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Congratulations to Bill on recieving the 2022 Steve Martin Banjo Prize!
More about the award | 2022 Presentation Awards

“Bill Evans does for the five-string banjo what Van Gogh did for colour . . .treats it in a different way and then shares it with you. And his recent release ‘In Good Company’ is a virtuoso master class in exploring bluegrass from the tradition to the far edges of alternative.” —Tom Franks, FolkWords

“Not content to regurgitate a rehash of banjo clichés, Evans walks out on the limb and takes control of the entire tree.” —Pete Kuykendall, Bluegrass Unlimited

“It's one thing to be a strong progressive banjo player; another to excel at the traditional end of the spectrum. To be able to add an indelible mark to the whole history of the instrument is getting ridiculous. High kudos to Bill Evans.” —Tony Trischka

“The banjoist has a world view shared by a precious few. It shows in the breadth of his own bluegrass playing and, especially, through his composing. Evans infuses his work with hints of jazz, classical and music of other realms, all fitting snuggly into his conception of the bluegrass sound. ” —David Royko, The Chicago Tribune

“One of the best banjo pickers on the planet.” —Mark Wittington, San Jose Mercury News, Jan. 2006

Bill's In Good Company CD is Bill's first #1 CD!

Bill Evans LP covers, Bill with In Good Company musicians

In Good Company cover
About In Good Company
  • Features 26 guests including The Infamous Stringdusters, Tim O'Brien, Stuart Duncan, Rob Ickes, Mike Marshall, Darol Anger, Laurie Lewis and many others.
  • #1 Roots Music Report Folk and Bluegrass Charts (#15 for the year 2012)
  • #1 Folk DJ-List Chart
  • Named to many “Best of 2012” lists including Folk Alley, Pop Matters, Prescription Bluegrass & Kansas Public Radio
  • a Bluegrass Unlimited magazine Spotlight Review CD

All About Bill

Bill Evans is an internationally recognized five-string banjo life force. As a performer, teacher, writer and composer, he brings a deep knowledge, intense virtuosity and contagious passion to all things banjo, with thousands of music fans and banjo students from all over the world in a music career that now spans over thirty-five years.


Bill's banjo artistry is best experienced in live performance and on his recordings Fine Times At Fletcher's House with Fletcher Bright (2013), In Good Company (2012), let's do something with Megan Lynch (2009), Bill Evans Plays Banjo (2001) and Native and Fine (1995). Bill successfully bridges traditional and contemporary sounds and playing techniques, creating a new music that is firmly within the bluegrass tradition but draws upon a broad knowledge of classical, jazz and world music, drawing upon his experiences as a graduate student in Music at the University of California, Berkeley and as the associate director of the International Bluegrass Music Museum.

Bill Evans with Noam Pekelny, Sammy Selore, Tony Trischka

Bill is also an expert player of mid-19th century minstrel banjo and late 19th and early 20th century classic banjo styles, authentically performing these styles on historical instruments. He brings all of these diverse musical performing interests together in his solo concert The Banjo in America.

In the last two years, Bill has toured throughout the United States, Canada, England, and Germany and toured Russia for the U. S. State Department. Recent appearances include A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor and performances with the San Francisco Symphony. From festival to folk society stages, to universities and performing arts centers, The Banjo in America has earned standing with a dazzling display of banjo artistry of unparalleled historical depth geared towards entertaining general audiences.

Bill Evans, Sonny Osborne, Steep Canyon Rangers, old Banjos in America collection

Bill's monthly pub session band Bangers & Grass features some of the best musicians on the West Coast and draws packed houses each month to the intimate Kensington Circus Pub in the East Bay, California to hear hard-driving bluegrass from Bill (banjo), Chad Manning (fiddle), Jim Nunally (guitar), Tom Bekeny (mandolin) and Steve Pottier (bass).

Bill Evans and Banjo Extravaganza

Each November, Bill showcases the California Banjo Extravaganza, featuring nationally recognized five-string banjo players (such as Tony Trischka, Sammy Shelor, Alan Munde, Bill Keith, Tony Furtado and Mark Johnson) performing with an All-Star backup band of John Reischman (mandolin), Chad Manning (fiddle), Jim Nunally (guitar) and Sharon Gilchrist (bass) in sold out performances throughout northern California.

Since the 1980's, Bill has also been at the center of the progressive bluegrass/new acoustic music movement, beginning with his Charlottesville, Virginia-based band Cloud Valley, featuring bassist Missy Raines and mandolin virtuoso Steve Smith. Overall, in over three decades of appearances, Bill has appeared with David Bromberg, David Grisman, Peter Rowan, J. D. Crowe, Hazel Dickens and Alice Gerrard, The Contribution (featuring members of String Cheese Incident, Railroad Earth and New Monsoon), James Nash, Tony Trischka, the DePue Brothers Band, Dry Branch Fire Squad, Mike Seeger, Jim Hurst, Laurie Lewis, Don Rigsby, Kathy Kallick, Scott Law, Molly Tuttle, Lindsay Lou & The Flatbellies, Melody Walker & Jacob Groopman and many others.


Bill is the author of Banjo For Dummies, the most popular banjo book in the world. Banjo For Dummies is now in its second edition and has been translated into French and Portuguese. This year, Bill is preparing a companion volume Bluegrass Banjo For Dummies. In addition, Bill hosts six critically acclaimed instructional DVDs for AcuTab Publications, Homespun Tapes and the Murphy Method and he is also the co-author of Mel Bay’s best-selling Parking Lot Pickers Songbook: Banjo Edition.

With banjo legend Sonny Osborne, Bill hosts the NashCamp Banjo Camp each fall in Fairview, Tennessee. Now in its 13th year, this camp is the premiere bluegrass banjo camp in the world and has featured J. D. Crowe, Jens Kruger, Bill Emerson, Ron Block, Kristin Scott Benson, Rob McCoury, Tony Trischka, Alan Munde, Ned Luberecki, Charlie Cushman, Pete Wernick and Frank Neat, among others.

Bill has also been a mainstay at many other banjo and bluegrass music camps over the last fifteen years, including multiple appearances at Sore Fingers Bluegrass Week (England), Bluegrass Camp Munich (Germany), the Midwest Banjo Camp (Michigan), Steve Kaufman’s Acoustic Music Camp (Tennessee) and the California Bluegrass Association’s Music Camp.

Bill has probably taught more one-on-one banjo lessons than anyone else in the world. His list of students is impressive: Chris Pandolfi (The Infamous Stringdusters), Jayme Stone, Greg Liszt (Crooked Still, the Deadly Gentlemen), Wes Corbett and Erik Yates (Hot Buttered Rum.) However, Bill is equally adept at instructing the older adult learner whose goal is to have fun in a jam session or local band.

At any one time in his home near Richmond, California, Bill teaches between forty and sixty students, in addition to maintaining a steady international touring schedule. In addition, Bill teaches the most popular bluegrass ensemble classes in the San Francisco Bay Area at the Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse and he is on the faculty of the California Jazz Conservatory.

You can contact Bill via email at bill@billevansbanjo or phone him at 510-520-7005.

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