News & Reviews: Events

California Banjo Extravaganza 2017

Sponsored By

Bill Evans, Charlie Cushman, and Bob Carlin celebrate the artistry of the five-string banjo with six concerts and a mini-camp, November 8 - 12.

by Dan Gabel
November 04, 2017

BillEvans.CA Banjo Extrav.2017.jpgPeghead Nation is a proud sponsor of the sixth annual California Banjo Extravaganza,  will featuring Peghead Nation banjo instructor Bill Evans, Scruggs-style specialist Charlie Cushman, and clawhammer master Bob Carlin headlining six concerts and hosting a Banjo Mini-Camp. The show will travel to Los Gatos, Chico, Winters, Berkeley, Sonoma, and Sabastapol this November 8 – 12.

Joining this trio on the tour is an all-star band including Peghead Nation instructors Chad Manning, Sharon Gilchrist, and John Reischman, along with 2017 IBMA Songwriter of the Year Tim Stafford on guitar.

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.

Charlie Cushman is best known these days as the banjo player in Jerry Douglas' Flatt and Scruggs tribute band, called “The Earls of Leicester.” Most banjo players agree that Charlie is not only the most skilled Earl Scruggs stylist but also probably knows more about Don Reno’s banjo playing than anyone else today. These qualifications, along with many years of recorded appearances with artists as diverse as Joe Diffie, Sam Bush, Michael Cleveland, and Tim O'Brien, earned Charlie the coveted IBMA Banjo Player of the Year award in 2015.

North Carolina old-time banjo player Bob Carlin is probably the best-known clawhammer player performing today. Through his performing, scholarly research and teaching, he has spread the sound of Southern old-time banjo all around the world for the last several decades. A mainstay of the John Hartford Tribute Band with several Rounder Records solo albums also to his credit, Bob is also known as a producer, teacher and researcher of Southern music and banjo styles. His books include “The Birth of the Banjo: Joel Walker Sweeney” and “Early Minstrelsy and Strings Bands in the North Carolina Piedmont.” He has several Homespun Music instructional videos.

Don't miss this celebration of the art of the five-string banjo! The tour is sponsored by Peghead Nation, Elderly Instruments, Deering Banjos, Mandolin Cafe, EMG Pickups, and Homespun Tapes. The dates and locations of the shows and camp are:

Wednesday, November 8: Los Gatos, CA. Los Gatos, The Great Room, 24500 Miller Hill Road at the home of Robert Cornelius and Suzanne Suwanda..

Thursday, November 9: Chico, CA. Trinity United Methodist Church, 285 E 5th Street, 7 pm concert, doors at 6:30. Tickets $20 in advance / $22 at the door. Contact Lucy Smith at 530-894-1449 or for reservations and f

Friday, November 10: Winters, CA. The Palms Playhouse, 13 Main Street. 8 p.m. concert, doors at 7 p.m.

Saturday, November 11: Berkeley, CA. Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse, Extravaganza Mini-Camp, with Bill Evans, Charlie Cushman, and Bob Carlin (banjo), John Reischman (mandolin), and Tim Stafford (guitar). 2020 Addison Street, 1 to 4:30 p.m. Info and tickets here.

Saturday, November 11: 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.

Category: News & Reviews

Comments and Discussion

Leave a Reply

Captcha Code

Click the image to see another captcha.


Article Thumbnail
Nov 24, 2020
A great mandolin duet of Sarah Jarosz’s original tune, recorded live at the Marshall Mandolin Summit.

Start Learning Today

One Course: $20/month or $200/year
Two Courses: $30/month or $300/year
Access to All Courses: $100/month

Peghead Nation’s String School is your source for roots music instruction, bringing you full courses in guitar, mandolin, banjo, ukulele, fiddle, and Dobro, featuring talented instructors, high-quality video instruction, accurate notation and tab, and fun songs to play right from the beginning. Enroll and become a Peghead today!