A Wynton Marsalis protégé and the winner of the first Thelonious Monk Competition in 1987, Roberts was born in Jacksonville
At age 7, she was introduced to the mandolin by her dad, but the fiddle was "what I thought I wanted to play," she said. That changed in 1999 when the Christmas gift from Hull's grandmother, great aunt and great uncle was too big for her tiny hands to hold.
A few years ago, Ben, our son with severe autism, got a chance to meet one of his favorite musicians -- or more accurately, meet the man responsible for creating some of his favorite music. We now know there's a big difference, and this "meeting" helped us understand our big guy a little better.
Mr. Fleck's banjo with its bluegrass inflections, and Mr. Corea's piano with his classical flourishes and Latin-inspired rhythmic approach, come from two vastly different musical worlds, but these two wizards made these variants work for the most part, to a surprising degree.
Nashville singer-songwriter Sierra Hull, one of the opening performers at the 43rd RockyGrass Festival this weekend, has impressed audiences with her mandolin playing since performing for her third-grade class in Byrdstown, Tennessee.
I was an early user of Pandora and have found lots of new musicians that I wouldn't have heard since the demise of record stores with listening stations. But Spotify, and probably the coming Apple streaming service, takes free listening to a whole new level.
Banjo legends (and married couple) Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn concocted this surprisingly charming cover of "The Final
If you are already a fan of MerleFest, then you can skip to No. 1. For the uninitiated, however, MerleFest is the younger, Eastern cousin of the Telluride Bluegrass Festival. I discovered this gem of Americana festivals more than a decade ago after I moved to North Carolina from spending nearly a decade out West attending Telluride.
"Once we caught on to the sounds we were making, from there on we were rolling. Pretty much everything you hear with the exception of a fiddle here or there and a couple of background voices was what we produced on the floor."
"If you want to be a band, a rocker, a guy that can play music and jam with other people and be a real musician, then you've just got to go play as much as you can in front of as many people as you can any time, anywhere and live and breathe it. Put your head down and keep on swinging."
Trampled by Turtles, the Minnesota quintet, put on a dazzling performance that couldn't be topped on Day 2 of the 38th Telluride Bluegrass Festival.
The buzz has been building for Mumford & Sons since their first appearance at Telluride last year, and it may have reached epic proportions on June 19, 2011.
Colin Meloy sarcastically said he was offering one number "free of charge" as the campaign theme song for Michele Bachmann. The "Calamity Song," drew raucous cheers and applause from the left-leaning crowd.
If Abigail Washburn didn't already have a job as an earnest clawhammer banjo player who takes adventurous side trips away from the bluegrass realm that has served her so well, the singer-songwriter could run for mayor of Telluride. And win.