Matt Combs, a long time resident of Nashville, Tennessee, and the staff fiddler and mandolinist for The Grand Ole Opry, can be heard nearly every weekend kicking off America’s longest running radio show with the sound of the Grand Ole Opry fiddle. This is a tradition that dates back to the beginnings of the Opry, and one he proudly carries on to this day. In addition to playing in the Opry’s house band, Matt also tours with legendary singer and country music icon Reba McIntire.
Since moving to Nashville after graduating with a Bachelor of Music from the University of Michigan, Matt has played with many of the best singers and players in country, bluegrass and old time music—including 11 members of the Country Music Hall of Fame. During this time, Matt was nominated for a Grammy and won the 2012 Grandmaster Traditional Fiddle contest.
Matt’s Television work has included appearances on “Late Night with David Letterman”, “The View”, “Nashville”, and other musical specials on ABC, PBS, and CMT.
In addition to his busy playing schedule, Matt maintains his position as Head of the Fiddle Department at Vanderbilt’s Blair School of Music, and records music all around Nashville studios and at his home studio in East Nashville.
Ron Block has been the banjoist, guitarist, and vocalist for Alison Krauss & Union Station since 1991. He’s been said to be something of a musical Huck Finn, a tireless adventurer exploring various styles yet rooted firmly in the Bluegrass-Country tradition. As a session musician he’s played on recordings by Dolly Parton, Kate Rusby, Vince Gill, Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, and many others. Ron has written many AKUS songs through the years, including “A Living Prayer” and “There is a Reason.” As a solo artist he’s released nine recordings of his own, including collections of original Gospel and Bluegrass songs, a Bluegrass banjo album, two Christmas recordings, a Gospel duo album with Jeff Taylor, and an album of peaceful acoustic guitar instrumentals.
Ron’s latest musical endeavor is with Northern Irish tenor banjoist Damien O’Kane in a mind-meld of Celtic styles with Bluegrass and other influences. The Ron Block Banjo Workshop app is Ron’s newest teaching enterprise. It’s up on the App Store and will soon be on Google Play for Android.
Wayne Henderson’s top-notch finger-picking is a source of great pleasure and pride to his friends, family and neighbors in Grayson County, Virginia. His guitar playing has also been enjoyed at Carnegie Hall, in three national tours of Masters of the Steel-String Guitar, and in seven nations in Asia.
In addition to his reputation as a guitarist, Henderson is a luthier of great renown. He is a recipient of a 1995 National Heritage Award presented by the National Endowment for the Arts. He produces about 20 instruments a year, mostly guitars; he is almost as well-known for the mandolins he has made. Good friend Doc Watson owned a Henderson mandolin. He said, “That Henderson mandolin is as good as any I’ve had my hands on. And that’s saying a lot, because I’ve picked up some good ones.”
Some of Henderson’s instruments are intricately decorated but are most respected for their volume, tone, and resonance. Blues guitarist John Cephas said that Wayne Henderson “is probably the most masterful guitar maker in this whole United States.” There is a waiting list for Henderson’s guitars made up of the famous (and not-so-famous).
Originally from Kenosha, Wisconsin, Beth Lawrence enjoyed growing up playing music
and singing with her father, George, and sisters, Melissa and Sarah. At age 15, she started to
play standup bass, and they began to play festivals as a family band. In college, she studied
choir directing and attended the ETSU Bluegrass program in Johnson City, Tennessee. Since
then, she has enjoyed working with several bands and on promotional tours throughout the
years. The Stevens Sisters, the Mark Newton Band, the Orthophonic Joy Tour, the Alecia Nugent
Band, Ron Block, Michael Cleveland, Bradley Walker, Jerry Salley, Larry Cordle & Friends, Jim
Hurst, Rick Faris, Sister Sadie, and many more. As a founding member of the band Sister Sadie,
she is a Grammy nominee for Bluegrass Album of the Year in 2019. She received three
Recorded Events of the Year awards by the IBMA for recorded collaborations. Beth now resides
in Eagleville, Tennessee
Jeﬀ Burke is a professional musician and instructor who teaches bluegrass music and improvisation to individuals and groups. He plays Guitar, Mandolin and Banjo and has performed and recorded with a number of bands over his 23 year career. Jeﬀ has worked both independently and in connection with the Wernick Method to bring group jamming classes to both Nashville, TN and Chicago, IL. He founded the popular bluegrass jamming class at the World famous Stayion Inn and works extensively with the Country Music Hall of Fame to provide hands on acoustic instrument and jamming workshops for their youth and family programs.
