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It's June!

Monday, June 8, 2009

 Hi friends,

I can't believe it's June already. I had a relatively relaxed month at home for most of May, catching up on teaching students at home, learning a few new tunes and getting ready for this month's busy schedule. I'm just back home from the Midwest Banjo Camp in Olivet, MI and I'd like to thank Ken Perlman and Stan Werbin for producing another great event. This was my fifth year of teaching at the camp and there's always something new to take away each year. For me this year, it was hanging out with Pete Wernick and sitting in on a great single-string class from James McKinney. Often, the teachers are so busy at these camps that we hardly get the chance to play tunes with one another, much less get to experience someone else's teaching style. I came away with some new perspectives on teaching and some new approaches to the fingerboard that I can't wait to try out on my own students real soon.

I'll be up in Grass Valley from June 14-18 for the California Bluegrass Association Music Camp and the Father's Day Bluegrass Festival. I'll be performing a set of new material with bass player Bill Amatneek on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. and I'll be playing with Jim Nunally, John Reischman and others for the Music Camp Teachers' Set at 4 p.m. on Thursday.

From Grass Valley, CA, I head to Weiser, Idaho for workshops and a concert with Megan Lynch on Saturday, June 20 and from there, I head to Maryville, TN to teach at Steve Kaufman's camp. Then BEML performs at the Owenboro, Kentucky River of Music Party on Saturday, June 27. All of these should be a lot of fun! Visit the Schedule link at for complete details on all of these shows. Also, if you'd like to be added to my monthly email calendar list, please send me an email at

Lots of folks have been asking me about my new Kel Kroydon banjo. Usually these questions are along the line of, "Is it really that good, or is it just one of those free endorsement deals?" or "How can it be that good for you to say all of the wonderful things you're saying about it?"

This is the first banjo endorsement deal in my thirty year career. I don't take these kinds of things lightly. I've been working with Tom Mirisola, Robin Smith and Charlie Cushman for many months now to come up with a maple and gold instrument that HAD to equal or surpass any other American made instrument on the market (or else I didn't want to be associated with it). My association with American Made Banjo is going to be a long-term commitment. There are some other great choices out there but I invite you to come up and take my Kel Kroydon for a test drive at an upcoming show or workshop and play it for yourself.

Both Pete Wernick and Bill Keith have played this banjo and they love it. It's a serious contender and definitely worth of your consideration if you're thinking of stepping up to a great domestic handmade instrument. There are sound files up on the American Made Banjo website of me playing this remarkable instrument. You can check it out by visiting:

All the best,

Bill Evans

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Newest Videos

George Harrison's "Something" performed by Bill Evans, solo banjo.

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Newest Music

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Playing Style: Bluegrass (Scruggs)

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Genre: Jazz
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Playing Since: 1970
Experience Level: Expert/Professional

[Teaching] [Helping]

Occupation: professional musician

Gender: Male
Age: 67

My Instruments:
Blessed to play several old Gibsons and 19th century banjo replicas from Jim Hartel and an early 20th century Vega Whyte Laydie - all related to my solo show "The Banjo in America."

Favorite Bands/Musicians:
The Beatles, The Osborne Brothers, Earl Scruggs, Jim Hall, Bob Dylan, Tony Trischka, The Weepies, Alan Munde, Charlie Haden, J. S. Bach, Ornette Coleman and many, many others! Currently listening to Sonic Youth, Bob Dylan, The Bee Eaters, Chris Pandolfi and, always, Earl Scruggs!

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Profile Info:
Visible to: Public
Created 1/31/2004
Last Visit 4/13/2024

I've been playing banjo professionally since 1976 and am thankful for the many great experiences I've had playing bluegrass and the many folks that I've met along the way. I am lucky to count among my mentors and teachers such great players as Tony Trischka, Bill Keith, Alan Munde, J. D. Crowe and Sonny Osborne.<br><br> I teach private lessons online to students at all levels via Zoom as well as out of my home near Ruidoso, NM. I also present workshops online as well as participate in music camps across the United States and in the United Kingdom. I have five solo CDs available, "Native and Fine" (1995) on Rounder, "Bill Evans Plays Banjo" (2001), "In Good Company" (2012), "The Banjo in America" DVD/CD set (2022) and "Things Are Simple" (2023). I've also recorded two fiddle & banjo projects with the late Fletcher Bright: "Fine Times At Fletcher's House" (2013) and "Songs That Are Mostly Older Than Us" (2016), with Norman and Nancy Blake. I also appear on CDs by Dry Branch Fire Squad, Suzanne Thomas, the Bluegrass Intentions and Due West. I love teaching, whether it's groups or individual folks. Chris Pandolfi (Infamous String Dusters), Greg Liszt, Eric Yates (Hot Buttered Rum Band) and Jayme Stone are among some of the professional players that I've helped over the years. I've produced four instructional DVDs for AcuTab Publications, three DVDs for Homespun Tapes and one for the Murphy Method. I've authored a few books during these last several years, including "Bluegrass Banjo For Dummies," "Banjo For Dummies," "Parking Lot PIckers Songbook, Banjo Edition" and "Absolute Beginners Banjo." I also teach at several camps each year, including the Swannanoa Gathering and I produce my own camp, the New Mexico Banjo Camp, in April of each year. You can learn more about me and access my touring schedule by visiting

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