Home Page Image

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. 

Review the SDBS Privacy Policy here.

Sign up for our email list!

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.

NEW 2nd Monday Pick up Bands and Jam Session at Duck Foot Brewery, Replaces 2nd Tuesday Events at Mainstream Bar and Grill.

Join us at Duck Foot Brewery every 2nd Monday of the month from 6:30-9 pm for open mic, jamming, and pick up bands. Next up:: Monday June 12, 2023. For details see the flyer here: 2nd Monday Duck Foot

MainStream Bar and Grill 2nd Tuessday
Photo: David Cupp

We are grateful to the Mainstream Bar and Grill in Poway for hosting our 2nd Tuesday events, but it's time to move on and we are excited to start a 2nd Monday event at Duck Foot Brewery. Duck Foot has great beer, will have a food truck on site, plenty of free parking, indoor performance area, and outside jamming, and will provide a sound system. Those of you who have visited our 4th Sunday Duck Foot event know what a great place this is!


We had a good gathering at the Southwestern Yacht Club on Shleter Island on February 20, 2023 to try out the Club as a new venue. There were lots of pickers, good food and good service, and a beautiful room. Consensus was this was a great venue and we would like to come back. So, we are inaugurating a 4th Monday of the month event at this great location. Stay tuned for updates in that regard!

We're still looking for a great new venue. Have a suggestion? let us know at info@sandiegobluegrass.org

Fourth Sunday Jam Session at Duck Foot Brewery

Duck Foot Bewery

Next up: Sunday May 28, 2023, 1-3 pm. at Duck Foot Brewing 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! .Summergrass 2023 is August 18-20, 2023.

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

NEW! 2nd Monday of the Month at Duck Foot Brewery replacing 2nd Tuesday of every month. Next up: Monday June 12, 2023. Details at left.

NEW! 4th Monday of the Month at Southwestern Yacht Club. Next up: May 22, 2023 6:30- 9pm. See events page for details.

SDBS Members Picnic: Sunday May 20, 2023 Harry Griffen Park, La Mesa, 9550 Milden Street, La Mesa, CA 91942. Free to SDBS members and their guersts. Food provided. Bring your instrument. Please RSVP with how many are coming in your group to help us plan for food. RSVP

Bluegrass in the Del Mar Library: Next Up: August 12, 2023 Band TBD..(See events and calendar page)

Bluegrass Day at the Fair: Sunday June 11, 2023, noon to 5 pm. Details on events page.

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

* Del Mar Library concerts - They're starting again!

* Emma's Gut Bucket Band is temporarily meeting outdoors at Mission Bay Park or in the RV Rec Room. For info and directions email Mary Jane Cupp.

* Bluegrass Day at the Fair. Mark your calendar for Sunday June 11, 2023, noon to 5 pm, on the Paddock Stage for Bluegrass Day at the Fair 2023. Details opn the Events page.

* 4th Sunday Duck Foot Brewery Jam-Next up Sunday May 28, 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, 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

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 2022.

The annual reports review our activities over the year, including our events and finances. This is a public document. If you are not already a member, please consider joining us.. It's $25 for 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!

Your band can also join for a band membership for $35 per year.

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 12: For the New Year Essential Listening checked in with a long-time SD Bluegrass Society member, Bob Cox who now lives in Hawaii. You might remember Bob from one of his bands or from the Thursday Night Pickers jam he and his wife Karen hosted for many years at Today’s Pizza in North County. Read Chapter 12 here.

Essential Living: Chaptger 11 Love songs: February 14 being Valentine’s Day, Essential listening searched for positive bluegrass songs about love. That’s not an easy task, as we’re sure you’re all aware that a LOT of bluegrass music is about loss: lost love, lost parents, crime, murder, and more. Read Chapter 11 here

Essential Listening: Chapter 10: This month Essential Listening introduces you all to two new San Diegans who have a long musical and bluegrass background: Lauren Stovall and Peter Sharpe.Read Chapter 10 here.

Essential Listening Chapter 9: It’s September the month that starts with Labor Day, so we’re featuring a few songs about working or not. As Peter Rowan suggests, we hope you got off the time clock to spend time with your family. Read Chapter 9 here

Essential Listening Chapter 8:In the very first Essential listening, we asked the Board members about their musical influences in bluegrass. This month, we asked the five newest SDBS Board members what they’re listening to right now and why as way of introducing the new Board to all of you. Read Chapter 8 here

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. 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. 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..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. Read Chapter 4 here.

Essential Listening Chapter 4(a): Lisa Burns. Aoustic 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.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. .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. 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. .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.