Mark O’Connor and The O’Connor Band

The Pacific Jazz Institute at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley welcomes the debut of Grammy-winning bluegrass folk fiddler Mark O’Connor and the O’Connor Band touring in support of their new release

Coming Home (8/2016). Band members are Mark O’Connor (fiddle), Maggie O’Connor (fiddle/vocals), Forrest O’Connor (mandolin/vocals) Kate Lee (fiddle/vocals), Joe Smart (guitar/vocals) and Geoff Saunders (bass/banjo/vocals). Show times Thursday and Sunday at 7:30pm. Show times Friday and Saturday at 7:30pm and 9:30pm. Doors open at 6:00pm Thursday and 5:30pm Friday – Sunday.

Ph. 206.441.9729  Fx.  206.443.8247

Multi Grammy and CMA Award-winning fiddler and composer Mark O’Connor returns to progressive bluegrass and country music with the O’Connor Band and their debut album, Coming Home. O’Connor embarked on a prolific career as an American Classical music composer, hot swing violinist and legendary bluegrass fiddler collaborating with the likes of Alison Krauss, Vince Gill, Earl Scruggs, James Taylor, Wynton Marsalis and Yo-Yo Ma. The New York Times has described O’Connor’s career as “one of the most spectacular journeys in recent American music.” In the O’Connor Band, Mark is joined by his wife Maggie (MA, Peabody Institute of Music) on violin and harmony vocals, his son Forrest (former Tennessee State Mandolin Champion) on mandolin and lead vocals, and Forrest’s fiancée, Kate Lee (frequent performer on the CMA Awards), on violin and lead vocals. Coming Home is a perfect balance of contemporary songcraft by Forrest and Kate and intricate instrumentals featuring the band’s triple fiddle lineup. The O’Connor Band is rounded out by national flatpick champion Joe Smart on guitar and University of Miami DMA candidate Geoff Saunders on bass and banjo. a new standard.”


The O’Connor Band isn’t your typical family band. Three of the four members — including American music legend Mark O’Connor — play fiddle, and the fourth plays mandolin. That’s a lot of high notes. But with the help of guitar and bass, the O’Connor Band delivers beautiful and thoughtful original vocal songs, classic covers, and sophisticated instrumentals with a fresh, powerful, unprecedented sound that has begun winning over fans of every style from bluegrass to indie folk to Americana.

In the O’Connor Band, Mark is joined by his wife Maggie (fiddle, vocals), son Forrest (mandolin, guitar, vocals), and Forrest’s partner Kate Lee (fiddle, vocals). Their repertoire is centered around some of Mark’s greatest instrumentals as well as songs written by Forrest and Kate, the band’s lead singers, whose tight harmonies and lyrical honesty have earned praise from the likes of Krauss, Rosanne Cash, and Mary Gauthier. Forrest, a graduate of Harvard University and the former Tennessee State Mandolin Champion, met Kate, a versatile vocalist and frequent backup performer on the Country Music Awards shows, in late 2013, and the two have been writing songs together ever since. Maggie, a Master’s graduate of the Peabody Institute, is herself an accomplished violinist and fiddler and has performed duos with Mark around the world, including with the Mendelssohn Orchestra (Hungary), the Singapore Chinese Orchestra, and the Santa Rosa Symphony.          

Bluegrass From The Forest 2016 May 13-15 2016

The Bluegrass From the Forest festival offers  many activities in addition to the four main multiple -band shows (in a great Performing Arts Center venue) including Master Workshops, Band Scramble Showcase (anyone can participate!) Banjo Contest, Chick Rose’s Youth School of Bluegrass, Mandolin Tasting, Marv’s Slow Jam, vendors and much more!There will be contests, all night jamming in the campground (midnight hot dogs included), and don’t forget the Showcase Stage where there’ll be open mic as well as other band performances and much more! One thing’s for sure – there is something to keep you occupied at any time throughout the weekend


Our 2016 schedule is below

Yes – there’s lots more to this festival than camping and nonstop jamming – here’s what’s happening on stage throughout the weekend – subject to minor changes.  Please note that two of our major acts will do one of their sets on the Showcase Stage across the plaza: The Blackberry Bushes (dancing encouraged) 6:00 Sat. and Green Mountain 12:00 Sunday (Gospel show) Also check out the “things to do” section  for info on the banjo contest, band scramble, mandolin tasting, kid’s program, Marv’s slow jam, open mic and midnight hotdogs

Performing Arts Stage show schedule

Performing Arts Center Stage

(See also Showcase Stage schedule – some of the main acts will appear there also.)

