release is I've Got the House to Myself. His work is also captured on a Homespun video called Building Powerful Solos. In addition to touring solo, David also appears as the guitarist for Psychograss, who are currently celebrating a critically acclaimed album, Now Hear This.
Tony Trischka is perhaps the most influential banjo player in the roots music world. For more than 35 years, his stylings have inspired a whole generation of bluegrass and acoustic musicians. He was not only considered among the very best pickers, he was also one of the instrument's top teachers, and created numerous instructional books, teaching video tapes and cassettes.
A native of Syracuse, New York, Trischka's interest in banjo was sparked by the Kingston Trio's "Charlie and the MTA" in 1963. Two years later, he joined the Down City Ramblers, where he remained through 1971. That year, Trischka made his recording debut on 15 Bluegrass Instrumentals with the band Country Cooking; at the same time, he was also a member of Country Granola. In 1973, he began a two-year stint with Breakfast Special. Between 1974 and 1975, he recorded two solo albums, Bluegrass Light and Heartlands. After one more solo album in 1976, Banjoland, he went on to become musical leader for the Broadway show The Robber Bridegroom. Trischka toured with the show in 1978, the year he also played with the Monroe Doctrine.
Beginning in 1978, he also played with artists such as Peter Rowan, Richard Greene, and Stacy Phillips. In the early 1980s, he began recording with his new group Skyline, which recorded its first album in 1983. Subsequent albums included Robot Plane Flies over Arkansas (solo, 1983), Stranded in the Moonlight (with Skyline, 1984) and Hill Country (solo, 1985). In 1984, he performed in his first feature film, Foxfire. Three years later, he worked on the soundtrack for Driving Miss Daisy. Trischka produced the Belgian group Gold Rush's No More Angels in 1988. The following year, Skyline recorded its final album, Fire of Grace. He also recorded the theme song for Books on the Air, a popular National Public Radio Show, and continued his affiliation with the network by appearing on Garrison Keillor's Prairie Home Companion, Mountain Stage, From Our Front Porch, and other radio shows. Trischka's solo recordings include 1993's World Turning, 1995's Glory Shone Around: A Christmas Collection and 1999's Bend. New Deal followed in 2003. The new studio album was a bluesy adaptation of bluegrass standards that featured, among other things, a vocal cameo by Loudon Wainwright.
Double Banjo Bluegrass Spectacular, featuring an appearance by comedian Steve Martin, Earl Scruggs and many other luminaries, came out four years later. For this recording he went back to Bluegrass and reinvigorated the double banjo tradition of that style along the way and brought along some fine companions. In October 2007, Tony was given an IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) award for Banjo Player of the Year 2007. Double Banjo Bluegrass Spectacular received IBMA awards for Recorded Event of the Year, Instrumental Album of the Year and a Grammy Nomination.
With his fearless musical curiosity as the guiding force, Tony Trischka's latest critically acclaimed release, Territory roams widely through the banjo's creative terrain. Nine selections partner Tony with fellow banjoists Pete Seeger, Mike Seeger, Bill Evans, Bill Keith, Bruce Molsky, and twelve all-Trischka solo tracks explore a panorama of tunings, banjo sounds, and traditions; tapping the creative potential of America's signature musical instrument.
Throughout his upcoming tours, Tony will be presenting both his Solo works from Territory and will continue to present an “astonishing” (Boston Herald) group of musicians to perform his Double Banjo Bluegrass Spectacular