About Me

Jody Here,

In a nutshell, what do I do?-I assemble notes and teach others how to have fun with sound.  Weapons of choice include Banjo + Acoustic Guitar. If all else fails, I sing a few tunes as well.

Some weeks (depending on how a student’s week went), I double as a therapist of sorts…I’ve been told I have the patience of Job, I’m not exactly sure I’d go that far.  I equip people with skills to one day teach themselves (as my old teacher used to say, it’s not a good business model!).

I perform with the Chuck Nation Band as well as my Acoustic Bluegrass Trio in the Atlanta area for weddings and private parties.

My Musical History:

During my career, I’ve played banjo and acoustic guitar on the most prestigious stages in the United States.  I’ve also performed in six different countries. 

Here I am at Carnegie Hall (2017)

I’m the lead banjoist in the Come Away to the Skies choral composition; that’s how I got there….and I suppose lots of practice.  

Carnegie Hall Performance
Onstage at Carnegie Hall

Here I am at The Ryman Auditorium with the Chuck Nation Band (2018).  This is one of my most treasured performances & memories:

Ryman Auditorium, band onstage
Onstage at The Ryman

In 2014, I played guitar on the Grand Ole Opry with The Randy Kohrs Band. 

stage of the grand ole opry four piece band with violin and acoustic guitar
On Stage at the Grand Ol’ Opry

To name a few places I’ve toured- China, Mongolia, Argentina, and Chile. 

I’m pretty sure I might be the only banjo player to have ever played the remote inner mainland China & Mongolia.

PAST AWARDS include-2004 Merlefest Banjo Contest winner; 3X Georgia State Banjo and Flatpick guitar champion.  

What about my training? How am I “qualified?”

As a teenager, I took numerous private guitar and banjo lessons.  Dan Acheson was my banjo teacher and got me started.  Later on, I studied under world class jazz pianist Kevin Bales for six years; we worked on Jazz Improvisation (I did this with guitar)

I also studied music composition with Doug Gibson who really helped change the way I view music today. 

I taught guitar to kids in the Fulton County elementary schools for five years as part of the program FINE ARTS MATTERYeah, I can manage a classroom of unruly kids and act like I’m 7 years old.  It occasionally comes in handy. 

Today I maintain a schedule of around 20 online students-teaching banjo, acoustic guitar, music theory, and songwriting. 

Do I have a music degree?

No, I don’t.  A factoid-My Bachelor’s degree is in chemistry and I worked as an Analytical Chemist for 7 years.  17 years ago I decided to become a full-time musician that’s what I’ve done ever since.

Other Hobbies and Interests?

I LOVE taking walks in Nature (I do so three times a week), I love animals and they tend to like me back.  During my pandemic break, I picked up a couple Google certificates and was also certified in Data Analysis.  I’m constantly learning these days.  I also do some blogging over on http://RipeforInvesting.com

Other hobbies include martial arts, reading, investing, and more.

I’m originally from Georgia (where I still live).  However, my thick accent has since left me; you’d never know unless you catch me in the middle of a relapsed YONDER, SWAN’EE or YA’LL.

My Original music:

I seek to combine elements of bluegrass/folk influences with jazz and elements from Impressionistic composers.  I strive to paint a picture with the songs I compose.  I’ve written everything from two chord songs, 12 tone music, to art songs for voice and piano.  All of my published banjo music is available on BANDCAMP for purchase: