About Me

Jody Here,

In a nutshell, what do I do?-I assemble notes and teach others how to play with sounds. 
Weapons of choice include Banjo and 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 equip people with music skills to one day teach themselves (as my old teacher used to say, it’s not a good business model!)…..

Time to get Serious?

Okay-During my career, I’ve played banjo and acoustic guitar on the most prestigious stages in the United States.  I’ve performed in six different countries.  (SERIOUS ENOUGH FOR YOU?)

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
Onstage at The Ryman

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

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 and Mongolia.

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

What about my training? What makes me “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.  I’m based in the Atlanta Georgia area.  I still perform at weddings, private events, and as a member of the Chuck Nation band around North Georgia.

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.  About 17 years ago I decided to become a f and have been doing so ever since. 

Here’s my banjo Music on SPOTIFY

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, so 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:


Here is “BE STILL”, a Solo banjo piece I wrote in about 30 mins one morning.  I always tell everyone this was the easiest song I’ve ever written; usually I struggle and struggle to write a song 🙂

Here is an original acoustic instrumental I wrote for Guitar entitled, “StarTrip.”

I’m not sure how I wrote this one, it was more of a process over many months.

Forgetting-Original Banjo Music from Jody Hughes on Vimeo.