Sacramento Banjo Band's Banjo-Rama April 6 - 8, 2018
Friday, Saturday & Sunday
April 6 - 8, 2018

Workshops, Jam Sessions, Performances, Vendors

Admission:
3-day Weekend Pass: $50
Daily Pass: $20 (in advance)
$25 (at the door)

Free admission for kids
through high school age!

Flier


The Courtyard by Marriott
1782 Tribute Road
Sacramento, CA

Special Banjo-Rama rates:
Room with King: $99
Room with 2 Queens: $109

Banjo-Rama 2018
 
 

Featured Musicians

Jack Convery — Winner of the 1973 United Artists best banjoist of Northern California contest, having performed and worked with such music legends as Bing Crosby and Perry Como, and band director of the S.F. 49ers band since 1987, Jack Convery has been hailed as "the best banjoist in the NFL." A singer and guitarist as well, his repertoire of lively material includes timeless jazz classics, novelty show stoppers and country, pop, and bluegrass standards arranged for the banjo. Jack has worked with legendary entertainers such as Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald, Arthur Godfrey, Willie Nelson, The Temptations, and many more. Born in 1954 in Witchita, Ka., Jack spent his childhood in Fresno, Ca., learning the banjo at age 12. Attending banjo and jazz festivals, Jack "paid his dues" by performing at pizza parlors, as a street musician, and at numerous Bay Area gigs. Jack has numerous CD's to his credit and performs at banjo and jazz festivals, city concerts, and at venues in Northern California. Jack has been leading the the Banjo snow train for 10 years now &  leads banjo & ukulele cruise tours to Alaska, Mexico, And Hawaii. For more info visit: www.banjosnowtrain.com. Jack Convery

Paul Erickson — In the music business there is a common perception that a musician is generally held in higher regard the further away from home that he or she performs.  While it is true that local musicians are often never fully appreciated in their hometowns – but seemingly adored elsewhere, banjoist Paul Erickson defies this trend, being equally admired and respected in both his hometown of La Crosse, Wisconsin as well as the worldwide banjo and jazz community.

For a young man destined to play music, La Crosse was a great place to grow up.  Strongly influenced by the indigenous polka music as well as Dixieland jazz that had settled in the picturesque Mississippi River town, Erickson gravitated towards the rhythmic pulse of both musical genres, the four-string banjo and, while still in his early teens, could be seen performing professionally at the local Shakey’s Pizza Parlor.
The professional reality-check of Shakey’s closing its doors in 1975 sent Erickson on a quest to find his own musical identity and direction.  Gravitating towards jazz guitar icons and incorporating their influence into his ever-growing unique and personal banjo style, Erickson knew he needed to make a living – but not at the expense of creating the music he had come to love.  In response, he settled into a career of non-musical occupations which would allow him the freedom to play his music when and where he wanted to.

The creation of music – particularly jazz – is often best accomplished through interaction with other musicians.  As a member of the Wonderful World Jazz Band, Erickson became a fixture at the many traditional jazz festivals held each year across the country.  Within just a few years, his impeccable skills on both the banjo and guitar saw him evolve into the ‘go to’ fret man for numerous jazz bands scattered around the Midwest.  An insatiable musical curiosity – coupled with newly developed skills as a five-string banjoist, also saw Erickson develop a unique and tasteful partnership of music created by both four and five string banjos.

It is as a tenor banjo soloist, however, in which Erickson has truly made an artistic mark.  Absorbing and distilling the music and playing styles of the banjo greats of the past – and blending those traditions with jazz and other more modern musical influences, Paul Erickson has created a new and unique voice for an instrument that many believed to have been musically perfected nearly a century ago.  His inventive musical mind driving and controlling an incredibly light and fluid touch on his instrument have resulted in a modern tenor banjo sound and style that is as fresh as it is exciting.

As word of this special banjoist spread, Erickson quickly became – and remains  – a favorite soloist at every major four-string banjo-centric event around the nation.  Interacting musically at these events with both his idols as well as contemporaries, his playing style remains dynamic, in a constant state of experimentation and growth, but vigilantly respectful to his banjo roots.

Modest to a fault, Erickson typically shies away from the spotlight, preferring instead his role as a sideman playing an occasional solo.  When, however, that spotlight naturally gravitates toward him, the result is always spontaneous, engaging and utterly musical.  As a new age tenor banjo pioneer, Paul Erickson represents a true artistic milestone, bridging the instrument’s colorful past to its unlimited future.

