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The San Diego Bluegrass Society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation dedicated to the preservation and promotion of bluegrass music in the San Diego area. 

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Type your email address in the box above, then hit the GO button. We'll send you occasional emails about San Diego-area bluegrass events. To receive even more info, become an SDBS member.


SDBS is a member of the
International Bluegrass
Music Association.



Looking for bluegrass music in San Diego? You're in the right place!

The San Diego Bluegrass Society sponsors a wide variety of bluegrass music events, including with open mics and jam sessions for San Diegans and visitors who desire to play bluegrass in a group setting, with a featured band on the 4th Tuesday. SDBS also brings bluegrass concerts by nationally recognized bands touring through our region, along with workshops and other educational activities.

Check out our Events+Calendar page for details. Better yet, sign up for our email list and we'll keep you informed of special events. Best of all, join the SDBS for our monthly e-newsletter, special member discounts, and more, You'll enjoy becoming part of our family-friendly community, and knowing that your support keeps bluegrass music alive and well in San Diego.

2nd Tuesday Bluegrass is ON!

MainStream Bar and Grill 2nd Tuessday
Photo: David Cupp

We are pleassed to announce that we are at the Mainstream Bar and Grill in Poway from 6:30- 9 pm on the 2nd Tuesday of every month. Join us at Mainstream Bar & Grill, 13385 Poway Road, Poway, CA 92064. Above: Pick up band in action. There is plenty of covered outdoor seating, indoor seating, free parking, great food at fair prices, open mic, and jamming.

For our 4th Tuesday event (Featured Band Night), We're still looking for a venue. Check back for details.

Fourth Sunday Jam Session at Duck Foot Brewery

Duck Foot Bewery

Next up: Sunda November 27, 2022, 1-3 pm. at Duck Foot Brewery at 8920 Kenamar Dr #210, San Diego, CA 92121. Above is the outdoor event in action shown in a David Cupp photo. See the details on our events page.

Summergrass 2022 Was a Great Success! .

To learn about Summergrass visit the Summergrass website here

SDBS and the Summergrass Bluegrass Festival
The San Diego Bluegrass Society (SDBS) Board, and the North County Bluegrass and Folk Club Board, voted to withdraw as nonprofit Summergrass sponsors effecting 2022 and to transition our roles and responsibilities.
We are pleased to announce that the Antique Gas and Steam Engine Museum (AGSEM) has agreed to provide non-profit sponsorship for Summergrass.
As a non-profit corporation, AGSEM, is a natural fit since they already have a long history of hosting Summergrass at their Vista location.
We look forward to the partnership!
See you at Summergrass!!

Here's a bit more background from SDBS. We love Summergrass and are proud to have been founding partners in 2002-3 and key parts of its success. SDBS Board members have served in every role at Summergrass over the years, as founders, as festival chair and vice chair, as finance chair, as talent buyers, and more. SDBS volunteers have been key parts of its success. SDBS members founded the Summergrass Kids Camp. But, we recognized it was time to transition to a nonprofit sponsor with more resources as Summergrass began to outpace our abilities as volunteer Board members to stay on top of everything. So, we are excited that AGSEM has stepped in and taken up the sponsorship mantel. AGSEM's long-term experience as the host for Summergrass since 2003 and its deep bench of resources position it well.

SDBS will remain committed to Summegrass. We will be volunteering, promoting, and supporting the festival, and helping to assure its continued sucess. Thanks to all for their help and cooperation in making this transition successful.

Summergrass photos by David Cupp.

Photo 1: Tribute to Dennis Capplinger on the Summergass Mainstage featuring John Moore, Sara Watkins, Zach Caplinger, Steve Spurgeon and other greats.

Photo 2: The ever popular Special Consensus rocks an eveningi Summergrass show.

Caplinger Tribute Summergrass

Special c Summergrass

Check the Summergrass website for full details.

Summergrass Jam
Photo by David Cupp

Free Music Outreach with Emma's Gut Bucket Band

Gut Bucket Band

SDBS has an active music outreach program with Emma’s Gut Bucket Band, bringing bluegrass music to public and private schools, senior centers, assisted living facilities, homeless centers and the like at no cost. We also offer a lending library of instructional materials, plus an instrument lending Library, to our members. An instrument donation program is also available. Send us an email for info: info@sandiegobluegrass.org.


History of the SDBS in Words & Pictures
by Dwight Worden

SDBS (originally the San Diego Bluegrass Club) has been a force for bluegrass music in San Diego since the 1960s.

For a fascinating glimpse into its storied past, illustrated with lots of photos and historical images, and chock-full of interesting anecdotes and memories, download A Brief History of the San Diego Bluegrass Society (in print-friendly PDF format).

Watch the IBMA presentation to Wayne

Wayne Rice

Wayne Rice honored by SDBS in 2016 for 40 years on the air with his Bluegrass Special on KSON Radio. Wayne also received the coveted IBMA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2020. Note his show has moved from KSON to Alpine Mountain County radio FM 107.9

Read the SDBS proclamation honoring Wayne.

Upcoming events

2nd Tuesday of every month: Open Mic & Jam Session 6:30- 9 pm:

Next up December 13, 2022

Mainstream Bar and Grill 13385 Poway Road, Poway, CA 92064

Photo: David Cupp


SDBS continues to monitor the evolving covid situation, including the new Omicron, B2, and other variants.

Your safety, and that of our volunteers, is paramount to SDBS. So, we recommend that you wear a mask and practice social distancing at our events, encouraging you to use your own good judgment for the safety of yourself and those around you. If you haven't already, we encourage you to consider getting vaccinated and boosted. It's safe and effective.

