Double-banjo acoustic bluegrass spectacular

Tony Trischka will be performing as part of the Second Saturday concert series at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10 at the Westcott Community Center, 826 Euclid Ave., Syracuse.

One of the world's most dynamic and inventive banjo players, Syracuse native Tony Trischka returns to his hometown to celebrate the release of a new CD fronting a double-banjo, all acoustic ensemble. A veteran of many local bands, Trischka has used his gifts as a musician and arranger, coupled with his unrivaled knowledge of banjo history and technique, to inspire a whole generation of progressive bluegrass musicians.

This concert will celebrate his new Rounder Records CD, Double Banjo Bluegrass Spectacular, released this month. This album, his 16th, marks Trischka's return to acoustic bluegrass. On it, he has surrounded himself with a cast of fine musicians and fellow banjo players including Earl Scruggs, Bela Fleck, Alison Brown and Steve Martin. The songs include several of Trischka's original instrumental compositions as well as some traditional bluegrass vocals with Dudley Connell, Chris Thile and Michael Daves adding their voices. Classically styled and dynamic, yet still finding new ways to expand timeless traditions, Double Banjo is bluegrass as only Trischka can envision it.

To coincide with the CD's release, Trischka is touring with a crack acoustic band. Vermont- based Gordon Stone is one of the premiere progressive and traditional banjoists in the country. For years he has led his own band (Gordon Stone Band) and has made inroads in the jam band scene with his creative improvisations and inspired compositions. Also on hand will be Michael Daves on vocals and guitar. Daves has toured the US and Europe with Roseanne Cash and is a fixture on the Northeast bluegrass scene. His appearance at Merlefest this past spring was a triumph. With a powerful voice and a blazing lead guitar, Daves is in line to be one of the all-time acoustic greats. Skip Ward, who has studied with Jaco Pastorius and tours with Phoebe Snow, will lay down the standup bass lines that anchor the band. Brittany Haas, the great, great granddaughter of an old-time Missouri fiddler, bows seamlessly between old-time, bluegrass, and post-new acoustic fiddling styles. The music will be primarily bluegrass oriented with a few side trips to other acoustic ports.

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