Copy credit: Johnny Baier

Paul Erickson
Jeff Green—Lives in Sonoma and has been playing banjo about as long as he can remember. Growing up in the notorious "Banjo Greens" family, it was only natural to be enchanted by this happy instrument and all of the joyful music that it makes. Jeff is a busy musician who is in demand to play with many West Coast jazz ensembles and traditional jazz bands. In addition to performing with "4/4 Fun" every chance he gets, Jeff is co-leader of the Gold Coast Jazz band, and performs with the Zenith, Flying Eagle, Natural Gas, and Calamity Kin jazz bands. Jeff has graced the stage at Banjo-Rama on numerous occasions with The Green Family, Shade Tree Swing, "Swango", The Bird Cage Quartette, and the Sacramento, Wineland, Oakland and Oregon Trail banjo bands. Jeff Green

Nathan Hanna—Unfortunately, Nathan Hanna will be unable to join us this year due to other obligations.

 

Hendricks Brothers—Monte and Allen Hendricks are both natives of the great state of Wisconsin. They are Hendricks Banjos in Pollock Pines, CA, building banjos along with repair and restoration of all banjos. Allen started out working with Henry Lea in Fair Oaks and Larry Lew in Lodi, CA, both well known banjo makers and repairmen. Monte, living in Wisconsin, was hired by C. C. Richelieu and became the head craftsman at Richelieu Banjos until the end of 1976. At that time, Monte and Allen decided to join forces and build their own banjos in the foothills east of Sacramento.

Monte and Allen are both excellent five string banjo players, with finger picks in the style of bluegrass. Monte played with a couple bands in Wisconsin in the 1970’s. He now prefers to make banjos and spend time with his wife and friends in the mountains of the Western US. Allen has been a noted professional musician since 1970. He has played in most of the western states and England and Europe. He currently performs with Mosquito Road out of Camino, CA. Monte used to perform with C. C. Richelieu from time to time where he added some good Dixieland tunes to his repertoire. Allen has played with several Dixieland players (including three of the Sacramento Jazz Festivals). He is currently one of Northern California's most sought after banjo teachers.

As brothers/banjo makers/performers/friends, these two have mastered something that is seldom seen or heard in the 5-string banjo world: two 5-string banjos played in harmony. These two brothers live and breathe banjos!

Hendricks Brothers

Ron Hinkle — has been playing the plectrum and tenor banjo since the age of 12 (1972), and teaching both on and off for the last 25 years. He is retired from the Army (musician), and now makes his living with the banjo. He edits music and writes magazine articles (BMG) and banjo instruction manuals for the Clifford Essex Music Co. Ltd. His specialty is the "Emile Grimshaw Method," which he sees as the natural gateway to all styles of plectrum banjo playing. He also works on Harry Reser's plectrum banjo music. He teaches via Skype, unless you happen to live in S.E. Arizona! Ron plays a Clifford Essex Weaver plectrum banjo for the classic style, and an Ome for the Jazz.

Ron Hinkle
Bill Lowrey—Bill Lowrey began studying the Tenor banjo from Charlie Tagawa at the age of 14. Bill joined Charlie's Junior Banjo Band and quickly progressed in both chord and melody techniques. He studied Plectrum banjo from Kevin McCabe at the age of 17 and fell in love with the styles of Perry Bechtel and Eddie Peabody. More recently, Bill has worked to incorporate the musical styles of great guitarists such as Chet Atkins, Les Paul and Django Reinhardt to create a style of banjo playing as diverse as music itself. Bill loves to play all types of jazz from traditional to modern and particularly loves to immerse himself in the works of George Gershwin. Bill feels the banjo, as life, is to be constantly explored and expanded to encompass new ideas. Bill works as a software consultant, is actively involved as a Boy Scout volunteer and is the father of two wonderful pianists: Katie and Laura.  Today he is performing with Devan Kortan, Giorgi Khokhobashvilli, Pat Dutrow and Bill Sharp. Bill Lowrey
Dick Martin —Dick Martin began playing the plectrum banjo in January 1968, when his father started the Southern California Banjo Band. Dick took lessons for about a year and soon afterwards began playing professionally in the Los Angeles area. Playing experiences included engagements at pizza parlors such as Shakey’s and Straw Hat, night clubs, Disneyland and various other venues. He participated in recordings by the Southern California Banjo Band, the Peninsula Banjo Band, the Sacramento Banjo Band and most recently, the Northwest Banjo Band. Dick has performed regularly at many of the Banjo Conventions including: Circle the Wagons Banjo Gatherin' in Caldwell, Idaho, The Oregon Trail Banjo Bash, Peninsula Banjo Band’s Jubilee, Sacramento Banjo Band’s Banjo-Rama, the Great Lakes International Banjo Convention, Dearborn, Michigan, as well as the New Orleans Banjo Rendez-Vous. National Banjo conventions include F.I.G.A. and the Mid America Banjo Rally. Dick Martin
Greg Sabin — Greg Sabin started playing the banjo over 25 years ago under the tutelage of Bill Dendle and Eddie Erickson at the Sacramento Traditional Jazz Camp. Since then, he has played all over the country with like-minded musicians like Jason Wanner, Bria Skonberg, Brandon Au, and many others. You can hear him most often in Northern California with his 5-piece traditional jazz band, The Crescent Katz, or his two-man comedy-music act, The Freebadge Serenaders. When not playing, Greg spends his time reviewing restaurants and helping people with retirement planning. Greg Sabin

