Roots and Reason: A Celebration of American Roots MusicMichael Cleveland and Flamekeeper

Thursday / February 11, 2010 / 1:00 p.m.
Red Room at Cafe 939
939 Boylston Street
United States

Considered one of the premier bluegrass fiddlers of his generation, Mike Cleveland performs with his group Flamekeeper.

Mike Cleveland—vocals, fiddle

Cleveland picked up a fiddle at age 4, and his talent was recognized early. In 1993 he made his Grand Ole Opry debut as a guest of Alison Krauss. His list of guest apperances over the years is a who's-who of bluegrass legends, including J.D. Crowe, Doyle Lawson, Bill Monroe, Ralph Stanley, Doc Watson, and Mac Wiseman. After high school Cleveland toured with Dale Ann Bradley and Rhonda Vincent before going on to record several solo albums. Since 2001, he has won the International Bluegrass Music Association Fiddle Player of the Year Award seven times. Today Cleveland is a sought-after guest and an active studio musician. He lives in Charlestown, Indiana.

Tom Adams—vocals, guitar

First gaining national recognition more than 20 years ago as banjo player with the legendary Jimmy Martin, Adams was hailed as Earl Scruggs's heir apparent with his 1990 recording Right Hand Man. A three-time IBMA Banjo Performer of the Year, Adams has performed and recorded with some of bluegrass music's most influential artists, including Blue Highway, Rhonda Vincent, and Dale Ann Bradley. Recently Adams returned to performing on his first instrument, guitar. He lives with his family in Pennsylvania. 

Jessie Baker—banjo

Baker taught himself the major chords at age 11 after receiving a ten-dollar pawn-shop guitar from his grandma. He soon gravitated to what is now his main instrument, the banjo. Although he is not yet out of his teens, Baker has played with a long list of artists, including Marty Raybon, Wildfire, and the Wildwood Valley Boys as well as his family band, the Baker Boys. Baler lives in Georgetown, Kentucky.

Jesse Brock—vocals, mandolin

2009 IBMA Mandolin Performer of the Year, Brock has spent a lifetime in bluegrass, starting with his family band at the age of nine. He was an integral part of Cleveland's two solo albums, and was his bandmate for three years in the Dale Ann Bradley Band. Brock is also a solo artist in his own right, with Kickin' Grass on Pinecastle Records. Brock lives in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Marshall Wilborn—vocals, bass

2009 IBMA Bass Performer of the Year, Wilborn has played with some of the great bluegrass bands, including Jimmy Martin and the Sunny Mountain Boys, the Johnson Mountain Boys, and the Lynn Morris Band. He is also a great singer and songwriter, with songs recorded by Alison Krauss, Doyle Lawson, and others. He is an experienced bass teacher, and produced a set of instruction videos for the Murphy Method. Marshall lives in Winchester, Virginia, with his wife Lynn Morris.