When the world is in a heap of trouble, bluegrass music can pick up our spirits and give us the strength to carry on. Bluegrass encompasses a vast range of expression, from deep traditional roots music to jazz improvisation, and Ted Kuster and his picking pals are delighted to bring you all of it.
Fiddler Ron Esparza and mandolinist Jim Letchworth are both versatile multi-instrumentalists who can also be heard with Los Arribeños de San Francisco, a group that preserves the music and dance of early Spanish California. Ron has managed disability transportation services, while Jim is a retired nurse.
Guitarist Ian Epstein left a brilliant career in jazz radio to perfect his post-modern reimaginings of Johnny Cash classics. He also leads a bluegrass band called Nobody from Nashville that’s perfect for weddings, birthdays and bar mitzvahs, and he frequently appears with the classic country singer Liam McCloskey.
Bassist Hideaki Mizuno learned his chops in the lively Japanese bluegrass scene. He can sing several bluegrass songs in three languages. Hide is the San Francisco representative for the California Bluegrass Association, which preserves and grows this exuberant traditional American roots music. San Francisco CBA members bring bluegrass to people who need it through frequent public jam sessions, concerts, and appearances at schools and institutions.
Fiddler Jody Richardson studied classical violin before switching to Applachian old-time and bluegrass fiddling. By day, she is a licensed speech and language pathologist.
Resonator guitarist Steve Owen is a critically-acclaimed songwriter, singer, and multi-instrumentalist who also performs in well-regarded country and metal groups.
Banjo player Ted Kuster is a founder of Bluegrass Pride, which won first prize in the 2017 SF Pride Parade with its float carrying a live bluegrass band accompanied by 120 picking and singing marchers. He's also the Vice President of the California Bluegrass Association.