Sacramento Banjo Band's Banjo-Rama May 17-19, 2019
Friday, Saturday & Sunday
May 17-19, 2019

Banjo Bands, Specialty Combos, Workshops, Vendors,
Jam Sessions

Admission:
3-day Weekend Pass: $55
Friday or Saturday only: $20
Sunday only: $25

Free admission for kids
12 and under!
Flier


Lion's Gate Hotel
3410 Westover St.
McClellan Park, Sacramento CA

Performers, Vendors and Merchants
Advertise in our
Printed Program
and sell your wares
at the event.

Banjo-Rama 2019
 
 

Featured Musicians

Bill Dendle — Bill Dendle began playing banjo in 1963, and by 1967 was appearing at Mickie Finn's in San Diego as leader of the South Market Street Jazz Band, which also appeared at Disneyland and on USO tours. In 1968, Bill took over the job of lead banjoist at Capone's Warehouse in Monterey, where he appeared off and on for the next nine years. 1977 found Bill as an entertainment consultant, banjoist, trombonist, band leader and entertainer at Florida's Disneyworld, where he opened the Empress Lilly Showboat. Bugs and humidity sent Bill back to San Diego in late 1977 to revive the South Market Street Jazz Band, which became a popular fixture at Dixieland Jazz Festivals throughout the United States. From 1982 to 1995, Bill appeared as one-half of the duo called Goodtime Banjos at banjo concerts, jazz festivals, conventions and private parties. He is currently director of jazz camp programs for the Sacramento Jazz Education Foundation, and has performed with Eddie Erickson, Bob Haggart, Bob Crosby, Johnny Varro, Dick Cary, Abe Most, Nick Fatool, Bob Draga and others. He is highly regarded by his fellow banjoists, who also appreciate his ready wit and good humor. Bill Dendle
Craig Colby — grew up in the 1970’s playing plectrum banjo at various pizza parlors. For a time he played with the Southern California Banjo Band. Craig still plays plectrum banjo and guitar with various SoCal jazz bands. He has also been seen playing under various private shade trees, mountain campground sights, and desert motorcycle riding spots. He appears nightly playing solo banjo in his Ridgecrest, California, home and backyard. Craig Colby
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
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 "Calamity Kin" 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

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

Roy Hill—was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He left Ireland as a young man in 1955 to seek his fortune abroad. After a year and a half working in England, he decided to head for Canada. Upon arrival in Toronto, he landed a position with a Bay Street stockbroker. Thus began a 42 year career in the financial district as a trader and stockbroker.

As a teenager in Ireland he acquired a cheap banjo and learned half a dozen chords, enough to enjoy a sing along around a camp fire or at a party. The banjo was left behind when he began his travels, and was forgotten until early in 1988, when having dinner in a jazz club he talked to the banjo player in a Dixieland group. Seeing his interest in the banjo, he told Roy about a banjo club that had recently been formed in Toronto. Roy dropped in to hear them, and the rest, as they say, is history. Roy chaired the successful 1989 Toronto convention and shortly afterward joined the Board of FIGA. As President of FIGA he co-chaired the 1995 Toronto convention. Roy played with the TBB until moving to London, Ontario upon retirement. He has played with numerous Dixieland bands and entertained in many senior’s residences with his banjo and vocals.

Roy Hill

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

Fred Pepper — Fred Pepper was born Fred Pfeffer in Rotterdam, Holland in 1946. His older brother Siggi taught him to play the Ukulele banjo at age 6. He moved with his family to Germany when he was 11. His brother played in a Dixieland band later on. The banjo player in the band gave Fred a real banjo, and Fred still plays banjo with Ukulele tuning.

At 26, Fred started his own band called the Red Hot Peppers, which was very successful with features on the radio, television, concerts, and fairs. Later, Fred came to New Jersey in the U.S., playing in a four piece group of two banjos, one trombone, and one tuba. The other banjo player in the group was the well known Ron Bill.

In 1981 Fred opened up the golden gates to the Smith Farm in Brentwood, California where he played the part of "Cowboy Fred." This musical magic barn solo act for people of all ages is where he is known for pulling a live bunny out of his hat. During the month of October, about 20,000 people came to enjoy the magical music show, which lasted at the Smith Farm for 20 years. Later, Fred carried his Cowboy Fred act to Six Flags to perform for the children. Simultaneously, he got The Red Hot Peppers together with new band members from the Sacramento area.

Since then, Fred traveled with the Gary Seibert Polka Power band to many venues including, Wisconsin, Vegas, Minnesota, New York, and Arizona. He also played with the well known Accordion player Frankie Yankovic. Fred has six children and 10 grandchildren and is happily married to his wife Tamra.

Fred Pepper

Calamity Kin — Vicki Cox, Meg Graf, Norm Gary, Jeff Green and Lance MacLean 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.

See Jeff Green's bio and picture above.

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.

 

 

Have Banjo, Will Travel

Up String Creek
Up String Creek is a brand new string group from Creekview Ranch School in Roseville. These youngsters are learning to read music and play ukuleles, guitars, violin, banjo and baritones. They have been practicing on Tuesday afternoons since February. You won't want to miss their debut performance!
 

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

"Ned's" Jazz Boat Shuffle Jazz Band
Led by Ned Poffinbarger on the banjo, this entertaining group includes jazz vocalist Jan Sutherland MacKenzie, with Polly Edgerton on clarinet and soprano saxophone, Dave Sieber on tuba, Bert Bertam (of Up Town Low Down Jazz Band fame) on trombone, and a mystery trumpet player.

 
Banjo Bands  
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 50 musician members with 20+ attending meetings each week. From outright beginners to seasoned professionals, the club always welcomes new members. Banjo playing experience ranges from several months to as much as fifty years.

The club has performed at hundreds of venues including: community parades in Contra Costa County and San Francisco, appearances at private parties, public parks, crab feeds, picnics, senior citizen centers, shopping centers, and retail stores. Annually, the club performs at Banjo-Rama sponsored by the Sacramento Banjo Band and at the Banjo Jubilee sponsored by the Peninsula Banjo Band in San Jose CA.

The club has also traveled and performed at venues outside of the San Francisco Bay area. Appearances include: Arizona Banjo Blast in Tempe Arizona and in venues in Guthrie, Oklahoma, former home of the Banjo Hall of Fame. In September of 2005, the club was sent to the Czech Republic by the Orinda/Tabor Sister City Foundation, where they presented traditional American Jazz before large, enthusiastic crowds at an annual European Music Festival.

The club donates earnings from play outs to the Las Trampas School, Meals on Wheels, the Bay Area Crisis Nursery, and the We Care Center.

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 31 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 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 $300,000 for charities such as the Second Harvest, the Stanford Children’s Hospital, Hospice of the Valley and the Ronald McDonald House. Bill Lowrey is their musical director. They meet each Wednesday from 7:00-8:30 p.m. at Bogey’s Pizza at 5039 Almaden Expressway, in San Jose. Please drop in, bring your banjo.

Over the years, the Peninsula Banjo Band has recorded four CDs with our favorite tunes. Our most recent, That Charlie Sound, features three special numbers by our former musical director, Charlie Tagawa. We hope you’ll take a copy home with you.

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
embroidered banjo embroidered banjo