Transcontinental Bluegrass Band - Francois Vola (guitar and vocals), Gary Ferguson (guitar and vocals), Emory lester (mandolin), Silvio Ferretti (banjo and vocals), Colin Henry (dobro)

FRANCOIS VOLA, guitarist and composer, was born in Nice in 1953. He is a double national (France and USA) and the Godson of Louis Vola (bassist with Django Reinhardt “ The hot Club of France”). He started playing guitar semi-pro at the age of 14. In 1974, at age 20, he moved to the US where he studied Bluegrass et swing and played in several bands.

 Francois has played on several albums and recorded four of his own. In 1983 “Francois Vola” a Bluegrass album with fiddler Byron Berline (Stephen Stills, Linda Rondstat, Rolling Stones) and banjoist John Hickman. In 1996 an electric jazz album “Old World New World” with mandolinist extraordinaire Emory Lester and in 1997 “A Night in Conover”, another Jazz album, this time acoustic with Django’s son Babik Reinhardt and Emory Lester. In December 2018 “Back To Bluegrass” a Bluegrass album with all original compositions, with Darol Anger Fiddle, Matt Flinner Banjo, Emory Lester Mandolin, Bernard Minari Mandolin and Laurent Paris Bass.

 In the US Francois played on stage with, Tony Rice, Wyatt Rice, Byron Berline, David Grisman, Bill Keith, Emory Lester, Babik Reinhardt, Tony Williamson, Dan Crary, Roland White, etc. He has played several times at the prestigious Merle Watson fest as well as other festivals and events. He won two awards from the North Carolina School of the Arts for his compositions and was invited to play one of his pieces with the Western Piedmont Symphony Quartet in North Carolina.

 In 1998 Francois moved back to France where he continues his musical career.

GARY FERGUSON (guitar, vocals), a longtime resident of southeastern Pennsylvania, is a singer, songwriter and guitarist who has been a mainstay of the bluegrass and Americana scenes since the 1980s.  In addition to the Gary Ferguson Band, Gary has recorded or performed with such distinguished bluegrass musicians as Ronnie McCoury, Robbie McCoury, Mike Auldridge, Bill Emerson, Alan O’Bryant, Ron Stewart and Jimmy Gaudreau.

 A five-time finalist in the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at MerleFest, Ferguson is an acclaimed songwriter, best known for the Larry Sparks hit, “Last Day at Gettysburg,” which rose to number two on the Bluegrass Unlimited Top 30 chart. Three of his original songs were included in the Bluegrass Unlimited “Top 200 Songs of the 1990s” list. Ferguson is also a prolific recording artist whose records span bluegrass, country, Americana and folk. The most recent additions to his tasty and varied discography are Live at Podunk and Ferguson, Holmes and Henry, recorded with Irish musicians Janet Holmes and Colin Henry.

EMORY LESTER is one of this day's foremost exponents of the acoustic mandolin.  His landmark recording projects have placed him among the elite mandolinists of our time. His most recent solo CD 'At Dusk' showcases Emory's multi-instrumentalist musical creativity and skills. Undeniably, his clean, clear, fast and efficient mandolin techniques continue to influence many modern day mandolinists. 
As well as performing with his own 'Emory Lester Set', his fourteen year friendship and musical collaboration with noted 'Clawgrass' banjoist Mark Johnson has yielded four very creative recording projects. Mark and Emory have toured all across the U.S., and have been featured on several performances with Steve Martin, most notably on the 'Late Night with David Letterman' television show in September of 2012.    Emory also currently performs with his partner Jill Jones in the new 'Emory Lester & Jill Jones Band', at upcoming concerts and festivals, as well as with the bluegrass band 'Wayne Taylor and Appaloosa', doing shows across the U.S., Canada, Europe and the U.K. 

Emory has also been a prominent music instructor since 1978, and often teaches at prestigious music camps such as the Mandolin Symposium, the Steve Kaufman Acoustic Kamp, Swannanoa Gathering, Acoustic Alaska Guitar Camp, as well as many other notable instructional events.

SILVIO FERRETTI started his musical life at 6, on classical piano, soon shifted to playing acoustic guitar at age 14, devoting himself to the music of Paul Simon, Donovan, CCR and other bands of the time, and learning music from the US folk, old-time, and Bluegrass traditions. Started performing in public in 1974, as part of the duo Beppe & Silvio with now world-famous guitarist Beppe Gambetta. Started Red Wine in 1978. Also played for a few years with the international Bluegrass band, Freewheelin’, both bands with Martino Coppo on the mandolin.

 Starting in 1981, has been a columnist for Italian musical magazines like Il Mucchio Selvaggio (The Wild Bunch), Hi Folks!, and Country Store, had articles and reviews published on US magazines like Bluegrass Unlimited and Banjo Newsletter. Currently writing a banjo book in Italian. Fairly strong activity teaching for about 30 years, mostly banjo and band workshops in Italy and at festivals in Europe.

 Member of the IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) since 1994, became Lifetime Member of IBMA in 2009, and was elected to the IBMA Board Of Directors in 2016 as International Member. He’s also a member of the EBMA (European Bluegrass Music Association), and was honored by EBMA in 2013 as a European Bluegrass Pioneer.

 Been a partner in a luthier shop in Genova since 1996, repairing and restoring string instruments and building guitars and banjos. Also known for his Scorpion Banjo Bridges.


COLIN HENRY. Hailing from North Antrim, Northern Ireland Colin was brought up on the late night music sessions in his family hotel. Having played guitar and banjo Colin discovered the resonator guitar or ‘Dobro’ almost by accident when he raised the strings on an old guitar. On the dobro he was able to combine the rolls and licks of the banjo with the sweet tones needed to back a singer on a slow song. Since taking up the instrument Colin has concentrated on the resonator guitar almost exclusively. He has made numerous radio and tv appearances and has recorded and performed with many artists both local and international sharing a stage with such diverse performers as Nanci Griffith, Gerry (banjo) O’Connor and Dublin guitar legend Dick Farrelly.





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