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BUTCH BALDASSARI (See also WEARY HEARTS, NASHVILLE MANDOLIN ENSEMBLE)

  • From Scranton, Pennsylvania. Lives in Nashville.
  • A mandolinist who grew up listening to the music of Frank Sinatra, Louis Prima and other classic pop stars. He was converted to bluegrass after attending the 1972 Philadelphia Folk Festival.
  • 1977, moved to Las Vegas, Nevada. Worked as a croupier, running craps tables in the El Cortez and MGM Grand Casinos.
  • 1986, joined the  Arizona-based band Weary Hearts with Ron Block, Mike Bub and Chris Jones.
  • 1989, moved to Nashville with Weary Hearts. The group disbanded shortly thereafter.
  • 1990, released solo project Old Town (Rebel).
  • 1991, formed The Nashville Mandolin Ensemble, a group that performs “Bach, Beethoven and Bill Monroe.”
  • 1994-1998, worked with Larry Cordle and Lonesome Standard Time and the Kathy Chiavola Band. He also began recording mandolin instruction videos.
  • 1996, he was named adjunct professor of mandolin at the Blair School of Music, Vanderbilt University.
  • 1996, became vice president of the Classical Mandolin Society of America.
  • 1996, joined Richard Greene’s band, The Grass is Greener.
  • Founded his own record label SoundArt Recordings.
  • 1997, formed the Nashville Mandolin Trio.
  • 2002, wrote and produced “Blue Moon Over Kentucky,” a symphony for orchestra and mandolin featuring the music of Bill Monroe.
  • 2009, died from brain cancer at age 56.
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