Tracing the banjo from its West African roots to the New World, Evans performs musical examples from the 1700’s to the present day on a variety of vintage instruments, ranging from an African ekonting to a mid-19th century minstrel banjo, a modern bluegrass banjo and even an electric banjo. From an 18th century African dance tune to the music of the Civil War, and from early 20th century ragtime to more recent folk and bluegrass banjo styles to Bill’s own incredible original music, Bill’s performances illuminate as well as entertain, exposing audiences to over 200 years of American music.
Bill is a doctoral candidate in Music from the University of California, Berkeley with specializations in American music history and the music of Japan. He has been a scholar/artist in residence at many universities across the United States. In addition, Bill has served as a consultant to the National Endowment for the Arts and is the former Associate Director of the International Bluegrass Music Museum in Owenboro, Kentucky. He is the author of Banjo for Dummies, the most popular banjo book in the world. Over a thirty-five year performing career, Bill has performed with acoustic luminaries David Grisman, Peter Rowan and Dry Branch Fire Squad, among many others. His folk and bluegrass chart topping 2012 CD In Good Company features over 26 musicians, including the Infamous Stringdusters, Tim O’Brien, and Joy Kills Sorrow.
You can learn more about Bill by visiting www.billevansbanjo.com. Watch video performances from The Banjo in America by linking to Bill’s YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/BillEvansBanjo.