California Banjo Extravaganza w/Bill Evans, Danny Barnes, & Joe Newberry

California Banjo Extravaganza w/Bill Evans, Danny Barnes, & Joe Newberry

Bill Evans, Danny Barnes, Joe Newberry

Saturday, November 12th

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

$30 Advance/$32 Door

California Banjo Extravaganza
Attend the California Banjo Extravaganza Mini-Camp at the Freight,
Saturday, November 10, 1 pm

Each November, San Francisco Bay Area banjo player Bill Evans brings together some of the best banjo players in the world and combines them with an ace backup band featuring several West Coast favorites for a series of incredible concerts across northern California and an afternoon of workshops in Berkeley. This year’s annual California five-string banjo celebration features 2018 IBMA Banjo Player of the Year Ned Luberecki, Canada’s old-time banjo master Chris Coole and, of course, California favorite Bill Evans. Joining this trio of banjo greats is their All-Star band, this year featuring John Reischman (mandolin), Chad Manning (fiddle), Jim Nunally (guitar) & Sharon Gilchrist (bass) for an evening of bluegrass, old-time, and beyond, celebrating the many different ways music is made today on the five-string banjo.

What folks are saying about these musicians:

Ned Luberecki: “An absolutely joyous, riveting, beautifully syncopated example of the beauty of the banjo.” Steve Martin

Bill Evans: “Bill Evans does for the five-string banjo what Van Gogh did for color…treats it in a different way and then shares it with you. And his recent release “In Good Company” is a virtuoso master class in exploring bluegrass from the tradition to the far edges of alternative.” Tom Franks, FolkWords

Chris Coole: “Chris Coole’s banjo playing is, frankly, incomparable.” Mitch Podolak, co-founder of Winnipeg and Vancouver folk festivals.

“Renowned for his clawhammer banjo playing, Coole now establishes himself as a gripping songwriter,” Penguin Eggs Magazine

John Reischman: “One of the true tone poets of American acoustic music…always placing the right note in the right place with the right tone and touch…throughout, Reischman’s full-throated mandolin never overplays or forces a point on the listener. The music is open, inviting, and engaging on multiple levels at once, telling musical stories without words like the birds in the tall pine trees or the waves upon the dark and rolling sea.” Acoustic Guitar Magazine.

The California Banjo Extravaganza is made possible in part through the support of:

Deering Banjos
Elderly Instruments
Peghead Nation
Homespun Tapes
EMG Pickups
Banjo Boy Coffee
Bill Evans
Bill Evans
San Francisco Bay Area musician Bill Evans curates the California Banjo Extravaganza each year. Bill has spent a lifetime bringing together folks who love and play the five-string banjo. His books Bluegrass Banjo For Dummies and Banjo For Dummies are among the most popular instructional books in the world. These days, you’ll find Bill performing with his solo show The Banjo in America and with flatpicking legend Dan Crary and bass player Wally Barnick. Over the last fifteen years, he has graced the stage of the Freight, appearing with David Bromberg, David Grisman, Peter Rowan, the Steep Canyon Rangers, Dry Branch Fire Squad, J. D. Crowe, Kathy Kallick, Claire Lynch and Jody Stecher, among many others. His Freight Bluegrass Jam Classes are the most popular ensemble classes in California and his monthly free shows in Kensington with Bangers & Grass, now in its eight year, attract audiences from all over the world. His latest release is Songs That Are Mostly Older Than Us, recorded with the late Chattanooga, Tennessee fiddler Fletcher Bright and Norman and Nancy Blake. Bill offers online lessons at and teaches popular bluegrass ensemble classes right here at the Freight.
Danny Barnes
Danny Barnes
Banjo player extraordinaire Danny Barnes is the 2015 recipient of the 6th annual Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass. Described as "one of a kind" and widely acknowledged as "one of the best banjo players in America," Barnes is recognized for his experimental sound. The raw and unpolished musical breadth of his compositions has propelled him across the industry today.

As a Texas native and one of bluegrass music's most distinctive and innovative performers, Barnes is known for blending together different sounds in order to defy labeling. His desire to pick up the banjo stemmed from a Grandpa Jones and Stringbean concert he attended as a child. Moved by the performance, Barnes was first inspired to learn how to play the banjo at age ten. He continued his musical endeavors at the University of Texas, where he focused his studies on audio production and discovered his passion for recording music.

In 1990, Barnes founded the progressive bluegrass band Bad Livers. The group's 1992 debut album, Delusions of Banjer garnered attention within the alternative rock and country music scene— putting them ahead of their time. Today, Bad Livers is credited with pioneering the way for the current crossover of Americana in notable bands such as Mumford and Sons and the Lumineers. Barnes began his solo career in 1998 and launched his own private record label, Minner Bucket Records, which focuses on cassette-only releases. In 2010, Barnes released the genre-defying album Pizza Box. Barnes followed that album with 2011's Rocket, issued on ATO. It was produced by John Alagia, and features all-star drummer Matt Chamberlain and keyboardist/bassist Zac Rae.

Barnes frequently plays with artists such as guitarist Bill Frisell, Dave Matthews, and keyboardist Wayne Horvitz and has composed the scores to Richard Linklater's The Newton Boys and (with Frisell) the documentary American Hollow.
More recently, Barnes formed the band Test Apes with Ministry's Max Brody, further experimenting with his desire to create new sounds in music. Barnes' skill in audio production encouraged him to create an innovative computer program with MaxMSP and a banjo— pulling bluegrass, noise, rock, and electronic music together. The sound created from this exploration is dubbed "Barnyard Electronics" and allows Barnes to perform as a solo artist, while sounding like he is accompanied by a band.