Butch Baldassari

 

BUTCH BALDASSARI

Mandolinist Butch Baldassari (1952-2009) created new interest in this age-old instrument and lured legions of new admirers to the music he created. With mastery of a wide variety of mandolin styles, Baldassari's versatility was unmatched. He moved from bluegrass festivals to symphony halls with ease and grace, and earned respect and admiration in these seemingly disparate worlds.

After attending the Classical Mandolin Society of America convention in November 1990, and intrigued by the existence of mandolin orchestras in America at the turn of the century, he returned to Nashville (where he had moved in 1989) and founded the Nashville Mandolin Ensemble in June 1991. Baldassari appeared on "A Prairie Home Companion," "CBS This Morning," CNN and "Riders in the Sky Radio Theatre." Not just a performer and bandleader, he was widely respected as a teacher, and was Adjunct Associate Professor of Mandolin at Vanderbilt University's renowned Blair School of Music. His instructional videos, books and tapes are among the most widely used by aspiring mandolin players.

Baldassari established his own successful record label, SoundArt Recordings, where many of his recordings may be found. More information at www.soundartrecordings.com.

 

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