Banjo Innovator Trischka To Perform On ‘Rolling Hills Radio’

Tony Trischka, a pioneer of five-string banjo and roots music, will perform on the Thursday, Jan. 26, episode of WRFA-LP 107.9 FM’s “Rolling Hills Radio” in the Robert H. Jackson Center’s Carl Kappa Theater. Submitted photo

WRFA-LP 107.9 FM’s “Rolling Hills Radio” will welcome a pioneer of five-string banjo during the live taping of its 60th episode from a new location next week.

The program will host roots musician Tony Trischka at the Robert H. Jackson Center’s Carl Kappa Theater on Thursday, Jan. 26, in what will be the first of several programs to be staged at the new site.

Program host Ken Hardley said “Rolling Hills Radio” will host the remaining shows of its current season, with the exception of its finale at Chautauqua Institution, will be held at the Kappa Theater due to renovations taking place at its usual location, the Studio Theater within the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts. He said, however, the timing has worked out well because the Kappa Theater is more conducive to the kind of acoustically sound and intimate concert that he would want for Trischka’s appearance on the program.

Additionally, he said he is very much looking forward to having an artist of Trischka’s caliber on the program.

“Tony is a big name in the Americana and roots industry, and being able to have him join us in Jamestown is a real coup for the city. I know people who are coming from as far as Central New York to see this program,” Hardley said. “I first ran across Tony’s music when I was first starting to learn how to play banjo. I heard his recording debut with Country Cooking called ’15 Bluegrass Instrumentals’ and I was astonished to hear all these magnificent riffs and licks that nobody had ever come up with before.”

Trischka is considered to be the consummate banjo artist, and perhaps the most influential banjo player in the roots music world. For more than 45 years, his stylings have inspired a whole generation of bluegrass and acoustic musicians with the many voices he has brought to the instrument.

A native of Syracuse, his interest in banjo was sparked by the Kingston Trio’s “Charlie and the MTA” in 1963. Over the years he has toured and recorded with Peter Rowan, Richard Greene, Bela Fleck, Earl Scruggs and Steve Martin. He has performed on Prairie Home Companion and Mountain Stage.

He is also notable for his production career, which has been highlighted by his work on Steve Martin’s Grammy-nominated album “Rare Bird Alert” — featuring performances by Paul McCartney, the Dixie Chicks and the Steep Canyon Rangers.

There are still tickets remaining to the show at a reduced price of $10 each, which can be purchased by calling 484-7070 or visiting The Robert H. Jackson Center is located at 305 E. Fourth St. in Jamestown.

Doors to the show will open at 5:30 p.m., when a pre-show reception known as “Rolling Happy Hour” will commence. The program’s live taping will begin at 7 p.m., and a meet-and-greet with Trischka will immediately follow.

The “Rolling Hills Radio” program is broadcast each Thursday at 7 p.m. on WRFA-LP 107.9 FM, with new episodes being introduced the week following their live taping.