Jack Tuttle's Student Hall of Fame
This is where I get to brag on my students - and I have had some very good ones through the years. To keep myself out of trouble, let it be known that these are strictly in alphabetical order. The qualifications to make this list requires a student to have had a series of lessons in a one-on-one setting and some accomplishment of some sort related to music. This list is just from my head and it's new, so if I missed you or someone you know, email me, and I'll fix it.
Anita Grunwald: A talented violinist from childhood, Anita studied fiddling methods with me as she made the transition from classical violin to the fiddle. She played and recorded with the bluegrass band, Batteries Not Included and now plays in the Carol McComb Band.
Brittany Haas: Brittany first came to me at age eight as a talented Suzuki violin student who was interested in old-time fiddling. Over the next seven or eight years I witnessed first-hand, her transformation into one of the greatest fiddlers I have ever had the opportunity to hear, either inside or outside of my teaching studio. Brittany is one of the shining lights of the new generation of fiddlers. While she is widely recognized as one of the greats of old-time fiddle world, she has remarkable versatility as well, able to play in bluegrass, jazz or Celtic settings. She has been a member of Darol Anger's progressive Republic of Strings and Crooked Still. She now has her own band, Hawktail. Her first solo CD, made at age 16 demonstrates a fiddling maturity few seldom achieve at any age.
Bryan McClenahan: Bryan was the first of my very talented young fiddle students, having taken lessons early on in my career. At age 15, Bryan won the California State Junior Division and he was a mainstay in the contest scene of the 1980's. He now plays bluegrass fiddle with Cabin Fever.
Daryl Silberman: Daryl took fiddle lessons from my as a precocious twelve year-old and promptly disappeared for many years until I got a call from her after she graduated from college as a music major, telling me how much those fiddle lessons influenced her playing though the years. She now is a highly respected performer and string educator, who teaches and performs all over the world.
Elizabeth Barkley: Elizabeth is head of the music department at Foothill College and studied banjo with me. I used to lecture at her class once each quarter. She also taught me music theory at Foothill College in the 1980's.
Frankie Nagle: Frankie started guitar lessons at the age of six and attracted much attention within a year for her powerful bluegrass vocal style and precocious rhythm guitar playing. At age nine she tried banjo lessons and within weeks enrolled in my jam class on banjo and has never looked back. An early devotee of bluegrass legend Jimmy Martin, she met him in Nashville and performed on stage with him several times. She has also been booked at the Bean Blossom festival in Indiana and at the Sally Mountain Park Bluegrass Festival in Missouri, at the request of Rhonda Vincent. A former member of my School of Bluegrass, at age thirteen, she joined the band, Lost Coast, and played at festivals all over the state with them for a year.
Ken Torke: Ken has been
active on many bluegrass levels since his mandolin lessons
with me in the eighties. He has been a founding member of
three Bay Area Bands, the KenTorke Kernels, Hyperbole Mountain and the Mighty Crows.
He is the designer of my web site and is a past president
of the Redwood Bluegrass Association. Ken now resides in Portland, where he's active in the old-time scene.
Jack Sadler: Jack was the lead singer and banjo player with the Overlook Mountain Boys (a band I played with) and also a founding member of the California Bluegrass Association. He took fiddle lessons from me in the early 1990's and later was the leader and fiddler/vocalist for the cowboy band, Lone Prairie.
Mark Wardenburg: After having given up his violin training from his school years, Mark decided to pick it back up and dedicate himself to bluegrass fiddle. Primarily taking my group classes, with a few private lessons, Mark has become a mainstay of the South Bay jam scene. He is now the bluegrass fiddler with The Mighty Crows and has won the NCBS "Fiddler of the Year" award.
Molly Tuttle: Molly started guitar at age eight, playing bluegrass banjo at age ten, singing at age eleven, playing clawhammer banjo at age thirteen. She now tours worldwide, has been on the cover of many magazines and resides in Nashville, when not ont he road. She is a highly regarded songwriter and is the first female winner of IBMA's Guitar Player of the Year award.
Michael Tuttle: The youngest of the Tuttle kids, Michael got off to the fastest start. After just a year, he had no trouble keeping up with his older siblings. He has mastered tons of bluegrass tunes and songs and can play a mean guitar on occasion. His YouTube video, El Cumbanchero, made at age eight, has over 1.5 million viewings.
Nico Nagle: Frankie's little brother started guitar lessons at age six and was soon performing at Farmer's Markets with his sister, playing guitar and singing. He along with Frankie was a founding member of the School of Bluegrass, with me and my kids. He was featured in several Redwood Bluegrass Association shows, at Bean Blossom in Indiana, and in Missouri at the Sally Mountain Park festival and also in a School of Bluegrass concert in Illinois.
Rick Cornish: Rick has been playing around Northern CA on his left-handed fiddle for many years. He came to me for a series of lessons sometime in the late eighties to help develop a better feel for soloing over bluegrass songs. Since that time he has become the Chairman of the California Bluegrass Association and has been a major force in shaping the future of bluegrass in California, primarily through the CBA.
Sullivan Tuttle: Sullivan has developed into a very fine bluegrass guitar player, and is a master of improvising in several genres. He is able to play at the highest tempos with ease, as he has demonstrated Tuttle shows across the country. His YouTube video, El Cumbanchero, made at age ten, has over 1.5 million viewings. Sullivan is also a talented singer and songwriter. In 2019 Sullivan finished 2nd at the National Flatpicking Championship in Winfield KS.
Sunshine McClenahan: Sunshine, one of my earliest banjo students, has one of the longest running regular house jams in the country. In years past she was a fixture at most bluegrass happenings throughout Northern California. Sunshine plays a custom-made Gryphon banjo that is quite an amazing demostration of the luthier skills of Frank Ford and Richard Johnston at Gryphon.
Victor Skidanenko: Victor is a talented bluegrass musician who plays banjo, mandolin and guitar and has been a member of several Bay Area bands. He has played with my talented kids group, School of Bluegrass, as well as another kids' super group, Pacific Ocean Bluegrass, which released a CD in 2006. He is also an excellent singer.