Based in Prairieville, Louisiana, Matt Blaize is a multi-instrumental tour de force. A master of the jazz flute and electric bass (he placed as a finalist at the International Society of Bassists competition in Kalamazoo, Michigan), he appears here with his banjo, with which he boasts an unusually lyrical and expressive style of picking.
Boston-via-New Zealand banjoist Catherine Bowness studied with Tony Trischka and Bill Evans, and worked with David Grisman and Julian Lage. Her rhythm is impeccable, earning her second place in the prestigious RockyGrass competition in 2012. She also appears in the contest with her band, Mile Twelve.
15-year-old Victor Furtado is a genuine banjo prodigy, with a host of national contest appearances since the age of 11. Bluegrass Today says of his debut album, “This is a young man with an absurdly precocious talent and a depth of understanding of old-time music that is at odds with his age.” He visits FreshGrass from Front Royal, Virginia.
Blackberry Bushes Stringband banjoist Alex Genova takes the spotlight for a solo performance and a chance at the FreshGrass banjo crown. Hailing from Wisconsin, he is a blazing Scruggs-style picker with a talent and humor that recalls a young Ralph Stanley.
Douglas Jay Goldstein first appeared at FreshGrass with the 2013 Award winner Cricket Tell the Weather, and has since become a festival fixture. He appears here with a set of Eastern-inflected banjo compositions under the name DOUGMORE.