2019 GUILDFORD BANJO JAMBOREE PERFORMERS and workshop presenters

Performer applications have closed for this year’s Jamboree. However, sometimes it happens that bands/performers/workshop presenters must pull out for various reasons, so if you have not yet applied and still wish to register your interest, please do contact me at with your details, including style, instruments, band members, links to sound/video, email address, contact phone number and relevant website or facebook information.

We have had an influx of interest in the past few weeks, and have already booked a number of concert acts and workshop presentations, with final decisions still to be made on the last few positions. Some entertaining and talented “old favourites’,  some newcomers, and some previous performers/presenters with new line-ups and new material. Descriptions will be added below as the performers are confirmed.

Click on the “Workshops” page for workshop updates.

Jeanette Gillespie (Programming Coordinator)



The Ballarat Grammar Bluegrass Band first played to an enthusiastic Jamboree audience in 2017 and we will be welcoming them back this year. The band was established in 2012 and plays a mix of traditional and modern contemporary music in a bluegrass style. The band is led by music teacher and musician Heath Joyce, and is made up of a changing array of senior school students. It includes banjo, fiddles, guitar, bass, mandolin and vocals. The group rehearses weekly and has enthusiastically adopted the traditional music, while putting a bluegrass spin on a number of contemporary hits.


The Grubby Urchins, Daniel Bornstein and Joseph Hillel, wowed audiences in their debut Jamboree performance last year and are coming back for more! They sit “on the nebulous intersection of trad jazz, sea shanty and good ol’ fashioned folk”, a duo of happy-go-lucky young Melburnians with dirty feet, useless degrees and a penchant for the eclecticly bizarre. Armed with heady harmonies and intrepid instrumentals, the Urchins wage their reckless stylistic war on songs old and new.


The Hardies Hillbillies is and Old Time stringband based near Ballarat (two members live in “Hardies Hill Road” Garibaldi thus the band name!). All the band members are experienced performers, but as a band had their debut performance at the recent Bended Knee Music Festival in Buninyong. Featuring: Martin Scuffins (vocals, clawhammer banjo and fiddle), Geoff McArthur (backing vocals, guitar and mandolin), Talia Barrett (vocals and guitar), Tanya Wiggins (vocals, ukulele, 6-string banjo).




We welcome the “Mockers” back (both for their brilliance and by public demand!) to delight the Sunday Beer Garden concert-goers. Fine purveyors of Western Swing and cowdy music. Channelling Bob Wills, Hank, Patsy Montana, Frankie Laine and other fine saddle pals too numerous to mention. This mob has stepped right out of your Kreisler stereogram, with boots, hats & High Fidelity – and yodeling like ya ain’t never heard before! Featuring Mick Coates on vocal & banjo, James Rigby on vocals & fiddle, Pete Gavin on vocal & double bass, Merrin Torpy on vocal & piano accordion, Del Widdowson on vocals, Geoff McArthur on vocal & guitar, Steve James on   slide guitar and Matiss on fiddle.


Betty France and Cate Jardine discovered each other in the late 90’s. They share a passion for great songwriters such as Gillian Welch, Townes Van Zandt and Anais Mitchell and this repertoire has now expanded into original material. They tell obscure tales of mythical women, sweet ditties about pets, laments about children and errant friends. They are welcome company around the campfires of Victoria’s folk world. Known for their uke playing, the addition of the banjo and guitar gives them another world of sound to explore. Hypnotic picking, rhythmic grooves and harmonies to die for make this unique duo something to experience.
Whilst described as ‘gothic folk’ they have an undeniably wicked humour and the sense not to take themselves too seriously. Their intimate style harks back to old timey music and has echoes of modern folk.


The Duck Downpickers play acoustic-zyda-Jug-holy-billy-blues, a little tongue in beak! They cite among their influences Gus Cannon’s Jug Stompers, The Skillet Lickers, R Crumb and The Cheap Suit Serenaders and the Old Crow Medicine Show. The group is a trio consisting of Gerry McDonald – Vocals, 5 String Banjo and Foot Percussion; Clayton Jacobson – Vocals and Double Bass; and Jonathan Ashley – Vocals, Acoustic Guitar and Harmonica.


The Undertones came together after a particularly raucous jam session at the Guildford Banjo Jamboree, Victoria. Influenced by a shared love of traditional bluegrass and jazz grazz, Jim Golding (banjo), Don Gula (bass), Heath Joyce (mandolin) and Tom Wales (guitar) have quickly found their own unique style which encompasses bluegrass and progressive jazz music. Based in Melbourne, Australia, forming in early 2018, The Undertones have already left a lasting impression as a band to watch.


