Mando & Banjo Week Staff – June 30-July 6, 2024


Alan Bibey |

Since first hitting the professional scene in the early 1980’s, Alan has made a name for himself as one of the most technically gifted mandolinists in bluegrass and acoustic music. He was an original member of such ground-breaking bands as The New Quicksilver, IIIrd Tyme Out, BlueRidge and, for the last 15 years, Alan Bibey & Grasstowne. He has been voted Mandolin Performer Of The Year eight times, including 2018 through 2022, by the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America (SPBGMA). His IBMA awards include 2019 and 2020 Mandolin Player Of The Year, 2020’s Gospel Recording Of The Year for the highly-acclaimed recording Gonna Rise & Shine, Instrumental Album Of The Year, Album Of The Year and Recorded Event Of The Year, just to name a few. Alan Bibey & Grasstowne have had over twenty #1 bluegrass songs.  His BlueRidge project, Side By Side, for which he wrote the title track, was nominated for a Grammy. He was included in the Mel Bay book, Greatest Mandolin Players of the Twentieth Century, and in 2004, the Gibson Company put into production the Alan Bibey Signature line of mandolins, reaffirming his status as one of the most influential mandolin players in bluegrass and acoustic music history.

Mike Marshall |

Three-time Grammy Nominee Mike Marshall is one of most accomplished and versatile mandolinists in the world today as well as a master of the mandocello, guitar and violin. Marshall cut his teeth on traditional American music in Florida and at the age of 19 joined the David Grisman Quintet which included jazz violinist Stéphane Grappelli, Tony Rice, Darol Anger, Todd Phillips and Mark O’Connor. Mike went on to create some of the most adventurous new acoustic music in America with his ensembles The Montreux Band, Psychograss, New Grange, The Big Trio, The Modern Mandolin Quartet, and his Brazilian group Choro Famoso. Edgar Meyer and Mike recorded 2 cds for the Sony Classical label with violinist Joshua Bell, mandolinist Sam Bush and banjo wiz Bela Fleck. Mike loves performing in duet settings and has recorded and toured with Chris Thile, Hamilton de Holanda, Jovino Santos Neto and Darol Anger. Currently he has been touring with his partner, German classical mandolinist Caterina Lichtenberg. They have three cds out together as well as two lovely daughters. As an educator Marshall has taught hundreds of mandolinists online through the School of Mandolin at ArtistWorks. He and David Grisman ran the Mandolin Symposium in Santa Cruz for 10 years and Mike was the founder of the Savannah Music Festival’s Acoustic Music Seminar. He and Caterina currently direct the Mandolin World Retreats workshops which they bring to beautiful locations around the world. Mike has released over 40 cds to date as well as numerous instructional books and DVDs and has recorded the Bach Cello Suites on the mandocello, available as downloads on his Bandcamp page.

Emory Lester|

Emory Lester has been a notable fixture in the acoustic mandolin world for the past four decades, and is an innovator of mandolin technique and a renowned creative artist, multi-instrumentalist, and instructor. His large body of recorded work has placed him among the elite mandolinists of our time. He has inspired and influenced many of our current generation’s mandolin players, and pointed the way with his clean, clear, fast and efficient mandolin technique. Emory has performed across the U.S., Canada, Europe, U.K. and Czech Republic, with ‘clawgrass’ banjoist Mark Johnson, Wayne Taylor and Appaloosa, and his own Emory Lester Set, as well as a roster of famous notables such as Del McCoury, Tony Rice, Steve Martin (on The David Letterman Show), Babik Reinhardt (son of Django), and Jim Hurst, to name a few. He has a long and impressive body of recordings including nine solo albums, all of which showcase Emory’s skills as a composer, arranger and creative multi-instrumentalist.  A sought-after instructor of mandolin, banjo and guitar, he has a world-wide roster of online students and has taught at many prestigious music camps and workshops in the U.S., Canada, Europe and the U.K. for more than 25 years.

