Ida Winfree — mandolin, guitar
Max Schwartz — bass, banjo
Nate Schwartz — guitar, mandolin
Tessa Schwartz — fiddle
Blackberry Awesome is a collection of some of California’s finest young bluegrass musicians, who come together to make stunning music when the stars align and schedules allow. The band features high schoolers Tessa Schwartz and Ida Winfree, two of the founding members of the Northern California juggernaut band “North Country Blue,” along with Tessa’s two older brothers, Nate and Max Schwartz, both young professional musicians with impressive bluegrass and jazz pedigrees. The foursome first played together at the “Great 48” event in Bakersfield, California, in 2019, and will head to Oregon in 2020 to perform at the Wheeler County Bluegrass Festival in Fossil, Oregon, as well as other venues.
The three Schwartzes, from Berkeley, California, began performing together in their family band, “Oak Grove,” in 2007, and the brothers soon joined forces with young AJ Lee to create a super-teen group, “OMGG.” Since then, Max, currently studying jazz bass on a full scholarship at the University of Miami, went on to play bass with Laurie Lewis and the Right Hands for two years, and in 2019 won the Rockygrass banjo contest. Nate, who doubles on guitar and mandolin, graduated from UCLA with a degree in ethnomusicology. He is currently a musician, teacher and electronic music composer and producer in Los Angeles. Ida Winfree, from Turlock in California’s Central Valley, a fine mandolinist and singer, invited Tessa to join forces with her in 2017 in forming North Country Blue, currently a five-piece band, that has played most of California’s major festivals and bluegrass venues and will also be touring Oregon in summer 2020.
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