Mike Compton, Director

Mike Compton

Mandolin Magazine calls him a player with “a worldwide reputation as one of the modern masters of bluegrass mandolin…one of the most recognizable and respected mandolin voices anywhere.” Grammy and IBMA award-winning recording artist; solo, duo and band performer; he’s as passionate a teacher and advocate for the mandolin as you’re ever likely to find. The New York Times calls Compton, “a new bluegrass instrumental hero.” Born in Meridian, Mississippi (hometown to the legendary Jimmie Rodgers) in 1956, Mike grew up hearing old-time country music, and took up the mandolin as a teenager. Drawn to the powerful mix of old-time fiddle stylings, blues influences and pure creativity embodied in Monroe’s playing, he moved to Nashville in 1977 and quickly found work with veteran banjoist and former Monroe sideman Hubert Davis.

Compton made his first recordings with Davis, but by the middle of the 1980’s, he was recruited by Pat Enright and Alan O’Bryant to help found the Nashville Bluegrass Band, and the group quickly became one of the most prominent and admired in bluegrass. Mike also played with the John Hartford Stringband for 9 years before John’s death.

A mandolin master able to channel the Monroe-style playing better than anyone, Compton is a preservationist who continues teaching the music that Bill Monroe innovated, and which set the standard for generations of bluegrass mandolin players to come. For more information about Mike, visit his website at mikecompton.net