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Matt Flinner & Ethan Ballinger Mandolin Duo

By Mandolin Cafe
September 20, 2006 - 10:30 am

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Bongo Java After Hours Theatre & Coffee Shop

Bongo Java After Hours Theatre & Coffee Shop

Matt Flinner and Ethan Ballinger team up for an evening of mandolin music on September 26, 2006 at Bongo Java After Hours, 2007 Belmont Blvd., Nashville, Tennessee.

Show starts at 7:00 p.m. with an admission fee of $7.00.

Matt Flinner has made a career out of playing acoustic music in new ways. Starting out as a banjo prodigy who was playing bluegrass festivals before he entered his teens, Flinner later took up the mandolin, won the National Banjo Competition in Winfield, KS in 1990, and won the mandolin award there the following year. He moved to Nashville in 1999 and is now widely considered one of the hottest and most creative mandolin players on the acoustic scene. His two solo albums for Compass Records, The View from Here and Latitude, both featured bluegrass stalwarts Todd Phillips, David Grier, Stuart Duncan, Jerry Douglas and Darol Anger, and received high critical acclaim. Flinner actively tours with Phillips and Grier (in Phillips, Grier and Flinner) and the Modern Mandolin Quartet, as well as with his own Matt Flinner Acoustic Trio and Matt Flinner Quartet, which released its Walking on the Moon CD on Compass in 2002.

At the ripe old age of 20, Ethan Ballinger is making waves in the mandolin world. The son of bluegrass musicians Dale and Kris Ballinger of the Cluster Pluckers, Ethan grew up surrounded by some of bluegrass' finest musicians. In his teens, he pursued his own path on electric guitar and soon became a veteran of the garage band scene in his native Cookeville, Tenn. In the last few years, Ethan has returned to his roots in bluegrass, pursuing the mandolin and acoustic guitar. His playing reflects the influence of Matt Mundy as well as Bill Monroe, and his original compositions show the diversity of his musical interests, from bluegrass to jazz to Steve Reich-esque minimalism.

Together, Matt Flinner and Ethan Ballinger cover a wide musical territory, from bluegrass to bebop to Bela Bartok and back. Both musicians write original music for the duo as well, and occasionally incorporate other mandolin-related instruments such as octave mandolin and tenor guitar.

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