What do you get when you put together 3 string virtuosos, Oz’s top jug player, a soulful Blues Harp, and a witty Washboard broad?  One helluva toe tappin’ Jugband whoopin’ it up!  This lovable combo reinvent the pizzazz of Jugband music from the 20’s Speakeasy era plus originals. Their repertoire covers the 1920s to the jug band revival of the 1960s, with Tony, Teana, Mick and Brent all alumni of 1960s jug bands. Featuring: Brent Davey on banjo and vocals, Tony Dunn on Jug, Teana Amor on washboard and vocals, Mark Smith on guitars and vocals, Barry Martin on harmonicas and tea-chest bass, Marni Sheehan on mandolin, guitar and vocals.


Zinnia Blue is an old-timey folk duo featuring interweaving guitars and two-part harmonies. The pair create sparse and brooding melodies and lyrical, uplifting ballads inspired by historical stories. Zinnia Blue deliver a heady combination of intelligent songwriting, folk guitar, and gorgeous vocal harmonies. Kate and Matt will be joined for their Jamboree performance by Chris Ellis on dobro and lap steel, Quinn Ellis on mandolin, Narada Ellis on double bass, Mark Wardle on banjo and  Leo Kahans on fiddle. Zinnia Blue have distilled their unique sound and eclectic songs for their debut album “The Garden”.


Great to have Jamboree stalwart Stan Gottschalk from Tasmania back with us this year. Born in Delaware, USA, and emigrating to Australia in 1970, Stan is a man of very many talents.  Apart from holding a number of scientific degrees, Stan is a wine lover, film lover, actor and theatrical director – and of course a superb banjo player with a wide knowledge of music, in particular the traditional music of the United States. He has been playing guitar for nearly 60 years and banjo for nearly 55, and has been influenced by the recordings of a large number of traditional musicians including the likes of Wade Ward, Hobart Smith and Uncle Dave Macon. He will be performing a concert bracket and conducting a workshop.

TONY ENGLISH and Friends

Tony has played past Jamborees with his band Pennyweight. We welcome him back this time to play a set on banjo and guitar, along with one or two friends to accompany him. Some of Tony’s mostly original songs have an English folk influence, while some have a more bluegrass/blues feel. Tony has a long history of performance at local venues in Central Victoria and at festivals such as the Maldon Folk Festival, and has won a number of awards for his songwriting. His songs can be heard on either JJJ Unearthed under his name, or on Reverbnation under the name Pennyweight.


The Burning Bridges play bluegrass, old-time and country blues from the bedrock of modern Americana, along with some originals, and feature vocal harmonies straight out of the Appalachian mountains. They have been promoting their album, “Down This Old Road,” at festivals around Australia. Featuring Peter Somerville on banjo and vocals, Fran Martin on vocals and tenor guitar, Mark Wardle on guitar, Jeff Arnold on double bass, and possibly young Tom Somerville on guitar.


Suzanne Diprose & Oh Suzannah! bring old-time and traditional country style ballads, taken from ancient lineage and perform them in a genuine style that takes the audience back to the front porches of old mountain homes. It rustic, it’s organic with no pretence.
Audiences are entertained with old-time sweet three-part harmonies, traditional frailing banjo, superb flatpicking guitar, pretty mandolin and lilting flute solos. Think of old-time calico sacks, rocking chairs, pipes and families singing soaring harmonies on days of rest.
Based in Melbourne, Suzanne Diprose and members of Oh Suzannah have played in many festivals and events across Victoria, and on a number of radio stations, focussing on their sweet harmonies and old-time sounds.


Craig Woodward’s ‘Flying Engine Stringband’ is the current incarnation of the band formerly known as Headbelly Buzzard who held an almost 20 year Friday night residency at the Railway hotel in Nth Fitzroy. Featuring fiddles, clawhammer banjo, guitar, Banjolin and double bass with occasional high lonesome vocalizing, Flying Engine continue the tradition of driving, hypnotic American Southern Appalachian style Old Time Stringband music for your dancing and listening pleasure. Check them out to see for yourself why ‘Old Time Stringband Music’ is enjoying such a strong, spirited worldwide renaissance!


The Devil Goat Family String Band is a Brunswick based five piece band, first formed in 2005, whose members play high-energy bluegrass and fiddle tunes like they’ve never gone out of style! Their contemporary arrangements of traditional tunes utilize some mighty fine vocals along with the twin fiddles of Kate and Grace, banjo of Gus Macmillan (Blue Grassy Knoll), guitar of Luke Byrnes and double bass of Fran Evans. They traverse the old timey and new-grass traditions, and generate a lively energy that is truly infectious to music-lovers of all generations. The band had to pull out of last year’s Jamboree, but are determined to play this year!