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New Podcast: Tony Trischka - Artist Bio Series


In this week’s episode of the ArtistWorks Music Series podcast, our co-founder Patricia Butler sits down with legendary banjoist and ArtistWorks bluegrass banjo instructor, Tony Trischka, for the latest installment of our new Artist Bio Series.


In the “Bio Series” episodes of our podcast, Patricia will be chatting with members of our world-renowned faculty about their lives, careers, and experiences that led them to become the master musicians that they are today.


This week, Patricia and Tony Trischka discuss Tony’s musical family and upbringing, his love of folk music, and what drew him to learn the Earl Scruggs style of banjo playing. They also detail Tony’s experiences sharing the stage with musical icons like Steve Martin, Stevie Nicks, and Lindsey Buckingham, his legacy as a teacher instructing some of the modern banjo greats like Béla Fleck and Noam Pikelny, and more. The show is available wherever you listen to podcasts, or you can listen here at ArtistWorks.


LEARN MORE: Want to learn how to play bluegrass banjo from a master musician like Tony Trischka? Try a free banjo lesson now!


Naturally, Patricia and Tony kick off the conversation by beginning with Tony’s childhood, discussing his musical upbringing, his father’s skills as a jazz pianist, and how Tony’s musical household influenced him to begin learning his first instrument at the age of nine—the classical flute.


“When I was nine, I started playing the flute because I could blow across the top of a Coke bottle and make a sound,” Tony explains with a chuckle. “But, when I was about twelve, I started to become much more drawn to folk music and started playing the guitar. That’s when I got hooked. I would play so much that my fingers would bleed. It was before I had my calluses.”


Eventually, Tony migrated from the guitar to the banjo, which only deepened his love for folk music and bluegrass. As a young man, this inspired him to attend bluegrass festivals, perform regionally, record, and fully immerse himself in music. It wasn’t too long before that led Tony to the world of teaching.


“I started teaching as early as 1970,” Tony explains. “My first student was the banjo player from an all-female bluegrass group called the ‘Buffalo Gals,’ and it just spiraled from there. My father was a physics professor. So, I think my love for teaching is probably in my genes.”


To learn more about Tony Trischka, his life, musical career, and approach to teaching, listen to the full podcast here:



If you’re interested in studying bluegrass banjo and learning even more about Tony’s approaches to developing as a banjo player and musician, check out his online banjo lessons right here at ArtistWorks!



On the ArtistWorks Music Series, CEO Patricia Butler speaks with master musicians across all genres who teach at ArtistWorks. Join them as they dive deep into topics like becoming a musician, playing at all skill levels, and the journey of learning music.


Looking to dive into more music podcasts? You’ve come to the right place. Investigate previous episodes where plenty of topics are explored with fantastic, hand-selected, and knowledgeable guests.


Tune in for new episodes released every other Wednesday on all platforms, and don't forget to subscribe, rate, and review the show!


Want to get started on overcoming the roadblock on your musical journey with our online music lessons? Try out some free sample music lessons with any of our master musicians and learn from the best!



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