The 3rd Annual California Banjo Extravaganza

Featuring Tony Furtado, Mark Johnson & Bill Evans
With John Reischman, Jim Nunally, Chad Manning & Sharon Gilchrist
banjo-extravaganza400.1The Center for the Arts presents
Thursday, November 13, 7:30PM
$22 members, $25 Non-Member
(Does not include applicable fees)

The 3nd Annual California Banjo Extravaganza lifts off with five-string favorite Bill Evans bringing in Tony Furtado and Mark Johnson, along with a band of bluegrass all-stars.  The band includes John Reischman on mandolin, Chad Manning on fiddle (David Grisman’s Bluegrass Experience), Jim Nunally on guitar (David’s band also) and Sharon Gilchrist on bass (Peter Rowan/Tony Rice Quartet, Uncle Earl, among others).


“Tony Furtado is a major musical force without a doubt. He has his black belt in voice, bottleneck guitar and his banjo playing scares the crap out of me,”  – David Lindley.

“Every time I listen to one of his records, I think, wow, this is the sound of the banjo that made me fall in love with it.” – Steve Martin

“Bill Evans does for the five-string banjo what Van Gogh did for colour . . .treats it in a different way and then shares it with you. And his recent release ‘In Good Company’ is a virtuoso master class in exploring bluegrass from the tradition to the far edges of alternative.” – Tom Franks, FolkWords


Mark Johnson is the 2012 recipient of the Steve Martin Award for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass. Mark has revolutionized the art of clawhammer banjo by adapting its techniques and rhythms to the demands of playing in a bluegrass ensemble. Calling his style Clawgrass, Mark has appeared with Martin and Kevin Nealon, appeared on Late Night with David Letterman and has performed with Tony Rice, among others. His CD Acoustic Rising with Emory Lester was nominated by the International Bluegrass Music Association for Instrumental Album of the Year. An engaging performer, this is Mark’s first California tour.

Northern California native Tony Furtado’s entrance onto the national stage came with him winning two National Banjo Championships while still a teenager and performing with Laurie Lewis’ band. Three subsequent solo CDs on Rounder Records paired him with such artists as Alison Krauss, Jerry Douglas and Kelly Joe Phelps. Tony’s recording of the Beatles’ favorite “I Will” with Alison has sold millions of copies. He has appeared on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and shared the concert stage with such names as Greg Allman, Derek Trucks and Sonny Landreth. Tony’s banjo work fuses traditional and progressive elements, touching on Irish, blues and New Acoustic sounds. Tony is also an astounding slide guitarist and singer-songwriter and all of his talents will be on display on this California Banjo Extravaganza tour.

San Francisco Bay Area musician Bill Evans is an internationally recognized banjo life force, acclaimed for his playing, teaching and writing. The author of Banjo For Dummies, the most popular banjo instructional book in the world, Bill’s 2012 CD In Good Company features 26 guest artists, including Tim O’Brien and the Infamous Stringdusters, and topped both folk and bluegrass charts. Recent appearances include A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor, the San Francisco Symphony and a U. S. State Department tour of Russia.

Tony Furtado – www.sweetwinegroup.com/tony-furtado
Mark Johnson – www.clawgrass.com
Bill Evans – www.billevansbanjo.com

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