Friday Evening

6:40                           TBA
7:00                           Runaway Train
8:00                           North Country
9:00                           Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper

Saturday Afternoon

1:40                            (special short performance)  Pinetop Pickers
1:50                            Band scramble winner
2:oo                           Green Mountain Bluegrass Band
3:00                           Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper
4:00                           Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley

Saturday Night

6:40                           (special short performance)  Eden Greer and friends
7:00                           North Country
8:00                           Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley
9:00                           Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper


11:00                         Chick’s Kids School of Bluegrass
12:00                         The Blackberry Bushes
1:00                           Runaway Train
2:00                           Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper
2:55                           Allstar jam on stage!

Showcase Stage 


10:00                       workshop venue
11:00                         TBA
11:45                          Brittany Jean – showcase artist (Eastern Washington)

12:30                          Band scramble (all are invited to participate!  Click on  “things to do” tab.

2:00                            open mic
3:00                            break
4:00                            open mic
5:00                           Banjo contest (see drop down menu under “schedule” tabor under “things to do” tab

6:00                           The Blackberry Bushes (dancing encouraged!)


10:00                         workshop venue
11:00                          The Mighty Dreadful Stringband – showcase artist
12:00                         Green Mountain Bluegrass Band gospel Show! Y’all come!


Give Big Day May 3

give Big! Together We Can Make an Impact!
giveBIG on May 3rd!
On May 3, 2016, you can participate in the Seattle Foundation’s giveBig Campaign and support Wintergrass. This one day event is focussed on raising awareness and funds for the many non-profit organizations that work to make the greater Seattle area, (this includes Bellevue!) a better place to live, work and play.
With your support, Wintergrass will work to preserve the music you love through fantastic shows, stellar education programs, and wide open jam space. Please consider making a gift to Wintergrass Music Festival through the Seattle Foundation giveBIG Campaign. Help us raise $12,000 to support quality performances and music education for children and adults. Giving special attention to traditional acoustic music, your support will enrich the lives of young people carrying the bluegrass torch to the next generation. With your generosity, Wintergrass will continue to bring folks like Doyle Lawson, Tim O’Brien, Väsen and master banjo players like Noam Pikelny and Wes Corbett to Wintergrass.
Be a part of the future of Wintergrass. You can help by….

…Scheduling a donation in advance of May 3rd.

Your donations will be matched by other generous sponsors of the giveBig campaign. We believe that the tradition of passing tunes around a circle and building a life around music, friends, and joy is something worth passing on. No one knows this better than you, loyal keepers of the Bluegrass flame….. and for your kindness and generosity, we thank you.
With gratitude,
Patrice, Stephen, Wendy, Janet and Beth

