Author: Evans, Bill

BluegrassÖ.in Russia?

Iím thankful that itís been such a busy summer this year. Iíve been lucky to teach at some of the best music camps around, like Banjo Camp North in Massachusetts; the Midwest Banjo Camp in Michigan; Camp Bluegrass at South Plains College in Texas and, coming up next week, NashCamp Bluegrass Week in Tennessee, not to mention this yearís great CBA Music Camp. Iíve also performed in concert this summer all across the country from the Northwest to my home state of Virginia and over to New Mexico and my new CD In Good Company was #1 on the Folk Charts in May. Closer to home, Bangers & Grass continues to attract standing room only crowds in Kensington, just two blocks from my home. Life is good and Iím grateful to be working this hard and I thank all of you for your interest and support.

While each and every day that I spend playing music is a day that I cherish, something truly unique is coming up on the calendar: Russia. On August 8, Iíll be flying out of San Francisco through Chicago and over to Frankfurt, Germany and, some 18 hours later, to St. Petersburg, Russia to play four music festivals and a Moscow nightclub with a great hand-picked Nashville-based band: Tim May on guitar; Barbara Lamb on fiddle and Todd Phillips on bass.

This is the third year that the U. S. Consulate in St. Petersburg has asked for American bluegrass musicians to come to Russia to perform. Pete and Joan Wernick were the path breakers in 2010, with Donna Ulisse and her band making the trip last year. This yearís tour is the largest yet: in addition to performances at the Vologda Kremlin and Totmaís central square, weíll be flying 2,000 miles into the interior for the first performances by a bluegrass band ever in the cities of Perm and Yekaterinburg before heading home on August 19.

And like so many things related to bluegrass, itís all happened because of the hard work of several Americans who work at the consulate who love and play bluegrass music.

Overnight trains, rural buses, tours of St. Petersburg and Moscow, national television and radio appearances and jam sessions with Russian musicians lie ahead. Bluegrass has opened many doors for me in my performing career, but this is a big one Ė and Iím tremendously excited about this experience.

Iíll be sharing pictures, video and writings from Russia via my new blog at Head on over and pay the site a visit when you get a moment and Iíll report back here next month on some of the highlights of the bandís Russian experience.

Thanks for your support!

All the best,

Bill Evans
Posted:  7/28/2012

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