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WOJB Presents Americana Musician, Tony Furtado at the Park Theater

Submitted by Jeffrey Jones WOJB Program Director


WOJB Community Radio from Lac Courte Oreilles presents acclaimed Americana musician Tony Furtado in concert on Friday, Oct 28 at The PARK Center, 15791 U.S. Highway 63, downtown Hayward WI. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Admission is $20 at www.WOJB.org and at the door.


Very few musicians of any stripe so personify a musical genre as completely as Tony Furtado embodies Americana roots music.


Furtado is an evocative and soulful singer, a wide-ranging songwriter and a virtuoso multi-instrumentalist adept on banjo, cello-banjo, slide guitar and baritone ukulele who mixes and matches sounds and styles with the flair of a master chef. He’s also an accomplished sculptor, but that’s another story. All of the music of America is enfolded in Furtado's music. Relix magazine hit the nail on the head when writing about him, “True talent doesn’t need categories."


A native of Pleasanton, California, who now makes his home in Portland, Oregon, Furtado took up the banjo at age 12, inspired by the Beverly Hillbillies television show and a sixth-grade music report on Flatt & Scruggs. He first attracted national attention in 1987, winning the National Bluegrass Banjo Championship in Winfield, Kansas. Not long after that, Furtado opted for the life of a full-time professional musician, joining Laurie Lewis & Grant Street. A second victory at Winfield, in 1991, bookended his years with Grant Street.


In 1990, Furtado signed with Rounder Records, one of the country’s preeminent independent record companies. Beginning with Swamped in 1990, he recorded six critically acclaimed albums for the label, collaborating with such master musicians as Alison Krauss, Jerry Douglas, Tim O’Brien, Stuart Duncan, Kelly Joe Phelps and Mike Marshall. During this period, Furtado also performed and recorded with the band SugarBeat and the Rounder Banjo Extravaganza with Tony Trischka and Tom Adams.


Beginning in the late 1990s – influenced by such musical heroes as Ry Cooder, David Lind-ley and Taj Mahal – he added slide guitar, singing and songwriting to his musical toolbox and began leading his own band. Furtado is an intrepid road musician who performs in a variety of formats: solo, in a duo or trio or with his full five-person band. He especially values the opportunities he has had to tour with such legendary musicians as Gregg Allman, and with such esteemed musicians as David Lindley, Derek Trucks and Sonny Landreth.


Furtado has performed throughout the world at top venues and appeared at such prestigious music festivals as the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, High Sierra Music Festival, Jazz Aspen, Kerrville Folk Festival, Strawberry Music Festival, Winnipeg Folk Festival, Sisters Folk Festival, San Jose Jazz Festival and countless others.


“I love playing live,” he says. “All my energy is focused on the love of playing music and rolling with the moment. It’s a give and take from the audience to the stage, and back. And the music that is created is something that otherwise might not occur without that flow.”