Expand your musical horizons at the new Kiwigrass Academy – two days of in-depth tuition and participation leading in to the 2019 Kiwigrass Festival.
This is a unique opportunity to absorb the knowledge and experience of top international players from The Lonely Heartstring band (USA), Australia’s Bluegrass Parkway band, and the extraordinary Kiwi guitarist Mark Mazengarb.
The Kiwigrass Academy is modelled on examples like the RockyGrass Academy, which have proved so successful at the most popular festivals in the United States. For the first time, you can benefit from this level of instruction at a New Zealand festival without shelling out thousands of dollars for airfares.
You don’t have to be an advanced player, everyone will be alongside participants of similar experience. However you will need to have a basic familiarity with your instrument to join the novice stream which will be separate from the other players.
Getting to meet, jam, and perform with other like-minded musicians over two full days will be one of the biggest rewards when you participate in the Kiwigrass Academy.
Kiwigrass is being organised by a keen group of bluegrass lovers in New Zealand. Their goal is to raise the profile of bluegrass in New Zealand, promote New Zealand based bluegrass musicians to the world, and bring the joy of the American bluegrass festival experience to New Zealand.
In a major coup Kiwigrass have scored a custom Kiwigrass van der Gaag mandolin, made from all New Zealand native timbers. Johan is hard at work right now creating this unique masterpiece and it looks beautiful as it emerges from raw wood.
This will be going into a fundraising raffle to help get Kiwigrass a step closer to the goal of a sustainable, ongoing festival for all of bluegrass-loving New Zealand.
Second prize will be a Trenwith practice banjo, or quiet banjo. Made of all timber, this little banjo allows you to practice your mad bluegrass licks without driving your neighbours, partner, kids, or flatmates crazy. A must-have for all keen banjo players!
You’ll be able to buy raffle tickets online prior to the festival, or at the festival itself.
Together and as members of various other bands, the members of Crooked Road have made 13 albums, many TV and radio shows and several national and international tours. Bluegrass, folk, country, gospel-their influences all come out in harmony-driven originals and pieces by favourite musicians.
Formerly known as Old South Bluegrass, Crooked Road are Phill Parker (Guitar) Andrew Hook (Mandolin), Leonard Cohen (Dobro) and David Taylor (Bass).
Phill sings in the folk, country and bluegrass traditions, playing with The Bill Chambers Band, Country Comfort, Shut Up and Deal, Highly Strung and The Bridgland Brothers. His song “To Keep You Near” won the 2018 SCALA lyrics award out of 200 entries world-wide.
Andrew immersed himself in the bluegrass genre playing professionally with The Rank Strangers, Paul Wookey, The Buckshot Boogie Band, Dingo Ridge and Grass Roots.
New Zealand born-and-raised Leonard was a member of the original Hamilton County Bluegrass Band and then played professionally with The Skillet Lickers.
Dave grew up on a diet of Beatles, Stones, Pacemakers, 60s pop, Daddy Cool, Chain, and Axiom. He played in community choirs ukulele group Savior Plunk, and now plays country/folk, bluegrass and retro pop.