Calamity Jazz — Vicki Cox, Norm Gary, Meg Graf, and Lance McClean make up this vibrant group.

Vicki Cox, leader of the Calamity Jazz Band, plays with Oregon Jazz Band, and is a sought-after performer on the West Coast, frequently appearing as a featured artist with big bands, gospel choirs, and other ensembles.

Meg Graf plays with the Calamity Jazz Band and several other ensembles. She and Vicki are also members of the Sacramento Banjo Band.

Educated as an entomologist specializing in honey bees, Dr. Norm Gary found time during 32 years as a professor and research scientist at UC Davis to have fun with music. He led several bands and combos in Davis during the 70’s, then joined the Dixieland Jazz circuit in Sacramento in 1979, performing with various bands. He was leader of the Beez’ Kneez Jazz Band for 9 years and released two CDs. He also plays clarinet in the Sacramento Banjo Band.

Lance MacLean has played music, of some kind, most of his life. At the age of 14, he took an interest in 4 string banjo. Through the years, he has picked up other instruments along the way: 5 String Banjo, Bass, Tuba, Guitar, Mandolin and Piano. For 20 years, Lance played banjo and guitar on the Dixieland Festival Circuit. He had performed and toured with the well-known Dixieland band “The Hot Frogs Jumping Jazz Band” for 10 years, after that was with the “Night Blooming Jazzmen” for several years. He left the band and moved out of state, to New Hampshire where he resides. He has been called out to play with NBJ from time to time. Lance currently has his own band “The Moose Mountain Jazz Band.” He also plays bass with “The Best Of Times Jazz Quintet.” You will hear Lance on 18 recordings from these various groups. Lance’s “Day Job” is being self employed as a Piano Tuner and Computer specialist.

Vicki Cox and Meg Graf

Norm Gary

Lance MacLean

Have Banjo, Will Travel
What happens when a group of banjo friends get together at Rex Inglis’s home during the 2017 BANJO-RAMA?  The visiting and playing makes everyone realize that we don’t do this enough.  So, Rex brought up the idea of getting together at more places during the year.  His idea took hold and really blossomed at Dick Martin’s BANJO CAMP in Sweet Home, OR.  The number of attendees have ranged from 3 to 17 and come from AZ, CA, OR, WA, NY, and MI.  There was a meeting at John Greens Jam in Fiddletown in October. A great time was had by all in Dewey, AZ in both December and January.  More fun in Sweet Home over St. Patrick’s Day to be followed by BANJO-JAM-A-RAMA, then DEARBORN, MI, and BANJO CAMP.  Who knows what and where Rex will lead us to next.  He’s like the Pied Piper.  He leads and we follow.

 

Ned's Jazz Boat Shuffle
 Ned's Jazz Boat Shuffle first performed at the Hangtown Jazz Festival in Placerville CA, in 1986. The group was named after a moonlight cruise Ned put on with the Red and White Fleet on the Sacramento River in 1982. Playing early New Orleans style music, the 7 piece jazz band has, over the years, included Gene Levinson (tuba), Brandon Au (trombone), Justin Au of jazz festival fame (trumpet), John Cocuzzi (world class piano, vibraphone and drums), and Bill Chiechi (piano). The Shufflers have played many venues, including being a guest band at the Santa Rosa Jazz Club. Currently part of the outreach program for Folsom Lake Community Concert Association, the band plays at assisted living facilities in El Dorado and Placer counties. Bill Crow, Jim Harris, Dave Sieber, Emmett O'Sullivan, Phil Anderson and Ned Poffinbarger have been the mainstays of this band.

