Wendy Cody plays upright bass with Maine-based bluegrass/folk ensemble The Gather Rounders, and has previously performed throughout the northeast as part of the venerable New England Bluegrass Band. She has recorded with musical luminaries such as Darol Anger, Heather Masse, Rushad Eggleston, Roland White, Jesse Brock, Mike Block, Grant Gordy and Alex Hargreaves. Wendy also tours with singer/songwriter Caroline Cotter as an accompanist.
Ron Cody is a 5-string banjoist, recording artist, producer, and author of multiple articles on banjo playing and technique. His accomplishments in banjo technique traverse traditional bluegrass, traditional Irish and jazz music. Ron’s recordings have been aired on NPRs All Things Considered, “The Thistle and the Shamrock,”and Sirius Radio Bluegrass. Ron plays with “The Gather Rounders” and teaches privately and at camps and festivals. He is a regular columnist for The Banjo Newsletter for melodic style banjo. His CDs include The Talking Rake, Sprung a Spring, and Balance. As music pioneer Pat Cloud writes, “Ron’s feeling and tone is string artistry at it’s finest.” www.roncody.com
Howie Bursen is best known for his gravity-defying, triplet-filled, fiddle-tune variations and is certainly one of today’s foremost practitioners of clawhammer banjo style. He has taught clawhammer at the Maryland Banjo Academy, Common Ground and the California Traditional Solstice Festival, and his eclectic recordings contain quite a number of stellar clawhammer solos. Speaking of eclectic, Howie is also an excellent singer, song-writer and guitarist, and he makes his living as manager and head wine-maker for a Connecticut vineyard. His new album is titled Banjo Manikin.
Bob Altschuler has played banjo for 45 years and performs and records with multiple bands. An in-demand teacher since the 1970s, Bob has been on the BCN faculty since 2003. He teaches at Pete Wernick’s Bluegrass Camp, has led 11 Wernick Method jam classes, offers workshops and has many private students. He has written more than 100 online banjo instruction articles, has been published in Banjo Newsletter, and was showcased in the May 2011 issue. Gene Senyak’s 2008 book, Banjo Camp! Includes a chapter about one of Bob’s workshops. His playing has been heard on National Public Radio and radio and TV commercials. Bob is a 2012 graduate of the International Bluegrass Music Association Leadership Bluegrass Class in Nashville.
Marcy Marxer is a multi-instrumentalist, studio musician, performer, songwriter and producer with 30 years of experience and a shelf of impressive awards. Marcy’s guitar playing spans a variety of styles- swing rhythm and lead, bluegrass, old time, celtic fingerpicking, folk fingerpicking and some of the most tasteful backup you can hear. The C.F. Martin Co. has honored Marcy with her very own signature model guitar, the MC3H which she helped design. Flatpick Guitar Magazine called Marcy “one of the country’s top Western style guitar players”. She also plays mandolin, bouzouki, hammered dulcimer, Latin percussion, banjos, pennywhistle and flutes and of course, the beloved ukulele
Michael J. Miles is regarded as one of America’s most inventive clawhammer banjo players. The Chicago Tribune’s critic Howard Reich said that, “Everything Miles plays is worth savoring.” Pete Seeger described his playing as “the most beautiful I’ve heard…this is enough to make me want to learn the banjo all over again.” In 2016, Hal Leonard Publications release Miles’ newest books, Bob Dylan for Clawhammer Banjo and The First 50 Songs You Should Play on the Banjo (co-written with Greg Cahill). In 2015 Miles premiered The Camerado Suite for banjo, chamber orchestra and jazz choir (text by Walt Whitman). www.MilesMusic.org
Catherine (BB) Bowness started the banjo thirteen years ago in her hometown, Koitiata, New Zealand and soon after was accepted as the New Zealand School of Music’s first banjoist. After completing a Bachelor of Music in jazz performance in 2012, BB moved to Boston, MA and has since been in demand as a teacher and performer throughout New England. BB has performed with bands across the United States as well as in New Zealand, Australia, Ireland, and Canada. Her newest band, Mile Twelve, has quickly been gaining recognition for their outstanding performances in the bluegrass world.
John Herrmann has traveled the world playing old-time music for over thirty years. He plays fiddle with the New Southern Ramblers but has performed with many bands, including The Henrie Brothers (1st Place at Galax, 1976), Critton Hollow, The Wandering Ramblers, One-Eyed Dog, the Rockinghams, Bigfoot, and Chicken Train. Equally at home on banjo, fiddle, mandolin, guitar, and bass, John is known as the “Father of Old-time Music” (in Japan!) and as the originator of the slow jam. He has been on staff at numerous music camps from coast to coast and has completed several European tours with dancer Ira Bernstein. John Lives in Asheville, NC.
Deemed a “banjo virtuoso” by the Washington Post, Adam Hurt has fused several traditional old-time idioms to create his own elegantly innovative clawhammer banjo style, having been introduced to the instrument at age eleven in his native Minnesota. A respected performer and teacher of traditional music, Adam has played at the Kennedy Center and conducted banjo workshops at many venues around the country and abroad. Since moving to North Carolina in 2002, Adam has placed in or won most of the major old-time banjo competitions, and he has claimed several state banjo and fiddle championships. Adam’s music can be heard on multiple recordings.
Cathy is one of the country’s finest clawhammer banjo players. In 1980 she became the first woman to win the West Virginia State Old Time Banjo contest. Her recordings include: “Banjo Haiku: 26 Clawhammer Banjo Tunes”, “Old Time Music Party”, “Old Time Slow Jam” on Homespun Tapes with Bruce Molsky and Marcy Marxer, and “Singing With the Banjo, Clawhammer Style” DVD on Homespun Tapes. She and Marcy produced the “The Oldtime Banjo Festival” CD and Cathy’s GRAMMY® nominated solo project “Banjo Talkin’”.
Her interest in the rich history of women in country music led Cathy to meet, play music with and even perform with some of country’s greatest female pioneers. She and Marcy toured and performed with Patsy Montana for 10 years. She visited, interviewed and played music with Ola Belle Reed and Lily May Ledford.