Pete & Joan Wernick
Pete Wernick, known for his banjo playing with Hot Rize, and his singer-guitarist wife Joan present one of the West’s most engaging country duets. Joan’s clear, soulful singing and Pete’s masterful picking bring life to a diverse repertoire including traditional bluegrass, vocal duets and blazing instrumentals. In the early 70s the pair performed with the groundbreaking progressive bluegrass band Country Cooking, based in Ithaca, New York. Since 1976 they have lived in Niwot, Colorado in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.
Pete and Joan have traveled extensively in the last few years, performing all over the continental US as well as England, Ireland, Hawai, and in 2005, Israel. They also work together in presenting Pete’s Bluegrass Jam Camps at locations around the US.
Pete’s “Dr. Banjo” handle is based both on his banjo expertise and his Ph.D. in Sociology from Columbia University. He has been nominated for Banjo Player of the Year in national polls and is also known for his best-selling instruction books, videos and workshops. For 12 years he toured full-time with the highly popular Hot Rize band, the International Bluegrass Music Association’s first Entertainer of the Year. Pete’s critically acclaimed solo album, “On a Roll”, received several award nominations and produced a #1 song, “Ruthie”.
Joan, also known to music fans as “Nondi”, has sung with various groups in Colorado and hosted a bluegrass radio program on KGNU Boulder since 1978. Her natural sparkle and the couple’s on-stage repartee adds an extra dimension to their duet performances. Bluegrass Now magazine says, “Joan’s singing is guaranteed to bring a smile to the face of any bluegrass traditionalist.”
Pete and Joan’s first duet CD, “Windy Mountain” has scored high with listeners, Bluegrass Unlimited calling it a “marvelous collage of traditionally-flavored music.”
For a show to make you smile, tap your foot, and remind you of life’s good things, don’t miss “Dr. and Nurse Banjo”!