David Benedict is one of the leading figures and content creators in the mandolin world today. With a music degree in Mandolin Performance and three years experience in Nashville touring and recording with acclaimed bass player Missy Raines, David moved to Boston to join the bluegrass band Mile Twelve. The group received the 2017 IBMA Band Momentum Award, recorded three studio albums and won the 2020 IBMA New Artist of the Year Award before David stepped down from the band to pursue other projects. His most recent recording, The Golden Angle, produced by Grammy-nominated mandolinist Matt Flinner, displays a new level of musical maturity and individuality, featuring collaborations with a host of celebrated and award-winning bluegrass musicians such as David Grier, Mike Barnett, Missy Raines, Ross Martin, Stuart Duncan, and Wes Corbett. David received the 2018 IBMA Momentum Award for Instrumentalist of the Year, and in 2019 he was nominated for a Grammy as part of Missy Raines’ album, Royal Traveler. His YouTube channel, with two million views and growing, features the popular, long-running weekly series, Mandolin Mondays, featured on the Mandolin Cafe, as well as David’s prolific in-depth mandolin lessons. He now lives in Travelers Rest, SC, where he teaches full-time and performs regularly with his wife Tabitha in their new transatlantic folk project, The Foreign Landers.

Caterina Lichtenberg |

Caterina Lichtenberg is one of the premier classical mandolinists in the world today. In 2020, her CD, Solo was nominated for an OpusKlassik Award (The most prestigious award for classical music in Germany), along with YoYo Ma, Daniel Hope and  Daniel Barenboin. As a featured soloist, Ms. Lichtenberg has performed with the New Century Orchestra under Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, the LA Guitar Quartet, the Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester of Frankfurt, under Diego Fasolis, and the Aachen Chamber Orchestra. She has also performed with the Dresden Symphony Orchestra, the MDR Orchestra under Fabio Luisi, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra under Riccardo Chailly, the MDR Sinfonie Orchestra under Howard Arman, the Radio Symphony Orchestra of Berlin and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra under Lorin Maazel, and with Art Garfunkel on live German TV. Caterina currently holds the only position in the world for Classical Mandolin at the Music Conservatory in Cologne, Germany but also teaches online through the ArtistWorks video exchange system where students can get personal feedback on their playing from Caterina from the company’s patented Video Exchange System. She has also been a juror and a sought-after lecturer/teacher at numerous events around the world including the European Plucked String Orchestra in Logroño (Spain) and Bologna (Italy), the International Mandolin Festival in Kobe (Japan), The International Mandolin Convention in Washington, Minneapolis and San Diego (USA), The Mandolin Symposium in Santa Cruz California, and she has been a part of the Swannanoa Gathering Mando & Banjo Week since its inception. Caterina also has published numerous instructional books and filmed two DVD instructional videos for Homespun Tapes company. Her solo CDs are some of the most important recordings of classical mandolin music of our time and she continues to push the boundaries of her instrument and expand the mandolin repertoire. To date, Caterina has released ten CDs under her own leadership in a variety of chamber music settings, and five with guitarist Mirko Schrader. As a specialist on early period instruments, Caterina was invited to record on a 1775 mandolin from the Ferdinandeum Museum in Innsbruck, Austria.

Casey Campbell |

In a remarkably short time, Nashville native Casey Campbell has become one of the most influential young voices in bluegrass mandolin. His performing and recording resumé includes gigs with bluegrass legends Bryan Sutton, Del McCoury, Mac Wiseman, Jim Lauderdale, David Grier, the Nashville Bluegrass Band, Chris Stapleton, John Oates, Mac Wiseman, Vince Gill, Dierks Bentley, Roland White, Noam Pikelny, Becky Buller, and many more. Winner of the prestigious Momentum Award for Instrumentalist of the Year from the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) in 2017, Campbell currently records and performs with various artists in and around Nashville, TN.

Matt Brown began teaching thumb-lead, two-finger banjo in 2011 at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago. He now offers online lessons, classes, and workshops to students worldwide. He is the author of the tablature book Thumb Lead Two-Finger Banjo, which features his arrangements of forty old-time songs & tunes. Matt attended his first Swannanoa Gathering in 1999 as a fiddle student and recipient of the Ralph Blizard youth scholarship at Old-Time Week. He subsequently returned to teach fiddle. 2024 will be his first year as an instructor at Mando & Banjo Week. Before he turned his focus to teaching, Matt toured the country, performing on the Grand Ole Opry and at The Kennedy Center. He has produced ten albums, including On Big Shoulders, an all-star tribute to Chicago. Matt grew up learning old-time music and playing square dances in southeastern Pennsylvania. He lives in Kentucky with his family and is the program assistant at the Louisville Folk School.

