This very special concert presents a rare collaboration of two duos from Boston and Nashville respectively. Two of New Zealand’s best bluegrass musicians, BB Bowness and George Jackson, who grew up playing music together and are now both touring full time in the United States, bring their respective duos together for a musical reunion in Auckland. Jackson will be performing with one of Americana's rising stars, Rachel Baiman, and BB brings with her one of Boston’s most creative guitarists, Alex Rubin. The duos will collaborate with one another and combine into new formats, creating a unique and not to be missed show.
Rachel Baiman’s June 2017 album Shame was featured on NPR’s “Songs We Love”, called a “Rootsy Wake-up Call” by Folk Alley, and was nominated for Americana Album of the Year in the Independent Music Awards. She is a winner of the 2018 IBMA Instrumental Recorded Performance of the Year Award. Baiman’s touring highlights include appearances at the Kennedy Center Millenium Stage in Washington, DC, and the Celtic Connections Festival in Glasgow, Scotland. Joining Rachel is New Zealand native George Jackson, who was born to musician parents in Christchurch. Jackson has a degree in Jazz from Queensland Conservatorium of music, and spent years on the Australian Festival Circuit with bands “The Company”, and “One Up, Two Down”. An avid student of American fiddle styles, Jackson eventually made his way to Nashville, TN where he now lives and works with various bands including the Missy Raines Trio, Front Country, Peter Rowan, and leads his own band.
BB Bowness and Alex Rubin, starting at opposite ends of the world, met in the exuberant Boston acoustic music scene in the winter of 2012. In 2014, they started to perform together as a duo. Since then they have performed around the northeast, including performances at the Freshgrass Music Festival and Club Passim, as well as completing a country-wide tour of New Zealand. BB received the Frank Winter memorial award at the Auckland Folk Festival allowing her to travel to the USA, where she studied with banjo players Tony Trischka, Alan Munde and Noam Pikelny. In 2009, she became the first banjo player accepted to the New Zealand School of Music, graduating in 2011 with a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance. BB currently tours with her band “Mile Twelve” who are making waves as one of the tightest young bluegrass bands in the United States and have multiple IBMA award nominations. Alex is a Boston-based guitarist who, after completing an undergraduate biology degree at Cornell University in 2011, returned to the Boston music bluegrass scene, studying privately with Berklee professor John McGann. Alex proudly joined the April Verch Band in March 2016 and has been touring full time since then.