This summer’s West Coast festival season begins with the inaugural Northwest String Summit, June 28th – 30th at Horning’s Hideout, just outside of Portland, Oregon. Carrying with it the magic that was last summer’s Dexter Lake Music Festival, the String Summit promises to delight bluegrass fans young and old. Yonder Mountain String Band will headline the festivities all three nights, and a host of legendary bluegrass artists and regional favorites will keep the crowd bouncing all weekend long.
Yonder Mountain String Band, from Nederland, Colorado, features Adam Aijala (guitar), Ben Kaufmann (upright bass), Jeff Austin (mandolin) and Dave Johnston (banjo). Their unique blend of traditional bluegrass and cutting-edge jamming has been dubbed “Jamgrass” and is self-characterized as “Drive without drums.” In three short years since its inception, Yonder Mountain has played a number of festivals including the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, the Berkshire Mountain Music Festival and the High Sierra Music Festival. Each of the band members is thrilled to bring those influences to the beautiful campgrounds of Horning’s Hideout and to share in the fun with some of the best musicians the history of bluegrass has to offer.
Featured Performers include:
A Hot Rize reunion - one of the first progressive bluegrass bands, featuring Tim O’Brien, Pete Wernick and Nick Foster.
The David Grisman Quartet, featuring Jim Kerwin, Matt Eakle, Enrique Coria and Joe Craven will create their famous “Dawg Music,” a unique harmonically advanced hybrid of acoustic bluegrass, folk and jazz.
Tim O’Brien & The Crossing, featuring Kevin Burke, John Williams and Dirk Powell, explores and transforms Celtic sound into a style of Appalachian bluegrass all their own.
Psychograss, the all instrumental bluegrass-based supergroup featuring Darol Anger, Mike Marshall, David Grier, Todd Phillips and Tony Trischka
Pete Wernick's Live Five - a unit based in bluegrass but infused with traditional jazz elements including banjo, bass, clarinet, vibraphone and light-brushed drums. Live Five features “Dr. Banjo” himself, George Weber, Bill Pontarelli, Kris Ditson and Roger Johns.
Buellgrass, featuring Buell Neidlinger, who played on the first sessions of Old & In the Way, Robert Bowlin - Bill Monroe’s last fiddle player, Zak Borden and Paul Elliott
In addition to the music being made on the main stage, the festival will also feature several unique workshops. Tim O’Brien will demonstrate his precision on the fiddle, David Grisman will share his love for the mandolin and Yonder Mountain String Band will play an acoustic workshop set under the afternoon sun. These workshops will offer a rare opportunity to enjoy the mastery of these musicians in an intimate environment unavailable outside the festival atmosphere.
Rounding out the bill will be a number of regional bands including Danny Barnes & Three Old Codgers, Seattle’s Hanuman and Portland bluegrass favorites Jackstraw and Sam Hill.
Horning’s Hideout, the setting for the event, is a beautiful, forested campground in the hills just outside of Portland, Oregon. Wild peacocks roam the grounds, which feature a swimming hole complete with paddleboats and a rope swing. Attendees are encouraged to bring along their own instruments for late night jam sessions and campground pickin’.
For three days, those lucky enough to be in attendance will put the rest of the world out of their minds and immerse themselves in the world of bluegrass - past, present and future - in a setting as beautiful as any this country has to offer.
The String Summit website includes a vast array of information about the event including the location, background on the performers, travel options, and vending and ticket information.
JamBase Northwest Correspondent
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