In 2020 Jeff Became the general Manager of The Station Inn in Nashville, handling day to day duties and booking the bands. In 2021 he left Station Inn to join the management and booking team at Dee’s Country Cocktail Lounge in Madison, TN where he is currently employed. He is also involved with Bluegrass Wednesdays at American Legion Post 82 in Nashville. Jeﬀ also produces 2-3 day jam camps at festivals around the country and has been a faculty member at numerous music camps.
Carl Jones is an American songwriter and multi-instrumentalist born in Macon, Georgia. He presently lives in Hillsville, Virginia and
is widely respected for his instrumental talents and original songs about the joys and tribulations of life in the south.
Carl’s songs have been recorded by The Nashville Bluegrass Band, Kate Campbell, Rickie Simpkins w/ Tony Rice, and others. His song Last Time On The Road was on the grammy award winning album Unleashed by The Nashville Bluegrass Band. He has recordings with James Bryan, and also with The Rising Fawn String ensemble ( James along w/ Norman & Nancy Blake). For many years now he has recorded and tours with his wife, fiddler Erynn Marshall. Their latest releases are entitled Old Tin and Old Time Sweethearts Vol 1 & 2. www.dittyville.com
Chris Jones brings a broad range of experience as both a touring and recording artist and as a
teacher to a music camp setting. He has led his own bluegrass band Chris Jones and The Night
Drivers as lead singer and guitarist for over 20 years, during which time he has released 14
albums and scored 23 #1 songs on the bluegrass music charts. Prior to that, he toured with
numerous top level artists as a sideman, including the Lynn Morris Band, Dave Evans, The
Chieftains, and Vassar Clements. He was also a past member of Weary Hearts and the Special
Consensus. Chris is the recipient of seven International Bluegrass Music Association awards.
Television credits include the Conan O’Brien show, Emiril Live, and the PBS series “The
Appalachians.” In 2022 he debuted as a performing artist on The Grand Ole Opry. He is also
one of the best-known voices in bluegrass and classic country broadcasting, hosting shows for
SiriusXM for over 20 years, for which he is a three-time IBMA Broadcaster of the Year. As a
teacher, Chris has taught guitar, vocals, and songwriting at some of the top music camps
around the world, and he has released four instructional videos, and audio courses for both
guitar and vocals.
Frank Solivan is a multi-Grammy nominee, multi-IBMA award recipient, and multi-instrumentalist who sings with power and passion and writes articulate songs that go straight to the heart. He combines the pure, hard drive of classic bluegrass with contemporary twenty-first century acoustic music sophistication. He has been nominated for many International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) awards including Male Vocalist of the Year, Instrumental Player of the Year (Mandolin), Instrumental Group of the Year, and more. He is known for his blistering chops on the mandolin, and is also a talented fiddle and guitar player. Frank and his regular band, Dirty Kitchen have toured around the world and racked up a steady stream of awards and nominations, including 2 GRAMMY nominations and 2 awards for IBMA Instrumental Group of the Year.
Nancy Bounds began her yoga journey years ago, dabbling with college courses in beginning yoga. Life happened; 3 children, 2 divorces and a long, very stressful career at AT&T. She came away from my AT&T experience diagnosed with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue and realized she had to do something to get her health back on track. She returned to yoga as a way to heal and be nourished again.
In 2000, her yoga study intensified. This included studying anatomy, yoga philosophy, asana practice, breath-work, yoga therapy, etc. After a very rigorous certification program and multiple classes a week, she became a yoga teacher. To date she has taught over 18,000 hours, while continuing to attend instructor workshops and training classes regularly to deepen her knowledge. Being very intrigued with the human body, Nancy helps students come into their optimal energetic blueprint.
Nancy has studied with many of the top yoga instructors and educators in the United States including John Friend, Betsey Downing, Desiree Rumbaugh, Doug Keller, Jenny Otto, Max Strom and Leslie Kaminoff. As with music, Nancy has found that each teacher brings their own style and method to the practice-and she strives to incorporate a joy of being alive, a sense of humor, and a deep understanding of the yogic practice to each session and student.
Nancy is a full time Realtor, Yoga Instructor and lover of all kinds of music (particularly Bluegrass) and outdoor activities. For each of her professions she continues with professional development and education, maintaining rigorous standards of practice…for yoga, that includes a designated ERT-500.
“I believe that the practice of yoga is something that is available to everyone regardless of physical ability and age. I hope to be able to continue teaching and practicing yoga and enjoying music for the duration of my life.” – Nancy