Chris Pandolfi

T+ 8

My name is Chris Pandolfi. I’m a full time musician, producer and all-around creative based in Denver, Colorado.

Music was all around me growing up. My grandparents, Frank and Carmela Pandolfi, started the Connecticut Opera Association in 1942. I never met my grandfather, but my grandmother got us playing piano at a really young age. Ultimately inspired by my older brother Jono’s musical tastes and exploits, I got my first banjo in the summer of 1997. The next ten or so years flew by. During that time I got my undergrad degree at Dartmouth College and then went on to be the first ever banjo principal at the Berklee College of Music before moving to Nashville, TN in 2004. Along the way I was lucky to work with many amazing people, but ultimately I started a band with great musicians who are also my great friends–The Infamous Stringdusters. We have been touring for about 9 years, have a bunch of albums, a Grammy nomination and an amazing community of fans. We strive to make good original music, explore the world and enjoy life.

Aside from the Dusters I have a few solo endeavors that keep me busy. I wrote and produced two banjo-centric solo albums (Looking Glass and the Handoff), that feature some of my favorite acoustic players. I’ve also been known to explore some other sonic worlds outside the acoustic realm. I do session work in Denver and work as a producer for other artists/bands, helping them craft their music, a job I absolutely love to do. While music has always been my passion, but I also love to write and create short motion pictures. I started working on video around 2007, filming the ‘Dusters hijinx, documentary style. Since then I have enjoyed finding more and more creative ways to use the camera/editing software, from stop-motion to performance to ski vids. My writing focuses mostly on our adventures and our musical scene, a subject that’s always interested me along my journey from the Northeast to Nashville, Virginia and now Colorado. Bluegrass is its own world, filled with incredible musicianship and a short but vibrant history of crazy characters, trends and changes. A few of my pieces about the current state of the bluegrass world reached a big audience. In the wake of that attention the International Bluegrass Music Association asked me to deliver a keynote address at the 2011 World of Bluegrass in Nashville, TN (their annual business conference), giving some real recognition to a new vision of a bigger, more connected acoustic world. We are excited to be a part of whatever comes next for bluegrass.

I moved to Denver, CO in 2013, a place that has always exbraced the Stringdusters. It’s full of great people, great music and great living, and I’m excited to call it home.

2 thoughts on “Chris Pandolfi

  1. Hi Chris , I really love your approach to banjo playing , I am a player myself for many years. It is so true of what you say ….. “the stringduster life . ” I too had my years of this and treasured every minute of it . I was much younger then and this is precisely the point that I make to you to go with it right to the limit while you are young and can do this. I still play, but at much smaller venues now and it is in some ways even more fun, just not the excitement of the travel part . Hey, if you don’t mind me asking , tell me about your mic set up that you use on your banjo it sounds great! . I am still anchored down to a mic stand when I play . Keep on pickin Chris , Tom

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