Laura Boosinger

Laura Boosinger was born in California. After living throughout the south during her teenage years, her family came to North Carolina in 1975 when Laura was seventeen. In January of 1976, she enrolled at Warren Wilson College where her life took a dramatic shift. Laura learned that she could take banjo lessons for college credit! Having no idea what she had really signed up for, she met David Holt and began a lifelong friendship with her mentor. She “designed” her own major around Appalachian Music and Studies. Laura began playing and performing with Holt and numerous other players around the Asheville area, which she adopted as her home, just as the area and its musical community adopted her. In 1984 she took over David Holt’s chair in the Luke Smathers Band, driving to Canton, NC for practice every Sunday through 1997. She learned the mountain swing style that the Smathers brothers created after hearing swing music on the radio in their formative days. They adapted tunes like “Whispering” and “Darkness on the Delta” to string band instruments and became a popular dance band throughout the region. Their repertoire included popular music from as far back as the 1920s, old-time fiddle tunes, western swing, and classic country. This band served as a training ground for Laura, and her experience with the Luke Smathers Band developed a wide repertoire and skill base.

One of Laura’s truest musical friendships has been the one she formed with George Shuffler, guitarist and bass player for the Stanley Brothers for over two decades. Shuffler helped innovate the cross-picking style of guitar so prominent throughout Bluegrass today. Cross-picked guitar and clawhammer banjo might not seem like a natural pair, but Laura and George turned the sound into a recording that artfully combines mountain tunes with Bluegrass standards, Mountain Treasures.

Laura has been a mentor for numerous young musicians in western North Carolina, always happy to sing another chorus or play a line one more time for inquiring young ears. One of those young musicians is Josh Goforth, with whom she has toured extensively in the US and Scotland. Their music is a combination of mountain standards, traditional ballads, and old pop songs. Their album, Most of All, is a striking blend of beautiful harmonies and virtuosic playing.

Laura has recorded numerous solo albums, including Let Me Linger, Down the Road, and Sing it Yourself! She is instrumental in maintaining the tradition of shaped note singing from the Christian Harmony in workshops at Merlefest and Blue Ridge Old Time Music Week at Mars Hill University and annual singings across the region. Proficient in instruments including banjo, guitar, and autoharp, she also teaches multiple instruments and offers vocal coaching. She has vast experience teaching residencies in Southern Mountain Music to public school children of all ages. She has been a mainstay at numerous festivals in western North Carolina for decades and serves as a Master of Ceremonies for The Mountain Dance and Folk Festival, the oldest folk festival in the nation, and at Shindig on the Green every summer in downtown Asheville, NC. Laura serves as a consultant to the Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina project which strives to sustain the rich music traditions of the western North Carolina and the region.

Joe K. Walsh |

Hailed by David Grisman as a “wonderful mandolin player”, and by Darol Anger as “one of the best mandolinists I’ve ever played with,” Boston-based musician Joe K. Walsh is known for his exceptional tone and taste, and his years of collaborations with acoustic music luminaries such as banjo innovator Danny Barnes, fiddle legend Darol Anger, modern master fiddler Brittany Haas, wildly creative flatpicker Grant Gordy, bluegrass stars the Gibson Brothers, and pop/grass darlings Joy Kills Sorrow, a band he co-founded. He’s played with everyone from John Scofield to Bela Fleck to Emmylou Harris, and performed everywhere from festivals to laundromats to Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium. After a number of award-winning years as mandolinist with the Gibson Brothers, Joe currently splits his time between an inventive string band called Mr Sun (featuring Darol Anger, Grant Gordy and Aidan O’Donnell), a trio with Danny Barnes and Grant Gordy, and his own band. An avid educator, Joe is a professor at the Berklee College of Music, and he runs two mandolin instruction courses through Peghead Nation. Since 2007, he has taught at many of the most prominent mandolin and fiddle camps in North America and Europe, and he helps run the Ossipee Valley String Camp in Cornish, Maine.

