Bill Evans

Bill Evans is an internationally known five-string banjo life force. As a performer, teacher, writer, scholar 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 career that spans over thirty-five years.
In Bill's solo concert presentation The Banjo in America, he presents the banjo from its West African roots to the New World, performing musical examples from the 1700’s to the present day on a variety of vintage instruments, ranging from an African ekonting to a mid-19th century minstrel banjo, a modern bluegrass banjo and even an electric banjo. From an 18th century African dance tune to the music of the Civil War, and from early 20th century ragtime to folk and bluegrass banjo styles to Bill’s own incredible original music, The Banjo in America illuminates as well as entertains, exposing audiences to over 250 years of American music.

Bill also assembles first-rate progressive acoustic ensembles to perform music from his CDs at major festivals around the world. Acoustic luminaries Todd Phillips, Josh Williams, Don Rigsby, Matt Flinner, Barbara Lamb, Jim Nunally, Chad Manning, Mike Barnett, Lincoln Meyers, Missy Raines, Steve Smith, Joe Walsh, Tashina & Tristan Clarridge, Mike Witcher and Sharon Gilchrist are just some of the folks who have shared the stage with Bill in a moving musical feast he calls The Bill Evans String Summit. 

Bill is the author of Banjo For Dummies, the most popular banjo book in the world and has produced six instructional DVDs for AcuTab Publications, Homespun Music and The Murphy Method. He has performed with acoustic legends David Bromberg, Peter Rowan, Dry Branch Fire Squad, Tony Trischka, Jody Stecher, David Grisman, Laurie Lewis, James Nash (The Waybacks) and Kathy Kallick, among many others. 

 Bill has appeared at many bluegrass and folk festivals all across North America, including appearances at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass (San Francisco, CA); FreshGrass (North Adams, MA) and Wintergrass (Bellvue, WA). In 2012, Bill performed in 12 states, Canada, Germany and participated in a U. S. State Department-sponsored tour of Russia. Other venues played in 2012 include the Birchmere Restaurant, VA; Banjo Camp Munich, Germany and an appearance with the San Francisco Symphony. In February of this year, Bill appeared on A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor.

He is also a camp and workshop favorite as a mainstay at many of the most important banjo and bluegrass music camps the world over, including Sore Fingers Bluegrass Week (England), the Midwest Banjo Camp (Michigan), Steve Kaufman’s Acoustic Kamp (Tennessee), Banjo Camp Munich (Germany) and the California Bluegrass Association Music Camps. For the last fourteen years, he has co-hosted the NashCamp Banjo Camp with bluegrass legend Sonny Osborne and in 2012, Bill created the California Banjo Extravaganza, combining a concert tour with workshops featuring prominent banjo legends.
Bill has probably taught more one-on-one banjo lessons than anyone else in the world. His list of former students is impressive: Chris Pandolfi (The Infamous Stringdusters), Greg Liszt (Crooked Still), Wes Corbett (Joy Kills Sorrow), Jayme Stone (From Africa to Appalachia) and Erik Yates (Hot Buttered Rum). However, Bill is just as adept at instructing the older adult learner whose goal is to have fun in a jam session or local band.

Bill is also on the faculty of the Jazzschool for Music Performance and Study, a four year music college in Berkeley, CA and teaches ensemble classes at the Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse, also in Berkeley. This is all in addition to a very healthy private teaching practice in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Bill's 2012 CD In Good Company features 26 guest artists, including The Infamous Stringdusters, Tim O'Brien, Joy Kills Sorrow, Stuart Duncan, Rob Ickes, Darol Anger, Mike Marshall, David Grier, Todd Phillips and many others. In Good Company reached #1 on the Roots Music Report and Folk DJ-List charts, where it was also the #18 Folk/Americana project for all of 2012. This project also received a Spotlight

Review in the August 2012 edition of Bluegrass Unlimited magazine.
In Good Company has been named to many Best of 2012 CD lists, including Pop Matters, Folk Alley, Kansas Public Radio, Engine 145, Prescription Bluegrass, and WDHX-FM. 

 Bill has just released a new CD, a collaboration with Chattanooga, Tennessee fiddler Fletcher Bright, titled Fine Times At Fletcher’s House, containing 16 banjo & fiddle duets. Bill has a Master’s Degree in Music from the University of California, Berkeley with a specialization in American music history and he has been a scholar/artist in residence at many universities across the United States. He has served as a consultant to the National Endowment for the Arts and is the former Associate Director of the International Bluegrass Music Museum in Owensboro, Kentucky.