The Artists

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion in Bluegrass

Bob Dylan said it in 1964, “The Times, They Are A Changing.”  Around that time, the Civil Rights Movement was burning a hole in our consciousness sometimes dividing North and South, and bluegrass music was still emerging from diverse musical forces.   In 1964, Bill Monroe’s band included Steve Arkin and Don Lineberger on banjo,…

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Annie Staninec

Photo by Amanda Rowan Annie Staninec (featured in Bluegrass Unlimited, May 2017) is a stellar bluegrass fiddle player of Japanese/Czechoslovakian descent who grew up in San Francisco, California and currently lives in Portland, Oregon.  She learned to play the fiddle at a young age and became interested in bluegrass because her father played the guitar…

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Sav Sankaran

Photo by Sandlin Gaither A resident of Asheville, North Carolina, Sav Sankaran is an upright bass player and vocalist with the bluegrass band Unspoken Tradition.  Previously, he toured with the Dixie Bee-Liners, Kristy Cox and other North Carolina bands.  He is a first-generation American of Indian descent who points to Bob Paisley & Southern Grass…

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Mackenzie Bell

Photo by Arnold Flenor Mackenzie Bell is a 15-year-old fiddle player who was born in Guatemala, adopted at the age of seven months, and has grown up just 10 miles from Bill Monroe’s hometown of Rosine, Kentucky.  When she was 7-years-old she heard a friend play the fiddle and thought that this was something that…

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The Ultimate Road Dog

Photo by Daniel Coston For nearly half a century, fiddling ace Mike Hartgrove of the Lonesome River Band has been traveling highways across America playing bluegrass and country music.  “Mike is a road pro,” says Lonesome River Band leader Sammy Shelor. “The guy has been on the road since he was 17 years old, about…

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Justin and Sierra laughing and smiling for a photo

A Marriage Made in Music

Justin and Sierra aren’t quite sure when their first meeting was. She had seen him play at local festivals with Kentucky Wind. He remembers meeting her at an IBMA convention one year. After years of friendship and Justin filling in with Sierra’s band on various instruments, somewhere along the way their friendship began to blossom…

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