The California Bluegrass Association presents...


Guitar Masters and the CBA present:

Earl Scruggs’ Centenary Celebration

at Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace
Saturday January 6, 2024
Doors open at 5:00. Show at 7:30. Come early for dinner!

Earl Scruggs was born on January 6, 1924, and he went on to forever change the music world. Although Bill Monroe is widely credited as the “Father of Bluegrass Music” – many attribute Monroe’s success to Earl Scruggs innovative and captivating new banjo style. On Earl’s Centenary – January 6, 2024 — The California Bluegrass Association, in collaboration with the Guitar Masters concert series, will mark a very special day in bluegrass music history with an all-star tribute to Earl Scruggs and his longtime partner, Lester Flatt. The event will take place at 7:30 p.m. at Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace in Bakersfield, and is part of the CBA’s annual Great 48, a free, four-day gathering featuring jam sessions, workshops, concerts and showcases, held at the Bakersfield Marriott Convention Center.

This special tribute show features Bill Evans, one of the top Scruggs-style banjo players in America and a 2022 winner of the Steve Martin Banjo Prize, leading a band of esteemed California players featuring Jim Nunally on guitar, Chad Manning on fiddle, Tom Bekeny on mandolin, Steve Pottier on bass and Mike Witcher on dobro. This band, the California Bluegrass All-Stars, will be joined by special guests Peter Rowan, a past member of Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys, and California legend guitarist/banjo player Herb Pederson.

Tickets for the event are $50 and are available for purchase at

More about the California Bluegrass All-Stars

The California Bluegrass All-Stars features musicians who have been well known on the West Coast bluegrass scene for decades but, more importantly, have played music together for years in various musical combinations.

The band is led by banjo player Bill Evans, a recent Steve Martin Banjo Prize recipient who has taught thousands through his online lessons, workshops and books. For the last ten years, he has produced the California Banjo Extravaganza and California Bluegrass Reunion tours in northern California. He currently tours with guitar legend Dan Crary, banjo icon Alan Munde and with his solo show The Banjo in America.

San Francisco Bay Area musician Jim Nunally is a world-class guitar player and singer, composer, record producer and teacher who has performed with the David Grisman Bluegrass Experience and John Reischman and the Jaybirds. These days, he leads the Nell & Jim Band, featuring vocalist Nell Robinson.

Fiddler Chad Manning is a Bay Area bluegrass, old-time and swing fiddler who has performed with Laurie Lewis and David Grisman. Along with his wife Catherine, Chad teaches hundreds of Bay Area students at Manning Music in Berkeley.

Dobro player Mike Witcher is one of the world’s best resophonic guitarists who has toured and recorded with Peter Rowan, Dolly Parton, the Watkins Family Hour and Dwight Yoakam, among others.

Mandolin player Tom Bekeny has been a part of the California bluegrass scene for over forty years. Tom is a skilled jazz mandolin player as well as an outstanding bluegrass mandolinist and fiddler who  currently performs with the Kathy Kallick Band and High Country.

Bassist Steve Pottier is well-known through decades of performances with leading northern California bands, including High Country. He is an accomplished lead guitarist and mandolin player as well as a driving bluegrass bass player.

Dinner Reservations

If you would like to dine at the Crystal Palace, dinner is served from 5:00 pm to the start of the show at 7:30 pm. Dinner is not included in the ticket price. To make a dinner reservation for the same table as your show tickets, call the reservation line, Thursday or Friday after 3pm, 661-328-7560.

About the Crystal Palace

The Crystal Palace was built in 1996 because Bakersfield resident, Buck Owens, had spent a lifetime performing in smoky bars and honky-tonks and felt country-western music deserved a comfortable, acoustically outstanding venue. Over the years this Western Revival building has become a Bakersfield landmark and serves as a bar, restaurant and a museum of country music and the Bakersfield sound. Visible from State Route 99, Bakersfield’s iconic Bakersfield sign was moved on its 50th birthday from downtown Bakersfield to beside Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace. Come early to the concert and enjoy the first-floor museum.
Ad for concert at Crystal Palace Bakersfield Jan 2024

Friday Night

Open Mic and Showcase Performances

FREE admission
Marriott Ballroom Salons B-C

Open Mic 6-7:30 pm

Whiskey Deaf Duet 8-9 pm

Red Dog Ash  9-10 pm 


Annie Staninec and John Kael are Whiskey Deaf Duet

Whiskey Deaf Duet

Annie Staninec and John Kael live in Portland, OR and share a passion for finding lesser-known traditional bluegrass and old-time songs, then crafting them to fit their particular style. They both play and teach multiple instruments, have toured internationally, and have each received awards and recognition various organizations including the International Bluegrass Music Association.

Annie is a uniquely gifted traditional bluegrass fiddler, bringing driving rhythm, musicality and joyful exuberance to every performance. She has been playing fiddle since the age of four, has toured the world with artists spanning from Peter Rowan and John Reischman to Rod Stewart, and is on countless recordings in a variety of musical styles. Annie has written two books on traditional fiddling. She has also taught at the world’s most prestigious bluegrass camps.

John plays guitar, banjo and mandolin equally deftly, has a repertoire of literally hundreds of traditional songs, has taught at numerous music camps throughout the US, and is an IBMA Award-winning songwriter.

John and Annie both share a deep knowledge of traditional American musical styles with which they provide a highly entertaining and even educational performance. Annie’s fiddling is 100% guaranteed to put a smile on your face!

Red Dog Ash posting bw photo<br />


RED DOG ASH is an award-winning bluegrass band from California’s Central Valley. Their hard-driving tunes, authentic bluegrass vocals, and high-lonesome harmonies showcase the heart and soul of bluegrass music in the region. Now in their twelfth year, the band features its own unique blend of originals along with tunes and song selections from the bluegrass and country traditions ranging from the Stanley Brothers to Dawg music. The group takes its name from red dog, the byproduct of uncontrolled coal waste fires, and they turn up the heat when they pick and sing. Red Dog Ash features Mark Eagleton on bass, Shane Kalbach on fiddle and vocals, Mark Peet on banjo and stage banter, Gary Vessel on mandolin and vocals, and Jason Winfree on guitar and vocals.

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