*The 3rd Monday Slow Jam The 3rd Monday Slow Jam is now meeting in person on the 3rd Monday of the month, at Our Savior's Lutheran Church at 4011 Ohio St., San Diego, CA 92104.  For info email Mary Jane Cupp. For info email Mary Jane Cupp

* 4th Tuesday Featued Band event: coming back soon!

* Del Mar Library concerts - coming soon (We Hope!)

* Emma's Gut Bucket Band is temporarily meeting outdoors at Mission Bay Park or online. For info email Mary Jane Cupp.

* Bluegrass Day at the Fair. The 2021 Fair was very scaled back, and did not include Bluegrass Day at the Fair. We tried, but no Bluergass Day at the Fair for 2022 either. But, the powers that be say "next year."

* 4th Sunday Duck Foot Brewery Jam-Next up Sunday November 27, 2022, 1-3 pm 8920 Kenamar Dr #210, San Diego, CA 92121

See a full listing of upcoming events
on our Events+Calendar page.

SDBS has expanded its Board of Directors from nine to eleven, and has appointed three new members: Ramona Ault, Phil Levy, and Sylvia Castelluzzo. We welcome them and look forward to their enthusiam and contributions to bluegrass music in San Diego. Here's a listing of your Board of Directors:

John Deckard

Nancy Wyatt

Dale Desmuke

Dwight Worden

Richard Burkett

Lance Gucwa

Roger Taylor

Mark Pullin (President)

Ramona Ault

Sylvia Casteluzzo

Phil Levy

If you would like to send the Board a message click here: info@sandiegobluegrass.org


The annual Members Report for 2021 is now available. Click here for a copy: SDBS Annual Report 2021

It reviews our activities over the 2021 year, including our events and finances. This is a public document. If you are not already a member, please consider joining us.. It's only $20 for the whole family for the year. Click here to join online with your Paypal account, credit card, or old fashioned check. You won't regret it!

Featured Articles

Essential Listening

Richard BurkettThanks to SDBS Board member and outstanding muscian, Richard Burkett, we are offering our "Essential Listening" series. These are articles interviewing prominent bluegrass musicians, with their recommendations about bluegrass music they consider as essential listening, with links to key samples. Give these a read and let us know what you think. info@sandiegobluegrass.org

Essential Listening Chapter 7: The Life Roland White. Roland White was an outstanding mandolin player and singer, performing with everyone from Bill Monroe to the Kentcuky Colonels, and more. Roland left us this year at the age of 83, so we provide you with some "essential listening" to appreciate his enduring influence. Read Chapter 7 here.

Essential Listening, Chapter 6: Rodger Phillips
Rodger Phillips is well known in the bluegrass world. He is an LA area banjo player whose long-running every-Saturday-night gig at Vincenzo’s Pizza in Newhall, CA is legendary, featuring an amazing mix of stellar musicians who have played there in his band, The Grateful Dudes, over the 35 years since the first version of the band was formed. Read Chapter 6 here.

Essential Listening Chapter 5: Chris Jones and the Nightdrivers:Chris Jones and the Night Drivers are mainstays in the bluegrass world. Chris is an excellent vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter who co-wrote the band’s latest release Riding the Chief on Mountain Home Records. His song Fork in the Road was the 2007 IBMA Song of the Year award winner. His current band is one of the best, but he’s played with a lot of great musicians over the years. One of his early bands that might be familiar to those of us in the Southwest was the Weary Hearts.Read Chapter 5 here.

Essential Listening Chapter 4: Elizabeth Loring, longtime SDBS President.:One of my earliest and to this day most enduring influences in bluegrass music is the amazing Lynn Morris. In the 1990s I was trying to learn to sing in a bluegrass style, at a time when there were still only a handful of female bluegrass recording artists. Some sang in a pretty, light and airy style, and some belted it out in a hard-driving way. I didn’t hear too many people I wanted to imitate, and didn’t have the technical proficiency to imitate the ones I did like. I wanted to work out a way to sing like the founding fathers did, but still be appropriate for my gender and my non-bluegrass background.Read Chapter 4 here.

Essential Listening Chapter 4(a): Lisa Burns. Acoustic bassist extraordinaire in the Bay Area bands and member of  The Goat Hill Girls, Sidesaddle & Co, and many more, a bass instructor both privately and at RiverTunes music camp, and a former member of the San Diego Bluegrass Society.

What was one of your first influences in bluegrass music?

I loved Laurie Lewis and have all her albums. I guess I lean a little toward the Folk side.
Who is a recent influence?
I have always enjoyed Missy Raines’ playing. Once I saw her live, my bass playing changed immediately to something more creative. Read Chapter 4a here.

Essential Listening Chapter 3: Tyler Hall. Tyler Grant grew up in East County and went on to be the National Flatpicking Champion on guitar, and full-time musician with his band Grant Farm in Colorado. During the pandemic he’s been offering free instructional bluegrass jam sessions online to musicians worldwide. Tyler kindly took time out to answer a few questions about his listening preferences.Read Chapter 3 here.

Essential Listening Chapter 2: Second half SDBS Board member favorites. When you listen you will be enjoying the recommendations of your SDBS Board members. And, those inclined can learn a few tunes in the process to add to their jam session repertoire.Read chapter 2 here.

Essential Listening Chapter 1: First half SDBS Board member favorites. To start, we asked the SDBS board members to suggest three songs that they feel are essential to the bluegrass genre. It’s hard to pick just three of the best from the hundreds of wonderful bluegrass classics, but the board thought hard and came up with great suggestions. Here are five of their choices. We’ll have more suggestions next month.Read Chapter 1 here.



Looking for a bluegrass band for your event? Let us know, and we'll assist you in locating a band that meets the particular needs of your party or event. Contact: info@sandiegobluegrass.org.