Winners of the 2018 Rockygrass Band Competition in Lyons CO
The Bow Ties are a group of voracious bluegrass pickers dedicated to precision playing of the masters' classics, they are happy to bring traditional bluegrass into the hearts of audiences far and wide. Band members include Northern California Bluegrass Association's five-time Guitarist of the Year, Yoseff Tucker. Billy Moore is a self-taught banjo picker with the accuracy, and more importantly, the fine understanding of improvisation. Classically trained Jan Purat plays a fiddle that can either break your heart or pull your legs out from under you, sometimes both. Stoic and relaxed, Andrew March picks a mandolin likes its nobody's business. And backing it all up with fierce rhythm is Zach Sharpe on upright bass. The combination of these talented musicians offer a refreshing, exciting and meticulous bluegrass experience.
Yoseff Tucker, Guitar/Lead Vocals
Yoseff’s early life exposure to traditional bluegrass and American roots music came courtesy of his grandfather who moved to Central California from the Ozarks in the early 20th century. His first guitar came to him while he was still in diapers and an appreciation for music laid a great foundation in his life. After years of playing rock ‘n roll, Yoseff found his way back to bluegrass music and in a matter of years created a life centered on the proliferation and progress of bluegrass. His prodigious flatpicking skills have been acknowledged by the Northern California Bluegrass Society via the Guitarist of the Year award (’09, ’10, ’11, '13, '15). He has also been humbled with the award for Male Vocalist of the Year (’10, '16). Yoseff lends his guitar work and vocals to the Central Valley Boys as well as San Francisco band Supermule.
Billy Moore, Banjo/Vocals
At age ten, Billy was inspired by mainly blues, acid rock, funk and metal music and picked up his first guitar. For ten years after he would learn more about music than he thought possible. His path eventually brought him to bluegrass music at age twenty and his first banjo. Traditional bluegrass music seemed as if it had always been in his heart and he quickly soaked up the nuance and precision of a 5-string banjo player. Billy is mainly self-taught and has been known to say things like “I know one melodic lick and I don't like to play it at all.” He picked up traction and experience playing with well-known California bluegrass bands like the Del Williams Band and Central Valley Boys. Billy currently lives in Santa Cruz, California.
Jan Purat, Fiddle
Classically trained since the age of seven, Jan started playing in folk bands during his high school years in Marin County. In 2013 he graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a Bachelors of Arts in classical violin under the instruction of Roy Malan. It was his exposure to Old and in The Way and John Hartford during those college years that seeded his love of bluegrass and American roots music. He focuses his energy on performance and composition and cites inspiration from a diverse group of fiddlers including Vassar Clements, Kenny Baker, Darol Anger, Stephane Grappelli and many more. When not busy playing, listening to or promoting music he enjoys backpacking, photography and good-company. When he’s not shredding the fiddle with the Bow Ties, he also supplies fantastic fiddling for Steep Ravine.
Andrew Powers March
Originally from Anchorage, Alaska, Andrew started playing mandolin in his early teens. As a young musician, he gained the guidance of famed Anchorage mandolinist, Bernard Glansbeek and spent most of his youth studying the unique and varied methods of mandolin playing. Andrew is inspired by Mr. Bill Monroe, David Grisman, Sam Bush, Mike Marshall, John Reischmann and Dominick Leslie.
Zach Sharpe, Upright Bass/Vocals
Born into bluegrass, Zach was raised by "pickers" in the woods of Indiana. After moving to California for high school, he eventually landed in Sacramento as a young adult, where he was almost immediately adopted into the MacNasty family of funk with Larry and Allie Davis. Through the sounds and soul of R&B music, he gained new insights into bass playing, rhythm and music as a whole. Currently residing in San Francisco, Zach finds himself at the helm of his American Standard custom bass for other local bands like Supermule and Front Country. His musical influences range anywhere from Flatt and Scruggs, Jimmy Martin, Vern Williams and Tony Rice to The Boxcars, James Brown, Tower of Power, Bill Withers and Outkast. These incredible musicians have had a profound effect on Zach, but nothing could have been more inspiring than his family and their close family of bluegrass pickers.