Arts and Entertainment

Free concert series continues with John Reischman and the Jaybirds

John Reischman and the Jaybirds - Mike Melnyk photo
John Reischman and the Jaybirds
— image credit: Mike Melnyk photo

Concerts in the Park returns to Bainbridge Island’s Battle Point Park through Aug. 20. This week's show features John Reischman and the Jaybirds.

Grab the kids, a picnic meal and enjoy an evening of music and dance. Free concerts will be held at Battle Point Park from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Parking is available off Arrow Point Drive; follow the signs.

The summer schedule:

• July 23: John Reischman and the Jaybirds: Stylish, elegant bluegrass.

• July 30: Laura Love Trio: Vocalist and strong songwriter.

• Aug. 6: The Senate: Face-melting acoustic music from a Seattle band.

• Aug. 13: Jessica Lynne; Pure country.

• Aug. 20: Shaggy Sweet; Classic rock and originals with a twist.

More on John Reischman and the Jaybirds:

With a fourth critically-acclaimed album and expanded touring schedule, John Reischman and the Jaybirds are a top-flight band delivering a truly fresh blend of original songs and instrumentals, old-time heritage and bluegrass power.

The band features Reishman on mandolin, Jim Nunally on guitar, Trisha Gagnon on bass, Nick Hornbuckle on banjo and Greg Spatz on fiddle.

Nunally is a San Francisco Bay-area veteran of several decades as a leading guitarist, songwriter and high, lonesome singer. Nunally appeared with Reischman on the Grammy-winning CD "True Life Blues, The Songs of Bill Monroe," is a producer and session stalwart, and plays select dates with David Grisman. Audiophile Audition describes Nunally as "one of the best bluegrass tenors working today," with equally impressive speed, clarity and tone as a guitar man.

Chilliwack, B.C.-based Gagnon is portrayed by SingOut! as "one of the most versatile" and "irresistible" vocalists in bluegrass, her strong and distinctive style ranging from "mournful and plaintive" to "hopeful and yearning." Gagnon anchors what Dirty Linen magazine calls "gorgeous three-part harmonies” and her singing and heart-felt songwriting is complemented by her right-on-the-money bass rhythm.

Nanaimo, B.C.-based Hornbuckle has developed his own voice on the five-string banjo, a unique sound with a two-finger roll unlike other contemporary banjo players.

"Nick Hornbuckle's banjo can be downright spine-tingling," wrote the L.A. Daily News. “The resonant yet lively Cleo Belle is just right,” Bluegrass Now says of the prolific instrumental composer’s, original Stellar Jays offering.

Spatz, from Spokane, is hailed as a "world-class bluegrass fiddler" by Fiddler magazine. Another Stellar Jays instrumental composer with the lightning-fast Bash Bish Falls, Spatz's "virtuosic playing is flawlessly delivered time after time," noted Audiophile Audition. His wide-ranging chops have made him a popular West Coast player for years, including stints with the legendary Frank Wakefield, and resophonic guitarist Rob Ickes.

As FolkWax says, John Reischman and the Jaybirds offer "clarity, energy, good ensemble work, classy originals, and an adventurous approach" to the world of bluegrass and folk music — along with engaging stage humour in powerful live shows. They are what SingOut! calls "a thoroughly professional ensemble with a rare ability to produce music that is simultaneously traditional and contemporary . . . the Jaybirds are a band that continues to hit on all cylinders."



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