Carlos Valdés-Dapena played saxophone and sang in choirs and musicals as a youth, but his passions were folk and bluegrass. At 18 he got a banjo and began teaching himself. While in college he played in a few bands; in his late 20s, music took a back seat to a business career and raising a family. Years later, he rediscovered his enthusiasm for the banjo while living in Virginia where he attended his first Wernick Method class. He has attended several workshops since and assisted at a few. He currently plays in two local New Jersey bands,The Foggy Minded Boys and The Good Tyme String Band.