INTERMEDIATE / ADVANCED BLUEGRASS BANJO

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Frank Evans – Slocan Ramblers

Frank Evans grew up in a family of classical musicians in Toronto, which made his decision to play clawhammer banjo at the age of 10 all the more unlikely. Carving his own path, he developed a passion for Old Time Appalachian music, making regular excursions to festivals and competitions in the United States, eventually placing second in the banjo competition at the Clifftop Appalachian Stringband Festival (2011).  With the guidance of Toronto banjo legend Chris Coole, Evans recorded his first CD, Big Meal Time with his brother Max. The two founded the highly popular Kitgut Stringband in 2008,performed regularly in Toronto, and recorded the CD Rebel Raid. He joined the bluegrass outfit Slocan Ramblers in 2010, who just released their album Shaking Down the Acorns produced by Juno award winner Andrew Collins. The album gained attention worldwide and even got them a slot opening for Steve Martin. Frank broke with convention once again when he began exploring jazz music, becoming the first banjo player to attend the jazz program at the Humber College of Music. Frank currently resides in Toronto and is in high demand as a session player, performing and recording with Oh My Darling, Annie Lou, Hamstrung Stringband and Foggy Hogtown Boys.

Intermediate/Advanced Bluegrass Banjo

This class will be for students of bluegrass banjo (3 finger style, sometimes referred to as Scruggs style). We will be focusing on ways to move up the neck with confidence, for both soloing and back up. The emphasis will be on learning by ear, but tabs will also be provided for the repertoire covered in the workshop. We will talk about jam sessions – how to learn tunes you’ve never heard before and how to solo over standard bluegrass forms. We will discuss playing and singing at the same time, so if you are a singer, be sure to bring some of your favorite songs. We will also explore the three main bluegrass banjo styles, Scruggs, Melodic, and Single String.  By the end of the week you will be equipped with a deadly arsenal of banjo skills that will be sure to lead you to safety no matter what bluegrass encounter you may find yourself in.

Prerequisites: Students should have moderate experience playing simple rolls, and should be able to change chords and chord shapes with ease.


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