Flexigrass bluegrass music! Meet the band!

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Flexigrass bluegrass music!
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Pete Wernick (“Dr. Banjo”)
has been described by Bluegrass Unlimited as “among the most creative and just plain fun musicians in (blue, new, jazz) grass.” FLEXIGRASS follows two other significant Wernick-organized bands: groundbreaking bluegrass instrumental wizards Country Cooking (1970-76), and the internationally acclaimed Hot Rize (full-time 1978-90 and still occasionally performing). He’s also been mentor to thousands with his music camps, best-selling books and videos, and from 1986 to 2001, President of the International Bluegrass Music Association. Pete’s blazing innovations have crossed back and forth over the borders of bluegrass, but fans can always count on his love of tradition, taste, and tone.


Joan Wernick
adds to Flexigrass’ show with sparkling vocals and an irrepressible sense of fun. In solo vocals and duets with husband Pete, she expertly tackles everything from bluegrass to jazz, with audience-pleasing style.


Greg Harris’
vibraphone, or “vibes”, gives a sweet-ringing texture to FLEXIGRASS. Both mellow and percussive, Greg’s mallets on brass achieve a rhythmic drive that thrills audiences. His background is in jazz, leading his own group and earning a Masters in Music, but he also plays bluegrass guitar. He recently returned from six months in Africa, studying a variety of mallet instruments. Greg is the newest addition to FLEXIGRASS, and stands 6’6"!


Bill Pontarelli swings and soars on flexigrass clarinet. Not many horn players have studied bluegrass fiddle players along with Benny Goodman, but Bill does it all. His lightning-quick lines and sophisticated ear add many exciting moments to FLEXIGRASS shows. A veteran of the Denver dixieland and swing music scenes, Bill helped found the Platte River Jazz Band. Amazing but true, Bill once bowled a 300 game!


Kris Ditson is possibly the world’s only drummer who thinks “bluegrass”. With brushes, a light touch, and a natural feel for the bluegrass beat, Kris has teamed with greats such as Andy Statman and Tony Trischka, and performed with a number of bluegrass bands including Jimmy Martin and the Sunny Mt. Boys. Kris’ easy smile and that floating pulse help keep FLEXIGRASS cooking!


Roger Johns brings formidable bass chops and an uncanny ear to the FLEXIGRASS blend. A mainstay among Denver’s traditional jazz artists, Roger’s extensive repertoire includes not just countless standards, but many fine antique jokes. Unfazed by the band’s demanding tempos, he blazes new trails with his solos, and keeps the group locked in with his strong, smooth tones.