Riley Baugus first came to music through his family in the Blue Ridge mountains of North Carolina. Riley started playing banjo at 10 years old, on an instrument that he and his father built from some scrap wood. He spent most of his early years honing his skills as a musician, singer and storyteller by spending time with many traditional players from the Blue Ridge Mountains. The core or Riley’s style is the Round Peak tradition of Surry County, NC. His teaching focus is mostly on learning many of the possibilities of the banjo, rather than just learning tunes.
Some of Riley’s projects include the award-winning film, “Cold Mountain”, “Raising Sand”, the multi Grammy winning recording by Alison Krauss and Robert Plant, and Willie Nelson’s “Country Music”. Riley spends most of his time either performing, teaching or building his sought after old-time open back five-string banjos.
As banjo player for the award winning Becky Buller Band, one half of the duo Nedski & Mojo, and host of Sirius XM Bluegrass Junction’s Derailed and More Banjo Sunday, Ned Luberecki is known not only for his banjo prowess, but for his wit and humor. Respected as both a traditional and progressive player, Ned toured extensively in the United States and Europe as a member of Chris Jones and the Night Drivers for over a decade before joining the Becky Buller Band. He’s also been a member of Paul Adkins and the Borderline Band, the Rarely Herd, and Larry Cordle & Lonesome Standard Time, and has appeared with such artists as Jim Lauderdale, Tony Trischka, and Ray Stevens.
When not performing and broadcasting, Ned teaches private lessons in Nashville and at music camps and workshops around the world. Additionally, he is the author of Alfred Music Publishing’s Complete Banjo Method.
Award-winning guitarist and mandolinist Tony Watt has performed throughout the United States, Europe, and on the Grand Ole Opry. He has been featured in Bluegrass Unlimited, Bluegrass Now, and Flatpicking Guitar Magazine, and toured with Rounder Recording artists Alecia Nugent and Leigh Gibson of The Gibson Brothers. He is a graduate of Leadership Bluegrass 2012, has served on the IBMA’s
Education and Board Selection Committees, and is currently a Board Member and Education Co-Director of the BBU. Tony is a visiting artist at Berklee College of Music, and also the director of the first-ever Ashokan Bluegrass Camp in 2018. Tony is also the director of The Bluegrass University, which has offered classes at Grey Fox (NY), Jenny Brook (VT), Pemi Valley (NH), Podunk (CT), and Thomas Point Beach (ME). Tony teaches lessons, classes, workshops, and jam sessions throughout the Boston area, and anywhere in the world via Skype video conferencing.
Bruce Stockwell has been playing bluegrass banjo since 1968 and teaching since the 70’s. By age 16 he had won banjo contests, recorded his first album, and opened for Earl Scruggs, Doc Watson, John Hartford, and many others. In the late 70’s he worked with Phil Rosenthal and Mike Auldridge as Old Dog producing two albums on Flying Fish. Since the 1980’s, Bruce has performed with his two brothers (and now wife Kelly) in various acoustic/electric formats. In 2005 he won the Merlefest Banjo Contest, and in 2008 a NH Arts Grant led to the formation of Hot Mustard, a double-banjo bluegrass band.
Dave Dick is a multi-instrumentalist, writer, singer, and producer who also owns D String Guitar Repair where he is repairman and luthier. Dave’s music career spans more than 35 years, playing in several prominent bluegrass groups in the Northeast including Southern Rail, Salamander Crossing, Northern Lights, and Blackstone Valley Bluegrass. Dave has traveled the U.S. extensively and been featured on many recordings. Although most known as a superb five-string banjo player, Dave also is a versatile guitarist. Formerly a producer for CMH Records “Pickin’ On” series, Dave produced tribute albums of The Eagles, Dwight Yoakam, Brad Paisley and The Red Hot Chili Peppers. In 2016 Dave opened D String Guitar Repair, located in Sturbridge, MA, where he provides repairs and restorations for fretted instruments of all types. Dave released his first solo album, entitled “Greenwood” in 2017. The album is a collection of original music written for acoustic guitar.
Greg Cahill has been playing bluegrass banjo since the early 1970s. He formed The Special Consensus in 1973 in the Chicago area and the band became a full time touring (nationally and internationally) and recording entity in 1975. Greg has appeared on all eighteen of The Special Consensus recordings (one received a Grammy nomination and two others received multiple International Bluegrass Music Association [IBMA] awards). He has also released three solo recordings, one European bluegrass music recording and four banjo instructional videos/DVDs. Greg conducts workshops and master classes at bluegrass camps and festivals worldwide, has taught banjo at The Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago for over 40 years and became the first adjunct professor teaching banjo at Columbia College (Strings Department) in Chicago in 2011. Greg has released two banjo tablature books and is a regular contributor of banjo tablature and interviews with notable banjo players for Banjo NewsLetter.
Lorraine Hammond’s numerous credits as a traditional singer, songwriter, teacher, performer and instrumentalist include a Homespun Appalachian dulcimer instruction series and two elegant dulcimer books with Yellow Moon Press. Lorraine plays, performs on and teaches dulcimer, banjo, mandolin and harp. Her extensive mandolin teaching experience includes the John C. Campbell Folk School, WUMB-FM Acoustic music weeks and weekends, and nearly a decade at Mandolin Camp North. She is a lecturer in folk music at Lasell College in Newton, MA, and Music Director of WUMB-FM’s Summer Acoustic Music Week. Lorraine performs and records with her husband Bennett Hammond.
Now in his fifth decade as a working musician, Don Stiernberg has been involved in performing, writing, recording, producing, and teaching, but is best known for his mandolin playing. Born in Chicago, the mandolin found Don as he grew up “out in the woods” of Wauconda, IL. A desire to make music with his banjo and guitar playing brother led Don to take up the mandolin. Things came into focus when Don went to study with Jethro Burns, famous comedian (Homer and Jethro) and greatest mandolinist of his time. Don’s earliest professional experience was in a bluegrass band with his brother (The Morgan Bros.) and a bit later in The Jethro Burns Quartet. Currently Don is regarded as leading exponent of jazz mandolin style, and respected teacher. Recent releases include “Good Numbers” and four online video instructional courses for Soundslice.com. Don also conveys his love of the mandolin and music at camps across the U.S. and across the pond.
Frank Solivan is a monster mandolinist who is making big waves nationally these days. After six years performing with the United States Navy’s elite Country Current, the former Alaskan formed Dirty Kitchen, a tight-knit group of some of the best players on the scene today. His original music has climbed to the tops of radio charts, and his band is featured at major music festivals across the country. A gourmet cook and one of the top bluegrass musicians in the world? All in a day’s work for Frank.
Mike Compton has been called “a certified mandolin icon” by Mandolin magazine and “a new bluegrass instrumental hero” by the New York Times. This Grammy-winning instrumentalist, perhaps best known as the featured mandolin player for the film O Brother, Where Art Thou, is one of the modern masters of bluegrass mandolin. Sam Bush says “nobody plays Monroe better than Compton.” Mike Compton is one of the most recognizable and respected mandolin voices in the world today and as passionate an advocate for the mandolin as you’re ever likely to find.