Discovered by guitar legend John McLaughlin in 2006, banjoist Ryan Cavanaugh has spent the last 8 years touring the international jazz scene with acclaimed saxophonist and Miles Davis alum, Bill Evans. In his early twenties, before performing and recording with Bill Evans, Sam Bush, Victor Wooten, Bela Fleck, Robben Ford, and many others, Cavanaugh was a champion of the Merlefest, Rockygrass, and Renofest banjo contests. In ’07 Ryan released his bluegrass cd “Songs For the New Frontier” and played on 8 tracks of Bill Evans’s record “The Other Side of Something” along with greats Bela Fleck, Sam Bush, Victor Wooten, and Dennis Chambers.
“Cavanaugh’s bluegrass credibility is undeniable but, while he’ll humbly tell you that he’s still got so much to learn, he’s already a remarkable jazz player.” John Kelman – reviewer, All About Jazz magazine.
Cavanaugh’s music is inspired by a 20 year career on the 5-string banjo and a lifetime of listening to bluegrass and jazz music. “While trying to fuse elements Bluegrass music and modern Jazz in Bill Evans’s Soulgrass group, I felt it was time to start exploring some of my own music,” says Cavanaugh. “I have always loved American Bluegrass music because it is my roots, but I also love the history of Jazz in America…because it involves the banjo.”
Ryan’s latest release, Ryan Cavanaugh and No Man’s Land, currently consists of Ryan on acoustic and electric banjo, Kevin Knapp on electric bass, Tyson Rogers on keyboards, Bryon Larrance on Drums, and guest saxophonists. The group’s self titled EP also features Bill Evans on tenor and soprano sax. It was recorded and mixed by recording engineer extraordinaire Rob Stokes, and mastered by Eric Conn at Independent Mastering. The EP is now available on iTunes and at live shows.