Ned's Jazz Boat Shuffle

Way Back When Band
Get your toes tappin' and your smiles on when you hear the music of Way Back When. We bring the "Good Old Days" back to life with the popular music of those days, evoking memories of earlier, and simpler times. Some tunes are "Bill Bailey," "All of Me," "Bye Bye Blackbird," and "Runnin' Wild." Then we mix in a little Country with "San Antonio Rose," "Ragtime Cowboy Joe," or "Your Cheatin' Heart." We'll sometimes add "new" songs from the 40s or 50s, like "Bourbon Street Parade," & "Elmer's Tune," but we always keep that fun banjo music front and center.

Band members are (from left to right): Linda Mitchell (plectrum), Phil Anderson (tenor), Bev Anderson (washboard and vocals), Jim Mathews (plectrum), Barbara Kampe (tenor) and Dave Sieber (tuba).

Way Back When Band
Banjo Bands  
Girls! Girls! Girls!—Girls! Girls! Girls! is a banjo group consisting of the female members of the Sacramento Banjo Band and visiting women from other banjo groups. Joining the banjoists will be ukulele, fiddle and washboard players, and gut bucketers. You might even hear a red-hot vocalist or two! We’re secretly in it for the Fun! Fun! Fun! Girls! Girls! Girls!
East Bay Banjo Club
The East Bay Banjo Club was founded in 1963 as a nonprofit organization and dedicated to the spirit of playing “happy” banjo music.  There are currently about 40 musician members with over 20 members attending meetings each week. From outright beginners to seasoned professionals, the club always welcomes new members.  The range of banjo playing experience ranges from several months to as much as fifty years.

The club has performed at hundreds of venues including: community parades, private parties, public parks, crab feeds, picnics, senior citizen centers, and community festivals. Annually, the club performs at Sacramento Banjo-Rama.   The club donates earnings from play outs to various charities each year.

East Bay Banjo Club
Happy Time Banjos
Established in 1992, Happy Time Banjos still practices in the original location – the Veterans’ Memorial Senior Center in Redwood City, CA. Made up of Peninsula, Alamo, San Jose and Santa Cruz players, the band practices each Monday and performs at 7pm every Tuesday at Harry's Hofbrau in Redwood City.

Leader John Robbins began playing with Jack Dupen at the Copy Cat in San Francisco, before Jack opened the Red Garter nightclub on Broadway. John’s father played plectrum banjo in San Francisco in the days of vaudeville…and John still occasionally performs with his father’s old Vega Professional.

While still honoring Steven Foster, the Gershwins, Cole Porter and the older banjo-band standards, under John’s leadership the band specializes in newer tunes – “newer” being works by and for Duke Ellington, the Beatles, Lena Horne, The Mamas and The Papas, Roger Miller, Judy Garland, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Ritchie Valens, Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee, etc.

Happy Time Banjos

The Orphan Banjo Band
The Orphan Banjo Band is composed each year of “orphan” banjo players (those not playing in another band) or banjo players who just wish to be orphans. Ned Poffinbarger will be leading the Orphan Banjo Band, as he has done for the past 23 years.

 
Peninsula Banjo Band
The Peninsula Banjo Band organized in 1963 to preserve the four-string banjo and its music. They have up to 40 members including plectrum and tenor banjos, as well as the washtub bass players. They have played for numerous functions in the Bay Area including Candlestick Park, the 50th Anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Black and White Ball, the Tech Museum in Oakland, and the Mayors' Convention in San Francisco where Mayor Willie Brown directed the band. They have raised over $250,000 for charities such as the Research Institute of S.F., the Stanford Hospital, Hospice of the Valley and the Ronald McDonald House. Directed for many years by Charlie Tagawa. They meet each Wednesday from 7:00-8:30 p.m. at Harry's Hofbrau, 390 Saratoga Ave, in San Jose. We hope you'll come see us.
Peninsula Banjo Band
Sacramento Banjo Band
The Sacramento Banjo Band, your host for the Banjo-Rama was the original banjo band, organized in 1960. It has grown to over 50 playing members and about 60 Friends of the Band. Each year they host the annual Banjo-Rama. For many years, they performed at the Sacramento Music Festival in May. On the first and third Sundays of the month, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m., they fill the Straw Hat Pizza Parlor on Mather Field Road with happy players, fans, and music. Over the years, the band has donated more than $136,000 to children's charities, including Shriners Hospitals for Children, the Make A Wish Foundation, W.E.A.V.E., Sacramento Children's Home, A Touch of Understanding, Inc. and many other deserving charities.
Sacramento Banjo Band
Wineland Banjo Band
The WineLand Banjo Band was started in Livermore, California in 2007 by Jim Bottorff. The band members are from many locations in Northern California, including the Livermore Valley, Sonoma Valley, Gold Country, Shenandoah Valley, and San Jose areas.  Some of the members drive long distances just to attend our weekly get together in Livermore.  Instruments include 4-string banjos, bass guitar, washboards, and various percussion devices.  The WineLand Banjo Band made its first appearance at the Sacramento Banjo-Rama in 2007.

