Tony Trischka Biography

Anthony Cattel Trischka, 16 January 1949, Syracuse, New York, USA. Although competent on several instruments, Trischka is one of the most influential of modern banjoists. His work is to be found in several forms of bluegrass music, particularly the 70s’ more progressive styling with occasional excursions into jazz. In 1970, he graduated from Syracuse University, by which time he had been playing with the Down City Ramblers for five years. From 1971-75, he played with both Country Granola and Country Cooking, before becoming a member of Breakfast Special. Between 1976 and 1978, he led the musical backing (and toured with) the Broadway showThe Robber Bridegroom, as well as playing with the band Monroe Doctrine. In the late 70s, he toured to Japan with Peter Rowan and Richard Greene and to Australia with Stacy Phillips. In 1981, he formed his own band, Skyline and during the 80s, he made numerous European trips, both with his band and as a solo artist. In 1989, he appeared on the BBC’s television documentaryHistory Of The Banjo. In 1991, after Skyline broke up, he formed Big Dogs and released his notedLive At The Birchmere and also appeared in Korea with the Korean National Radio Orchestra.

Trischka continues to be in great demand, and has appeared in numerous countries and composed music for many film and television productions. His recorded output, which began in 1971, has been extensive, incorporating both solo albums and recordings with groups and/or other musicians. He has also written many highly respected tuition books, compiled video and audio tapes on the banjo, run workshops and gives private tuition for aspiring musicians on the instrument. He still makes concert appearances, narrating the history of the instrument and playing material that varies from early-day and traditional banjo pieces to his own contemporary numbers.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.