Circus No. 9


  • From East Tennessee.
  • A progressive bluegrass band described as “John Hartford meets John Coltrane.”
  • Formed in 2016 by Matthew Davis (banjo), Thomas Cassell (mandolin), Vince Ilagan (bass), and Ben Garnett (guitar).
  • Matthew Davis (banjo) has won both the National Banjo Championship and the Rockygrass Banjo Championship. He also plays with a “chambergrass” (bluegrass/jazz/classical chamber music) group called Westbound Situation.
  • Thomas Cassell (mandolin) won the Rockygrass Mandolin Championship (2016). He has also performed with the Bryan Sutton Band, Billy Strings, Missy Raines, Becky Buller, and others. He has released a solo album called Voyager (no label).
  • 2018, released Modernus album (no label).
  • 2020, Cassell received the IBMA’s Momentum Award for Instrumentalist of the Year.
  • 2022, released self-titled album (Bonfire).