Biography Bill Evans
is an internationally recognized five-string banjo life force. As a performer, teacher, writer and composer, he brings a deep knowledge, intense virtuosity and contagious passion to all things banjo, with thousands of music fans and banjo students from all over the world in a music career that now spans over thirty-five years.
Bill's banjo artistry is best experienced in live performance and on his recordings Fine Times At Fletcher's House with Fletcher Bright (2013), In Good Company (2012), let's do something with Megan Lynch (2009), Bill Evans Plays Banjo (2001) and Native and Fine (1995). Bill successfully bridges traditional and contemporary sounds and playing techniques, creating a new music that is firmly within the bluegrass tradition but draws upon a broad knowledge of classical, jazz and world music, drawing upon his experiences as a graduate student in Music at the University of California, Berkeley and as the associate director of the International Bluegrass Music Museum.
Bill is also an expert player of mid-19th century minstrel banjo and late 19th and early 20th century classic banjo styles, authentically performing these styles on historical instruments. He brings all of these diverse musical performing interests together in his solo concert The Banjo in America.
In the last two years, Bill has toured throughout the United States, Canada, England, and Germany and toured Russia for the U. S. State Department. Recent appearances include A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor and performances with the San Francisco Symphony. From festival to folk society stages, to universities and performing arts centers, The Banjo in America has earned standing with a dazzling display of banjo artistry of unparalleled historical depth geared towards entertaining general audiences.
Bill is the author of Banjo For Dummies, the most popular banjo book in the world. Banjo For Dummies is now in its second edition and has been translated into French and Portuguese. This year, Bill is preparing a companion volume Bluegrass Banjo For Dummies. In addition, Bill hosts six critically acclaimed instructional DVDs for AcuTab Publications, Homespun Tapes and the Murphy Method and he is also the co-author of Mel Bay’s best-selling Parking Lot Pickers Songbook: Banjo Edition.
With banjo legend Sonny Osborne, Bill hosts the NashCamp Banjo Camp each fall in Fairview, Tennessee. Now in its 13th year, this camp is the premiere bluegrass banjo camp in the world and has featured J. D. Crowe, Jens Kruger, Bill Emerson, Ron Block, Kristin Scott Benson, Rob McCoury, Tony Trischka, Alan Munde, Ned Luberecki, Charlie Cushman, Pete Wernick and Frank Neat, among others.
Bill has also been a mainstay at many other banjo and bluegrass music camps over the last fifteen years, including multiple appearances at Sore Fingers Bluegrass Week (England), Bluegrass Camp Munich (Germany), the Midwest Banjo Camp (Michigan), Steve Kaufman’s Acoustic Music Camp (Tennessee) and the California Bluegrass Association’s Music Camp.
Bill has probably taught more one-on-one banjo lessons than anyone else in the world. His list of students is impressive: Chris Pandolfi (The Infamous Stringdusters), Jayme Stone, Greg Liszt (Crooked Still, the Deadly Gentlemen), Wes Corbett and Erik Yates (Hot Buttered Rum.) However, Bill is equally adept at instructing the older adult learner whose goal is to have fun in a jam session or local band.
At any one time in his home near Richmond, California, Bill teaches between forty and sixty students, in addition to maintaining a steady international touring schedule. In addition, Bill teaches the most popular bluegrass ensemble classes in the San Francisco Bay Area at the Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse and he is on the faculty of the California Jazz Conservatory.