Matt Flinner |

Grammy-nominated mandolinist Matt Flinner has made a career out of playing acoustic music in new ways. Whether it’s with his own Matt Flinner Trio or with the Darrell Scott Bluegrass Band, Frank Vignola Quartet, Phillips, Grier & Flinner, Steve Martin, the Ying Quartet, Leftover Salmon or the Modern Mandolin Quartet, Flinner’s style and compositional ability have established him as one of the most accomplished and musically diverse mandolinists today. Originally a banjo prodigy who was playing bluegrass festivals before he entered his teens, Flinner later took up the mandolin, won the National Banjo Competition in Winfield, KS in 1990, and won the mandolin award there the following year. Matt now tours regularly with the Matt Flinner Trio, which is known for its off-the-cuff compositional daring, writing music the same day it’s performed on most of their shows. He also tours semi-regularly with the Darrell Scott Bluegrass Band and the Vermont Mandolin Trio. Matt’s compositions have been performed by the Ying Quartet, the Nashville Chamber Orchestra, the Expedition Quintet and the Modern Mandolin Quartet, among others. When not playing music, Matt practices goat wrangling and maple syrup-making at his home in Vermont.

A recipient of the Steve Martin Banjo Prize, Bill Evans has been involved with bluegrass music and the banjo for over forty-five years as a player, teacher, composer, writer and historian. Bill occupies a unique niche in the banjo world: he is celebrated worldwide for both his traditional and progressive bluegrass banjo styles and his innovative original compositions. He also enjoys a reputation as an outstanding instructor as well as being an expert player of 19th and early 20th century minstrel and classic banjo styles, informed by his graduate-level training in American music history in at UC Berkeley. He has recorded four critically-acclaimed solo recordings, including Things Are Simple and The Banjo in America, a DVD/CD set covering music from the 1780’s to the present day. He is the author of Banjo For Dummies, Bluegrass Banjo For Dummies, Parking Lot Picker’s Songbook: Banjo Edition and 25 Great Bluegrass Banjo Solos, co-authored with Kristin Scott Benson. He also hosts five online instructional courses for Peghead Nation. Bill counts his many teachers and mentors, including Ben Eldridge, Bill Keith, Tony Trischka, Alan Munde, Ron Thomason, Sonny Osborne and J. D. Crowe as crucial to his development as a musician. Bill currently tours with his solo show, The Banjo in America and performs with guitar legend Dan Crary and with the All-Star California Bluegrass Reunion with John Reischman. Over the years, Bill has performed with Dry Branch Fire Squad, David Grisman, Peter Rowan, Jody Stecher, Tony Trischka , Kathy Kallick & Alan Munde, among many others. Bill has taught at over 200 banjo and bluegrass camps all over the world and he has helped thousands of people to find joy in the banjo through his books, online courses and videos, workshops and one-on-one lessons. He feels that his greatest accomplishment has been to bring people together through the banjo. He makes his home in Mt. Sidney, Virginia.

