My grandparents, Frank and Carmela Pandolfi, started the Connecticut Opera Association in 1942. I never met my grandfather, but my grandmother lived next door as we grew up (my brothers and I slept under the grand piano that took up her whole living room when our parents were gone). She got us started with music at a pretty 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 moved to Nashville and started a band with some friends, The Infamous Stringdusters. We have been touring for 7 years, have 5 albums, a Grammy nomination and our own festival. We strive to make good original music, explore the world and enjoy life.
Most people know me as a banjo player, but over the past few years I have been discovering many new influential things: people, art, music, writing, video, etc. These days I am producing my own music using any combination of real instruments (drums, electric guitars, banjos, etc) and software to create something unique. It’s music to listen to, music for film/TV, performance, whatever. Falco and I have a side project that we are both excited about–Founding Fathers. The Fathers explore these new musical worlds, mixing electronic and electric with songs, singing and playing. I am also into video editing, stop-motion animation and conceptual film stuff in general. I started filming the ‘Dusters hijinx a few years ago, documentary style. Since then I have enjoyed finding more and more creative ways to use the camera/editing software. I started writing about all these things (music, art, life) earlier this year, and 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.