With a performance history spanning more than two decades, Pearl Django endures as one of the most highly regarded Hot Club style groups working today. Although the band’s roots are firmly in the music made famous by Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli, its extensive repertoire includes traditional jazz classics and original compositions. Pearl Django has performed at festivals, dances and nightspots throughout the U.S. and abroad. They have played at the prestigious Festival Django Reinhardt in Samois sur Seine and have been featured on NPR’s “All Things Considered.” The band’s signature style is marked by pristine and dexterous string work, colors of Bal Musette, the steady pulse of rhythm guitar and an unmistakable swing that delights audiences of all musical sensibilities. Throughout the years, Pearl Django has cultivated a devoted and enthusiastic following and they continue to play to packed houses wherever they perform.
While still in his teens, Don Stiernberg learned to play the mandolin from the innovative and influential virtuoso Jethro Burns. Jethro referred to Don as his "graduate student", hired him to play in his band, and guided him to a career as a professional musician which has already lasted forty years.
A leading exponent of jazz mandolin style, Don has eight recording projects of his own and appears on many others by a variety of artists in all styles. The most recent of these is "Mandoboppin'!" , a jazz quintet CD featuring his original tunes. Also released in 2013 is "Jazz Mandolin Appetizers", a long awaited method book for improvising mandolinists, issued by Mel Bay.
In addition to touring coast to coast and abroad, Don stays busy around his native Chicago with performing and recording work. He also contributes a regular column to Mandolin Magazine, and has been an instructor at mandolin events such as The Mandolin Symposium, Swannanoa Gathering, Mandolin Camp North, River of the West Mandolin Camp, Cape Cod Mandolin Camp, Steve Kaufman Acoustic Kamp, Ashokan Swing Week, Accademia Internacionale di Mandolino (Italy), European Mandoline Akademy (Germany) and Momento Rio Bandolim (Brazil).
The Great Northern Planes
Formed from the ashes of the band Pumpkin Ridge, The Great Northern Planes are among the old guard in Pacific Northwest bluegrass, having played with the same core group for 25 years. They are known for their great vocal harmonies, irreverent humor, and friendly, approachable manner.
The Planes performed at nearly all of the first dozen or so WinterGrass bluegrass festivals, and have played at nearly every bluegrass festival in the Northwest. They have performed on stage with Bill Monroe, played at the Peter Britt festival in Jackonsville, OR, and even played inside the cockpit of the Spruce Goose!
Puddletown Ramblers is an experienced five piece band founded in 1996 who performs original compositions, Traditional Bluegrass, Americana and Acoustic music utilizing soulful lead and harmony vocals and dynamic, tasteful instrumentals. Puddletown Ramblers are based in Portland, Oregon and travel extensively in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. With a large repertoire, variety in their set list choices and a sprinkling of comedy, the Puddletown Ramblers have entertained audiences all over the Pacific Northwest and have become a favorite of many promoters and music lovers.
Puddletown Ramblers perform the original songs of David Peterson as well as a vast array of vintage traditional music from the greats of Bluegrass, Country, Gospel, Instrumental and Old Time. Some of the artists they sound like and perform selections from include: The Blue Sky Boys, Flatt and Scruggs, Bill Monroe and many others from the first generation of Bluegrass music. Puddletown Ramblers have recently opened for national acts David Grier, Special Concensus and Dale Ann Bradley.
The Oly Mountain Boys
With their latest album "White Horse," the Oly Mountain Boys have set out to do something unprecedented: a bluegrass concept album, telling a life story through original bluegrass from beginning to end. The album honors tradition by centering its story in Washington's frontier past, while looking to the future of bluegrass music with fresh, original songwriting.
Tye Menser - Banjo & Lead Vocals
Chris Rutledge - Guitar, Vocals
Derek McSwain - Mandolin, Vocals
Phil Post - Bass, Dobro, Vocals
Josh Grice - Fiddle