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California Banjo Extravaganza 2016

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Bill Evans, Joe Newberry, and Danny Barnes celebrate the artistry of the five-string banjo November 9 – 13 with six concerts and a banjo mini-camp.

by Dan Gabel
November 09, 2016

CA Banjo Extravaganza copy.jpgThe fifth annual California Banjo Extravaganza will feature Peghead Nation banjo instructor Bill Evans, songwriter and old-time specialist Joe Newberry, and banjo innovator Danny Barnes headlining six concerts and hosting a Banjo Mini-Camp. The show will travel to Chico, Grass Valley, Santa Cruz, Berkeley, Sonoma, and Sebastapol this November 9 – 13.

Joining this trio on the tour is an all-star band including Peghead Nation instructors Chad Manning and Sharon Gilchrist, along with mandolin great John Reischman and guitarist Jim Nunally.

Bill Evans teaches Beginning Banjo and Bluegrass Banjo on Peghead Nation, and is the author of the popular Bluegrass Banjo for Dummies and Banjo for Dummies books. He has recorded and performed widely, both as a solo artist and with folks like Fletcher Bright, David Grisman, David Bromberg, Dan Crary, Peter Rowan, J.D. Crowe, Tony Trischka, and many others. His most recent recorded project is Songs That Are Mostly Older Than Us with Fletcher Bright and Norman and Nancy Blake. Bill started the California Banjo Extravaganza to celebrate the artistry of the five-string banjo and the many approaches to playing the instrument.

Missouri native and North Carolina transplant Joe Newberry is known around the world for his exquisite clawhammer banjo playing. Joe Newberry is also a powerful singer and songwriter who has been a frequent guest on A Prairie Home Companion. His song “They Called It Music,” co-written with Eric Gibson, won the 2013 IBMA Song of the Year award, and “Singing As We Rise” won the 2012 IBMA Gospel Recorded Performance award for recording artist Ricky Skaggs. He performs with mandolinist Mike Compton, fiddler Bruce Molsky, and with old-time music legends Bill Hicks, Mike Craver and Jim Watson.

Danny Barnes first emerged on the national music scene in the early 1990’s with the Austin, Texas band Bad Livers, which blended bluegrass, punk and pop music sounds. In the 21st century, Danny has recorded 15 projects and performed with rock icon Dave Matthews, modern jazz guitarist Bill Frisell, Darol Anger, and many others. Danny has also performed with Robert Earl Keen and the Jeff Austin Band and is the winner of the 2015 Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass. A true banjo iconoclast, Danny is also the innovator of a musical aesthetic he calls “Barnyard Electronics,” combining his banjo with computer software and sampling.

Don't miss this celebration of the art of the five-string banjo! The tour is sponsored by Peghead Nation, Banjo Café, Bishline Banjos, and Homespun Tapes. The dates and locations of the shows and camp are:

Wednesday, November 9: Chico, CA. Trinity United Methodist Church, 285 E 5th Street, 7 p.m. show, 6:30 p.m. doors. Contact Lucy Smith at 530-894-1449 or for tickets.

Thursday, November 10: Grass Valley, CA. Grass Valley Center for the Arts, 314 W Main Street, 7:30 p.m. Info at

Friday, November 11: Santa Cruz, CA. Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320 Cedar #2, 7:30 p.m. show, doors at 7 p.m. Info at, phone 831-479-9431 or email

Saturday, November 12: Berkeley, CA. Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse, Banjo Mini-Camp with Joe Newberry, Danny Barnes, and Bill Evans, 2020 Addison Street, 1 to 4:30 p.m. Info and tickets here.

Saturday, November 12: Berkeley, CA. Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse, 8 p.m. show, doors at 7 p.m. 2020 Addison Street. Info at

Sunday, November 13 (afternoon): Sonoma, CA. Hamel Family Wines, 15401 Sonoma Highway, 1 p.m. Phone 707-996-5800 for info.

Sunday, November 13 (evening): Sebastopol, CA. Sebastopol Community Cultural Center Annex, 425 Morris Street, 8 p.m. concert, doors at 7 p.m. Contact Kevin Russell at 707-824-1858 or email for info and tickets.

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