California Bluegrass Reunion
The California Bluegrass Reunion brings together six internationally-known instrumentalists who all have deep connections to the Golden State. The collective is highlighted by the outrageous double fiddling of California-based fiddlers Chad Manning and Brandon Godman and features an abundance of original instrumentals from mandolinist John Reischman and banjo player Bill Evans. Anchoring the rhythm section is Jim Nunally on guitar and vocals and Sharon Gilchrist on bass. These musicians have made music together in various combinations for decades but this combination is truly special.
2022 Steve Martin Banjo Prize recipient Bill Evans has been involved with bluegrass music and the world of the banjo as a player, teacher, composer, writer and historian for over forty years. He occupies a unique niche in the banjo world: celebrated worldwide for his traditional as well as progressive bluegrass banjo styles as well as his innovative original compositions, he also enjoys a reputation as an outstanding instructor as well as being an expert player of 19th century minstrel and classic banjo styles. In over twenty-seven years as a California-based performer, he has performed with David Grisman, Peter Rowan, Jody Stecher, Eric & Suzy Thompson, David Bromberg, Kathy Kallick, Tony Trischka & Alan Munde, among many others. Bill is a 2022 recipient of the Steve Martin Banjo prize for his lifelong contributions to bluegrass music and to the banjo. For more, visit billevansbanjo.com.
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 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. John was a founding member of the California band The Good Ol’ Persons and he has led John Reischman & The Jaybirds for over twenty years. For more, visit johnreischman.com.
San Francisco Bay Area native Jim Nunally is a musician, composer, record producer and teacher – all in addition to being one of the finest guitar players in the world. His third-generation traditional music roots began in Arkansas with this guitar-playing grandfather who taught Jim’s father who in turn taught Jim. This pedigree contributes to his unmistakably traditional sound. For the last several years, Jim has co-led the Nell & Jim Band with Nell Robinson, performing a unique mix of original Americana sounds based around their outstanding duet singing and Jim’s arranging. Jim has performed with the David Grisman Bluegrass Experience, and John Reischman & The Jaybirds. For more info, visit jimnunally.com.
Chad Manning is a Bay Area bluegrass, old-time, and swing fiddler who has performed with the David Grisman Sextet and the David Grisman Bluegrass Experience. For many years, he was also a member of Laurie Lewis and the Right Hands. He has performed and toured with many bluegrass greats such as J.D. Crowe, Curly Seckler, Alan Munde, and Tony Trischka, to name a few. Chad also finds great joy in teaching and working with all levels of fiddle students. He and his wife, Catherine, run Manning Music, a bluegrass/old-time/traditional music school in Berkeley, California where currently 250 students take lessons. Chad is also an instructor at Peghead Nation where he currently offers three courses and he currently plays guitar in the band Birches Bend, which features his son Jasper on mandolin. Learn more at chadmanning.com.
Brandon Godman is a professional fiddler and luthier who currently resides in San Francisco, CA. He is the proprietor of two violin shops- The Fiddle Mercantile in San Francisco, CA and The Violin Shop in Nashville, TN. Since starting his professional music career at age 17, he has played stages across the world from the Grand Ole’ Opry to Carnegie Hall. He currently performs on the road with Grammy Award-winning bluegrass artist Laurie Lewis & the Right Hands and locally with other Bay Area bands. Brandon is a co-host of the luthier podcast OMO and has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Violin Society of America since 2020. His rock-solid traditionally-based bluegrass fiddling style is the perfect complement to Chad’s virtuosic improvisational-based playing.
Sharon Gilchrist has long made her home in the American acoustic music scene. You may have seen her playing mandolin or upright bass, singing a traditional ballad, or performing an original piece on a concert or festival stage anywhere in North America.. She has performed with the Peter Rowan and Tony Rice Quartet, Scott Nygaard and John Reischman, Darol Anger, Laurie Lewis and the Right Hands, Scott Law and the Bluegrass Dimension and others. She earned a degree in Mandolin Performance from Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, and has taught mandolin for 15 years both privately and online at Peghead Nation and at some of the nation’s finest music camps. Sharon currently resides in Nashville, TN after living for almost a decade in California. Learn more at sharongilchristmusic.com.