John Reischman |

Grammy Award-winning musician John Reischman has been a foundational mandolinist, composer, bandleader, and musical educator in bluegrass and North American roots and folk music since emerging from the vibrant ‘new acoustic’ music scene of the San Francisco  Bay Area in the 1980s. A founding member of the groundbreaking Tony Rice Unit, Reischman’s mastery of bluegrass, old-time, swing, and multiple Latin American musical styles, coupled with an Old Masters sense of tone, taste and musicality, has brought him a global reputation as one of the finest mandolinists of his era. His latest CD, New Time and Old Acoustic on Corvus Records, blends a lifetime of musical influences into an engaging recording with some of today’s top acoustic players, including flatpicking guitarists Molly Tuttle and Chris Eldridge, fiddler Alex Hargreaves, and bassist Todd Phillips. The 14-track album includes twelve new Reischman originals and a reinterpretation of his classic tune, “Salt Spring”. New Time and Old Acoustic is the most mature, accomplished solo recording of Reischman’s storied career. John’s prior recordings, North of the Border, Up In The Woods, and Walk Along John, showcase his gifts as a composer and instrumentalist. Many of John’s melodic mandolin tunes such as “Salt Spring”, “Little Pine Siskin”, and “Birdland Breakdown” have been adopted by the bluegrass community as standards and can be heard at jam sessions across the continent. In addition to his solo career, as leader of John Reischman and the Jaybirds, John and his talented U.S. and Canadian bandmates – Nick Hornbuckle, Trisha Gagnon, Patrick Sauber and Greg Spatz – have toured extensively throughout North America and abroad for two decades, bringing a uniquely Pacific Northwest sound to their brand of bluegrass and melodic fiddle tunes. They’ve earned two coveted Juno Award nominations for the best performances in the Canadian organisation’s “Roots and Traditional” category, and have released seven albums during their 20-year tenure. Over the years, he’s collaborated with a remarkably wide range of artists including bluegrass singer/songwriter Kathy Kallick, flatpicking guitarist Scott Nygaard, banjo wiz Tony Furtado, fingerstyle guitarist John Miller, Chinese music ensemble Red Chamber, Brazilian multi-instrumentalist Celso Machado, singer songwriter Susan Crowe, and more. A sought-after instructor at mandolin workshops and acoustic music camps, John teaches the popular Melodic Mandolin Tunes series on the highly regarded Peghead Nation music instructional website. Considered by critics and audiences as one of the true masters of mandolin today, John Reischman remains committed to his original vision of exploring multiple mandolin genres in a style based on making each note and phrase sound uniquely rich and clear. One of those rare instrumental musicians who, like his mentor Tony Rice, can be recognized immediately within his first few notes, John’s playing on his legendary 1924 Lloyd Loar-signed Gibson F-5 mandolin epitomizes tone and taste. A true musician’s musician who serves the melody over instrumental flash and hot licks, John Reischman continues to explore the melodic possibilities of mandolin in fresh ways in the 21st Century, reaching new generations of fans with his impeccable musical taste and style.

Alan Murray

Alan Murray hails from Glasgow in Scotland, where he was introduced to the tinwhistle at an early age. He eventually turned to the guitar as his primary instrument, and later expanded his arsenal to include the bouzouki. After studying instrument-building and repair in Glasgow, he moved to the US to further pursue his musical career. He was soon playing and recording with some of the best musicians on the New York Irish scene and was featured on 2012’s IMA-nominated Manhattan Island Sessions recording. He has taught at the Catskills Irish Arts Week and Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival and appeared at such well-known events as Denmark’s Tønder Festival, Milwaukee Irish Fest and Celtic Connections. He has shared the stage with such artists as Karan Casey, Niall and Cillian Vallely, Eileen Ivers and Scotland’s Battlefield Band, and has toured extensively across Ireland, Britain, Europe, Australia and the United States.

Ed was the lead guitarist and singer for Wood & Steel, a bluegrass band based in the Piedmont region of North Carolina that featured the legendary Snuffy Smith on banjo and The Dukes of Drive’s Joey Lemons on mandolin. Bluegrass Unlimited called their 2007 release, Poor Boy, “a masterpiece of hard-driving bluegrass.” Tony Rice calls their music, “Bluegrass, in one of its most pure, unfiltered forms; played by good musicians.” Wood & Steel’s music was featured nationally in Home & Garden Television’s 2002 special, Barns Revisited, and Ed has recorded three albums with mandolin player/builder Skip Kelley, including their 2010 release, Hopped That Train and…Gone. In 2022, he released an all electric album with the Asheville-based band, Catz in Pajamas. Ed is an accomplished songwriter, and a powerful rhythm and lead player with a deep abiding love of traditional music.

Lynn Dudenbostel |

Among many players, Lynn’s intruments are some of the most highly prized, and he is usually listed among that rareified group of the very best luthiers. Inspired by the vintage Martin guitars and Gibson mandolins of the 1920’s and 1930’s, Lynn became a full-time luthier in 1997 and continues to build traditional-style guitars and mandolins in his shop in Maryville, TN. This is Lynn’s eleventh year as our luthier-in-residence, offering repair services throughout the week.