Banjo expert Charles Wood joins JAM’s music faculty

Junior Appalachian Musicians (JAM) at Blue Ridge is pleased to announce the addition of banjo expert Charles Wood to their music faculty.

Wood has been a first-place winner in numerous banjo competitions including the Osippee Valley Maine Contest, the Rockygrass Banjo Contest in Lyons, Colorado, South Carolina’s Renofest State Banjo Contest, the Merlefest Banjo Contest in Wilkesboro, and the Winfield National Banjo Contest in Winfield, Kansas. He has performed professionally since age 18 when he began playing with ex-Bill Monroe sideman Curtis Blackwell and his band, The Dixie Bluegrass Boys, touring throughout the eastern United States.

Since then, his appearances have included “A Prairie Home Companion,” two tours in Austria and Germany with The Lonesome Road Band, teaching at the Munich Germany Banjo Camp in Oct 2009 and various regional and national Bluegrass festivals. 

Wood was invited by the actor Steve Martin, an accomplished banjo player himself, to perform with him and Earl Scruggs, Pete Wernick, and Tony Ellis at the 2005 New Yorker Festival in New York City. With this group he made an appearance on The Late Show With David Letterman. Wood currently performs with Asheville-based band Nitrograss.

Wood has recorded five albums: Somewhere Over The Banjo, a Christmas CD Banjo NoelTour de Banjo, Halo Over The Banjo and Banjology. His future plans are to produce more CDs and expose banjo music to as many people as possible. He teaches lessons to students in upstate South Carolina and western North Carolina, including Highlands and Cashiers. He offers lessons online as well.

JAM meets at Blue Ridge School on Monday afternoons, 3-5 p.m. JAM, Inc. is a regional organization with over 50 chapters in four states. The Blue Ridge chapter began its fourth year on Sept. 9 with an enrollment of 38 students from Blue Ridge School, Summit Charter School, and the homeschool community. They offer classes in banjo, guitar, fiddle, and mandolin and experiences in Appalachian culture including storytelling, dance, and crafts.

For more information about JAM, contact Program Director Sarah Hall,

Pictured at the top of the article is Charles Wood.

2 thoughts on “Banjo expert Charles Wood joins JAM’s music faculty

  1. Wood also plays with the bluegrass group at the Summer Chapel every Sunday during the Summer months.

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