We play and sing nostalgic songs of yesterday composed from the gay-90’s through the 40’s.  Seniors are delighted to hear familiar sing-a-long tunes.  Younger people are excited because this style of music is novel to them.  How often do you hear lots of 4-string banjos happily strumming together?  Enthusiastic toe tapping and singing characterize our audiences.

For additional information see The WineLand Banjo Band website at http://jbott.com/winelandbanjoband.html. Many of the songs we play can be heard and played along with on "Jim Bottorff's Banjo Page" website at http://www.jbott.com.

Wineland Banjo Band
Ragtime Piano Players  
Join in with these spectacular piano players to recreate the fun of the 60’s and 70’s pizza parlor heydays. There will be sheet music projected on the wall during most, if not all of these jams. If you would like to play piano with the banjos, or banjo with the pianos, sign up to play throughout the weekend. The sign up sheet will be on or near the door to Ballroom A.  

Cleve Baker — As a youngster after the War, Cleve Baker was turned on to the Traditional Jazz of Lu Watters that he heard on the radio, including live ragtime played by Wally Rose, long before ragtime was revived by The Sting. He was "hooked" by the history of the music, its composers and how it has played a role in the social history of the United States. Cleve did his first paying gig at the Red Garter, during his senior year at Stanford Medical School. He has enjoyed playing with a Dixieland band in the North Bay, the Dixon Phirehouse Philharmonics Band, for over 30 years. He's also played with small jazz bands in the Sacramento area and on cruise ships. At this festival, Cleve will focus on compositions created during the San Francisco Traditional Jazz Revival by Lu Watters, Turk Murphy and Pete Clute, as well as the Ragtime and Traditional New Orleans Jazz which was the object of the San Francisco revival.

Look for Cleve Saturday at 10:30 am.

Cleve Baker
Meg Graf is well known for her "Big George" bass sax. She is leader and performer in the Bellafina Ensemble and Calamity Jazz Band, both of which operate out of her home town of Eugene Oregon, but traveling the whole West Coast and beyond. Most people know she also plays the violin and a darned good banjo, but not everyone knows that she is an accomplished pianist. No set time, yet, for her piano/banjo jams, so keep an eye out on the sign-ups for Ballroom A jams. Meg Graf
Todd Morgan's first public performance story, on piano, starts when he was 14 years old as a solo artist on the Promenade stage at the California State Fair. From there, Todd started his own Rock n’ Roll band and was back at the State Fair the following year. Since then, Todd has continued playing on all sorts of stages and a variety of musical genres. After winning a band contest that allowed him the opportunity to perform at Biscuits & Blues in San Francisco, Todd was asked back to open for Boogie Woogie artist Mitch Woods (Mitch Woods & His Rocket 88s). Later Mitch envited Todd to join him on several of his Boogie Woogie Piano Blow-Outs around the Bay Area. Todd continued to craft his own songs, producing 3 full length albums with another due out summer of 2018. One of Todd’s songs, Running Wild, off the Sweet Pretender LP, received West Coast Songwriters ‘Best Song of the Year’ in 2015. In January of this year Todd had the pleasure, and honor, of performing with members of Country music’s legendary Carter family along with their close friend and harpsicord/guitar player Ronnie Williams at the beautiful Crest Theater in downtown Sacramento in the Poets & Pioneers production. Most recently, Todd performed in Lullabye of Broadway, a stage production sponsored by the City of Elk Grove Arts Commission. Along with performing solo and with his own Pop/Rock band, Todd Morgan & the Emblems, and occasionally helping out Bob Dragga’s Band at festivals in Oregon and Canada, Todd has a full and varied musical life. He looks forward to adding the Banjo-Jam-A-Rama to his list of musical adventures in 2018. Todd Morgan
Rich Olsen plays jazz piano, everything from Rag’s "Kitten on the Keys", to the "Original Boogie Woogie." He’s looking forward to playing with the banjo players during our "Off the Wall," jams, with a definite start time at Noon Saturday.  
Petra Sullivan is an accomplished ragtime piano player and teacher. She also plays violin with the Porcupines Ragtime Ensemble. She will be playing one of our "Off the Wall" piano/banjo jam sessions, Sunday from 10:30-11:15.  
embroidered banjo embroidered banjo