California Banjo Extravaganza

Bill Evans, Riley Baugus and Ryan Cavanaugh
with John Reischman, Chad Manning, Sharon Gilchrist & Jim Nunally

Sunday, November 15, 2015, 8:00 pm
(doors open at 7:00pm)

concert w/ five string all-stars plus banjo mini-camp

$30 adv / $32 door

Purchase tickets online
November 15 8:00 pm

More information about the Banjo Mini-Camp (Nov. 15, 1-4:30pm) here.


The Fourth Annual California Banjo Extravaganza lifts off at the Freight with local five-string favorite Bill Evans bringing in two all-time banjo greats, Riley Baugus and Ryan Cavanaugh, along with a band of bluegrass all-stars.


Riley Baugus represents the best of old time American banjo and song. Growing up in North Carolina, he learned fiddle and banjo from venerable elders like National Heritage Award winner Tommy Jarrell and other traditional musicians of the area, including Dix Freeman, Chester McMillian, and former Camp Creek Boys members Verlin Clifton and Paul Sutphin. While working as a welder and blacksmith by day, Riley played with many old time string bands, including the Old Hollow String Band and the Red Hots. His self-produced 2001 recording, Life of Riley, showcases his masterful, elegant banjo and his rich, raw singing. A longtime friendship with Dirk Powell got him involved in the movie Cold Mountain, where he not only provided the singing voice for the character Pangle, but also the hand-crafted reproductions of Civil War era banjos. Since then, he’s worked with such artists as T-Bone Burnett, Tim O’Brien, Alison Krause, Robert Plant, and Willie Nelson.


Ryan Cavanaugh, who also hails from North Carolina, has won such premier banjo contests as RockyGrass, MerleFest, and RenoFest. Bela Fleck calls him “one of the best technical players ever” and No Depression calls him “the most versatile banjo player in the world whose name isn’t Fleck.” He spent nine years touring with Soulgrass, and lately he’s released a solo album, Back Country, and has another one, The Realist, due soon. Along with his virtuoso playing, he’s also a songwriter of great imagination and depth, exploring newgrass and jazz with a craftsman’s fine touch.


Bill EvansLike Riley and Ryan, Bill is a banjo life force. His book Banjo for Dummies is the best-selling banjo instructional book in the world. His latest album, In Good Company, topped international folk and bluegrass charts and made numerous “Best of 2012” lists. In addition to co-hosting the popular All-Star Bangers & Grass monthly concerts in Kensington, Bill has played at the Freight with David Bromberg, Melody Walker & Jacob Groopman, and the Hard Road Trio. He also teaches at the California Jazz Conservatory. John Reischman on mandolin, Chad Manning on fiddle, and Sharon Gilchrist on bass will join Riley, Ryan, and Bill to make some unforgettable music tonight at the Freight!


Listen to a track from Riley Baugus:

Listen to a track from Ryan Cavanaugh:

Listen to a track from Bill Evans:

Listen to a track from John Reischman:



visit the Bill Evans website

visit the Riley Baugus website

visit the Ryan Cavanaugh website

visit the John Reischman website

visit the Chad Manning website

visit the Sharon Gilchrist website



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Listen to sample tracks from upcoming artists.