Wintergrass 2016 Performers-North Country

From songs about shucking corn to sitting on Grandma’s porch, North Country Bluegrass are firmly established as one of the premier traditional bluegrass bands from the Northwest.
North Country was founded in 2012 when the guys were jamming together at a local bluegrass event in Seattle. They quickly found a unique chemistry and demonstrated the same love for music, songwriting, and instrumental dynamics. Within the first year of formation, the band played at prominent music venues, including Wintergrass and the historical Paramount Theatre.Since then, they have continued to build their repertoire and toured throughout the United States and Canada. In July 2014, the band released their first album titled “Won’t Be Over You,” which was named one of the top ten bluegrass albums of 2014 by KCBS radio. The album demonstrated the band’s instrumental talent and songwriting ability, bringing classic country and folk music into a traditional bluegrass style. In fact, in January 2015, the band placed 6th overall in theprestigious SPBGMA Bluegrass national band competition.
Norm lays down outrageous lead solos that emulate even Doc Watson’s finest works. Kent is a true veteran to the Northwest Bluegrass scene, and provides a backbone for the band with his rock solid bass playing. Will, on the banjo, has an impressive command of the instrument, with timing and awareness that are making him one of the most prominent banjo players this side of the Mississippi. Veteran Nick Dumas was recently hired as a full time member of Special Consensus. Zach Top joins the band at Wintergrass, ably  propelling the music forward with his authoritative mandolin chop.
Even though Seattle is not well recognized for traditional bluegrass music, the band has absolutely shown that real, authentic bluegrass music is alive and well in the Northwest.North Country

Wintergrass 2016 Performers-The Misty Mamas

Portland/Vancouver area favorites, the Misty Mamas serve up tasty, home-style bluegrass with
heaping helpings of harmony and tradition. This quartet of powerful women switch between old-
time, gospel, country, and folk music fit for the whole family. A deep understanding of bluegrass
traditions has led the band to feature songs chosen specifically for their ability to engage the
The band draws its name from Americana band, Misty River. Carol Harley is a longtime member
and founder of both Misty River and the Misty Mamas. Carol is unable to perform with the band
this year, however, Tony Rocci is filling in as a honorary ‘Mama’. With decades of experience
between them, Katherine, April, and Eileen stir up a sweet mix of harmony and instrumental
prowess, bake it into a set of original tunes, and serve it up with a delicious twist.
Eager to connect with their audience, the Misty Mamas tailor performances that not only
entertain, but educate as well weaving historical secrets and local lore into their music. Timeless
melodies and heartfelt lyrics are laced tightly together, creating a musical experience rich with
history, steeped in tradition, and performed with character and exuberance!
Jack Bohl of the Portland FolkMusic Society, said, “The real strengths of this recording are the
great sound, well chosen material, terrific vocal harmonies, and sense of humor… This is timeless
music that you’ll enjoy for a long time.” We love these Mamas for every musical reason in the
book, including… (remember that delicious twist I mentioned earlier?) …their mouthwatering
That’s right, The Misty Mamas are famed for not only their work on stage, but also for their work
in the kitchen! Listed on their website are a handful of absolutely to-die-for southern recipes,
including pecan treats, ratatouille, shrimp dip, and Esther’s apple cake! We’re not making this up!
These women are the real deal – we’re already drooling in anticipation

Wintergrass 2016 Performers-The Hounds Tooth Boys

Longtime Wintergrass attendees may recall a show way back when that featured pint-sized virtuosos, most of whom either grew up at Wintergrass or had deep connections to the festival. One of the greatest honors of doing this kind of work is getting to follow the careers of brilliant people. Wes Corbett approached us about putting together a band to honor the contributions of some of those not-quite-so-young players and we eagerly gave him full permission to go forth and create. This band is the result.

Both Wes and Jake Jolliff are NW natives and many of us can say with pride, “I remember when you were just a pup…” Chris Eldridge is familiar as the guitarist in Punch Brothers. Sam Grisman has a long list of credentials as a bass player doing stints with the Deadly Gentlemen, The David Grisman Folk Jazz Trio and David Grisman Bluegrass Experience. He also performs with Lee Ann Womack among others. In his young life Mike Barnett has played fiddle with Jesse McReynolds, Joe Walsh, Tony Trishka and the David Grisman Sextet and was a founding member of The Deadly Gentlemen. Needless to say the and has a pedigree that is far longer than the collective age of the band members themselves.Jake Jake Jolliff is currently the newest member of the Yonder Mountain Stringband and was a member of Joy Kills Sorrow. Wes Corbett also a former member of Joy Kills Sorrow is also a member of the Bee Eaters and a an associate professor at Berklee School of Music

Wes Corbett-banjo, Jake Jolliff-mandolin, Mike Barnett-fiddle, Sam Grisman-bass, Chris Eldridge-guitar