The 7th Annual California Banjo Extravaganza Banjo Mini-Camp

The 7th Annual California Banjo Extravaganza Banjo Mini-Camp

Ned Luberecki, Chris Coole, Bill Evans

Saturday, November 10th

Doors: 1:00 pm / Show: 1:00 pm (event ends at 4:45 pm)

$70

Instruction in both three-finger/bluegrass (Ned Luberecki & Bill Evans) and old-time/clawhammer styles (Chris Coole).

For all levels of bluegrass and clawhammer banjo players, Ned Luberecki, Chris Coole & Bill Evans will teach two 75-minute small group sessions from 1 to 3:45 p.m. All participants will come together at 4 p.m. in the main performance hall for a final Q & A session. Your $70 admission is for the entire afternoon of workshop sessions.

This is a hands-on, “bring your banjo and let’s pick” afternoon with topics appropriate for all levels of banjo players. Audio and videotaping of workshops are allowed and students can attend any banjo workshop of their choice. Tab examples will be provided at all sessions. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to learn up close from three of the best players and teachers in the world.

The 7th Annual California Banjo Extravaganza Banjo Mini-Camp
The 7th Annual California Banjo Extravaganza Banjo Mini-Camp
Catch the California Banjo Extravaganza in concert at the Freight, Saturday, November 10, 8 pm

Instruction in both three-finger/bluegrass (Ned Luberecki & Bill Evans) and old-time/clawhammer styles (Chris Coole).

For all levels of bluegrass and clawhammer banjo players, Ned Luberecki, Chris Coole & Bill Evans will teach two 75-minute small group sessions from 1 to 3:45 p.m. All participants will come together at 4 p.m. in the main performance hall for a final Q & A session. Your $70 admission is for the entire afternoon of workshop sessions.

This is a hands-on, “bring your banjo and let’s pick” afternoon with topics appropriate for all levels of banjo players. Audio and videotaping of workshops are allowed and students can attend any banjo workshop of their choice. Tab examples will be provided at all sessions. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to learn up close from three of the best players and teachers in the world.

At the conclusion of the Mini-Camp, store your instrument safely at the Freight, grab dinner in downtown Berkeley and come back to enjoy the California Banjo Extravaganza in concert at 8 p.m.

Session I: 1 to 2:15 p.m.

Ned Luberecki: Jam Session Survival (bluegrass, all) This session is directed towards intermediate players who can play tunes by tab, but have trouble thinking on their feet in a jam session. We’ll work on how to make up solos “on the fly” to standard bluegrass style chord progressions using moveable double stops and some easy to use roll patterns and licks. We’ll then apply these same techniques also work well for rolling style backup.

Chris Coole: Building Tunes From The Ground Up (old-time, all) This session introduces a systematic approach to coming up with arrangements of tunes and songs that is accessible to all levels. We'll look at the right and the left-hand clawhammer tools, get a better understanding of how they work, as well as their limitations. In doing so, we'll learn a "stepping stone" approach to arranging tunes that will shed light on playing variations, learning by ear, and aesthetics. As an added bonus, all the skills learned directly relate to the skills needed to learn tunes on the fly in a jam session.

Bill Evans: Exploring Melodic & Single-String Styles (bluegrass, all levels but ideal for intermediate to advanced) Melodic and single-string banjo styles allow the banjo player to play fiddle tunes and add exciting improvisational elements to lead playing. In this class, Bill unlocks the secrets of both ways of playing with right hand exercises, scale patterns, licks and great tunes in a variety of keys in both melodic and single-string style. We'll spend a good deal of time mapping out the fingerboard as well as explore how to creatively use melodic and single-string licks to enhance your own solos. Melodic and single-string practice strategies will also be covered! Tab examples will be provided and recording is encouraged.

Session II: 2:45 to 4:00 p.m.

Ned Luberecki: Playing Bluegrass Style Solos in Keys Other Than G Without A Capo (bluegrass, intermediate to advanced) This workshop is for intermediate to advanced players who can navigate the key of G but are looking to make their playing in the keys of C and D sound more “Bluegrass-y”. We’ll also tackle the keys of F, E and even Bb, all without a capo. We’ll find melodies and figure out how to add rolls and licks in a variety of keys. Tabs will be provided.

Bill Evans: Earl Scruggs Essentials: What Every Player Should Know (bluegrass, all levels) In this “hands-on & let’s play” workshop for all levels, Bill teaches a systematic approach to understanding Scruggs-style banjo. After a quick review of hand technique and roll patterns, Bill will move on to show how Earl’s favorite licks combine roll patterns with left-hand techniques (slides, hammer-ons, pull-offs), including Earl’s advanced boogie-woogie “Foggy Mt. Special” style playing. The class will analyze a few of Earl's best-known solos, enabling you to play them just like the master! Tab examples are provided.

Chris Coole: Clawhammer Back-up Techniques (old-time and bluegrass players, all levels) We'll look at some alternate techniques that I have learned and applied to playing clawhammer backup for songs and tunes in old-time, folk (singer-songwriter), and bluegrass. We'll look at roll patterns, ghost note techniques, skipped beats (leaving space in clawhammer), and chord ideas. These techniques will enrich all your backup playing be it solo or in a band.


Session III: 4:15 to 4:45 p.m.

Grand Finale with Ned, Chris, Bill and all students: Q & A, comparing styles and approaches, playing your requests and a concert preview.

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
Ned Luberecki
Ned Luberecki
2018 IBMA Banjo Player of the Year 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.
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 twenthy-two years, Bill 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 Stetcher, 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 their 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 also offers online lessons at www.pegheadnation.com.