Austin Scelzo Receives IBMA Mini-Grant
Wernick Method teacher Austin Scelzo (based in CT) received one of IBMA’s Bluegrass in the Schools Mini-Grants. From the June 2022 issue of the IMBA Foundation Cornerstone: Check out the video for a message from Danbury, CT-based bluegrass educator and musician Austin Scelzo. The video visits the series of Bluegrass in the Schools programs his band is implementing in Connecticut high schools (Austin is the mandolin player/fiddler in the video). Don’t miss the comments at the end from the orchestra … Read More
Austin Scelzo Interview
Wernick Method teacher Austin Scelzo (CT) is interviewed by at the 2021 Podunk Bluegrass Festival, and talks about playing with Michael Cleveland, his decision to quit his full-time school teaching job to devote himself to a career teaching and playing bluegrass. The interview was conducted by Backstage View, which is hosted Scott Wilkins, an enthusiastic advocate of the Wernick Method and former teacher himself.
Kevin Slick Nominated IBMA Award
Congratulations to Kevin Slick (CO) on his nomination for IBMA Graphic Design of the Year. He was in good company, with the award going to Grace van’t Hof, who also produced this excellent graphic about jamming for banjo players.
Larry Kernagis sings national anthem at Cubs game
Pete says: “Believe it or not, our esteemed colleague (and Wernick Method teacher who’s taught classes in the most states: 16 states, as well as Ireland, and soon in Canada), JamKazam Man himself, Larry Kernagis, has one of the highest profile music gigs of anyone I know: 23 years of singing the National Anthem at Wrigley Field in Chicago, before a baseball game. “I knew Larry is a good singer, but I was super-impressed by his a cappella rendition of … Read More
Dan Whitener hits the top of Billboard bluegrass chart
As reported by Relix, Dan Whitener and his band Gangstagrass hit to the top of the Billboard Bluegrass chart with their No Time for Enemies album. “It’s pretty gratifying to get to this point and get this recognition” responded Dan when congratulated by Pete Wernick. Dan hails from Matawan, NJ, and has been a Wernick Method teacher since 2018.
Kristin Scott Benson wins 2019 IBMA Banjo Player of the Year
Wernick Method teacher Kristin Scott Benson (based in SC) was named Banjo Player of the Year for the fifth time. Kristin and her husband Scott Benson have been a Wernick Method teaching team since 2018.
Liam Purcell’s Cane Mill Road wins IBMA Momentum Award
Wernick Method founder Pete Wernick couldn’t be more proud of Liam Purcell, whose Cane Mill Road band won the 2019 IBMA Momentum Award. Cane Mill Road’s leader, front man, mandolin and fiddle player, main songwriter is 17 year-old Liam, himself a Momentum Instrumentalist nominee this year. Certified as a Wernick Method instructor at age 15, Liam is the busiest teenager in bluegrass. Along with friend and band mate Tray Wellington, Liam has been mentored by since he was a youngster. Pete … Read More
Petr Brandejs Bluegrass CD Czech
by Pete Wernick One of our few teachers who teaches WM jam classes to over 60 people a year, Petr Brandejs (pronounced “Peter Brandise”), has not only written a whole book introducing Czech folks to bluegrass, but has now produced a full jam video with songs and instruction in Czech. Petr informed me from the start that he wanted to create something like my jam videos, covering much of the same instruction, and selecting favorites from the Czech bluegrass jam repertoire. I gladly gave him my approval, and … Read More