7th Annual California Banjo Extravaganza with Bill Evans, Ned Luberecki & Chris Coole and Their All-Star Band (John Reischman, Chad Manning, Jim Nunally, & Sharon Gilchrist)

7th Annual California Banjo Extravaganza with Bill Evans, Ned Luberecki & Chris Coole and Their All-Star Band (John Reischman, Chad Manning, Jim Nunally, & Sharon Gilchrist)

Ned Luberecki, Chris Coole, Bill Evans, John Reischman, Jim Nunally, Chad Manning, Sharon Gilchrist

Saturday, November 10th

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

$32 ADV / $36 DOOR (plus fees)

  • All tickets are subject to an additional $4 per ticket facility fee.

California Banjo Extravaganza
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 northern California five-string banjo celebration features 2018 IBMA Banjo Player of the Year nominee 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.
Ned Luberecki
Ned Luberecki
2018 IBMA Banjo Player of the Year nominee Ned Luberecki is known not only for his banjo prowess but for his wit and humor. He tours nationally with the award-winning Becky Buller Band and he also hosts Sirius XM Bluegrass Junction’s Derailed and More Banjo Sunday. Respected as both a traditional and progressive player, Ned toured extensively in the United States and Europe as a member of Chris Jones and the Night Drivers for over a decade before joining the Becky Buller Band. He’s also been a member of Paul Adkins and the Borderline Band, the Rarely Herd, and Larry Cordle & Lonesome Standard Time, and has appeared with such artists as Jim Lauderdale, Tony Trischka, and Ray Stevens.

Ned released his second CD “Take Five” in 2017. Steve Martin writes that this release is “an absolutely joyous, riveting, beautifully syncopated example of the beauty of the banjo.” Ned is equally at home with a driving original Scruggs-style instrumental like “Night Driver,” as he is tackling a complex fiddle tune or working his way through jazz standards such as “Take Five” and “Blue Monk” on this latest release.

Ned released his second CD “Take Five” in 2017. Steve Martin writes that this release is “an absolutely joyous, riveting, beautifully syncopated example of the beauty of the banjo.” Ned is equally at home with a driving original Scruggs-style instrumental like “Night Driver,” as he is tackling a complex fiddle tune or working his way through jazz standards such as “Take Five” and “Blue Monk” on this latest release.
Chris Coole
Chris Coole
Chris Coole is one of most profound clawhammer banjo players and old-time songwriters in the world today. This Canadian musician currently tours with his innovative trio The Lonesome Ace Stringband and he has also performed with The Foggy Hogtown Boys, Erynn Marshall, & Ivan Rosenberg. He is known for his inspiring interpretations of Southern old-time music, as well as his outstanding original songs and instrumentals. As a collaborator or sideman, he has played on over 200 recordings. fRoots magazine called Chris’ 2016 album The Tumbling River "unassumingly excellent old-time country music.” He has just released a brand-new recording The Road To The River: A Collection of Tunes and Songs Inspired by the Fishing Passion.
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 www.pegheadnation.com and teaches popular bluegrass ensemble classes right here at the Freight.
John Reischman
John Reischman
John Reischman is one of the premier mandolinists of his generation: an understated visionary whose music is virtuosic without ever being flashy and who is renowned for his impeccable taste and tone. A Juno-nominated and Grammy award-winning artist, John is a founding member of California’s Good Old Persons who is also celebrated for his work with the Tony Rice Unit as well as leading his own band John Reischman & The Jaybirds.
Jim Nunally
Jim Nunally
Jim Nunally's main focus these days is singing and songwriting with the Nell & Jim Band but he is also renowned as the guitarist with the David Grisman Bluegrass Experience. A fixture on the SF Bay Area bluegrass scene for many decades, he played for over 16 years with John Reischman & The Jaybirds and currently with Bangers & Grass, with Bill Evans and Chad Manning. Jim is simply one of the best guitarists in the world, renowned for his driving and precise rhythm and leads. He is the recipient of two Grammy Award certifications and two International Bluegrass Music Association awards.
Chad Manning
Chad Manning
Chad Manning is flat out one of the best fiddlers in the world, plain and simple. These days, Chad along with his wife Catherine, teaches hundreds of folks out of the Manning Music studio in Berkeley. In addition, Chad performs with the David Grisman Bluegrass Experience, the David Grisman Sextet and Bangers & Grass. Along with John, Bill and Sharon, Chad also teaches online via Peghead Nation (www.pegheadnation.com).
Sharon Gilchrist
Sharon Gilchrist
Sharon Gilchrist (bass) performs regularly with John Reischman and guitarist Scott Nygaard, in addition playing with Scott Law and the Bay Area-based band The Flatliners, which includes Keith Little and Avram Siegel. She is also known for her work with Peter Rowan & Tony Rice and the old-time band Uncle Earl. In addition to being a renowned bass player, Sharon is an outstanding mandolin player who also offers online lessons at www.pegheadnation.com.