Mark Schatz & Bryan McDowell

Mark Schatz (Nickel Creek, Bela Fleck, Claire Lynch Band and more) and award winning instrumentalist Bryan McDowell bring two generations and backgrounds together in unparalleled synergy, humor, beauty, and ease, taking the listener on a delightful, toe tapping journey through a landscape of fiddle and banjo tunes, songs, lilting waltzes, and searing guitar solos. Schatz and McDowell offer stylistically diverse material, ranging from traditional fiddle tunes and ballads, a Bob Dylan song, and a Louis Jordan boogie-woogie number to an Eastern European folk song on bowed bass and bluesy renderings on fretless banjo. Stir in some clogging, hambone, and jaw harp, then sit back and enjoy an eclectic musical feast!

Quick Facts

Representation: Exclusive – North America
Touring Formats:  Duo

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Mark Schatz (Nickel Creek, Bela Fleck, Claire Lynch Band and more) and award winning instrumentalist Bryan McDowell bring two generations and backgrounds together in an unparalleled synergy, humor, beauty, and ease, taking the listener on a delightful, toe tapping journey through a landscape of fiddle and banjo tunes, songs, lilting waltzes, and searing guitar solos. Stir in some clogging, hambone, and jaw harp, then sit back and enjoy an eclectic musical feast!

This multi-generational duo presents a broad spectrum of American acoustic music. Both Schatz and McDowell are multi-instrumentalists who cruise seamlessly from old-time to bluegrass, from folk to swing, playing and singing tunes and songs, old and new, including their own original compositions. At age eighteen Bryan took first place in fiddle, mandolin, and guitar at the prestigious National Flat-picking Championships in Winfield, Kansas. Mark has toured and recorded with a who’s who of the acoustic music world including Bela Fleck, Nickel Creek, Tony Rice, and Tim O’Brien. The two worked together in The Claire Lynch Band from 2009 to 2014, and they’re excited to present a new and dynamic show which of course will include some of Mark’s colorful hambone and Appalachian clog dancing.

In January 2020, Mark Schatz and Bryan McDowell started working up a duo show for festivals, small venues, and a Canadian fall tour. The time they spent together touring with the Claire Lynch Band had fostered a personal and musical rapport, which has made for a fruitful collaboration. Their show offers stylistically diverse material, ranging from traditional fiddle tunes and ballads, a Bob Dylan song, and a Louis Jordan boogie-woogie number to an Eastern European folk song on bowed bass and bluesy renderings on fretless banjo. During this time they recorded tracks for their new CD, Grit & Polish, which climbed quickly to #1 on the Folk DJ charts shortly after its release in June of 2021.

Mark Schatz:

Mark is a prominent figure in the contemporary acoustic music world who has recorded and toured with Bela Fleck, Tony Rice, Tim O’Brien, Nickel Creek, John Hartford, The Claire Lynch Band, and Sarah Jarosz. Though best known for his work on acoustic bass, Mark has released two of his own solo recordings on Rounder Records which feature his original compositions and clawhammer banjo playing. He is the Musical Director for the acclaimed dance troupe Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble, and is currently touring with Bryan McDowell, his own solo show, Mark Schatz – The Solo Concert, and Bela Fleck’s My Bluegrass Heart.

Bryan McDowell:

Western North Carolina native Bryan McDowell grew up in a rich musical environment where he learned everything from Doc Watson to Charlie Parker. His Since then his extraordinary facility on several instruments, his sure, sweet tenor voice, and his stylistic versatility have made him a much sought after sideman, landing him tours with the likes of Molly Tuttle, Mountain Heart, Sierra Hull, and a long stint with The Claire Lynch Band. Most recently Bryan has been focused on recording sessions, teaching, and studying for his BA.