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Sat, Oct. 19

Bluegrass Festival brings in next generation of bluegrass players

Crying Uncle is a brother duo who performs with guest artists. Miles and Teo have been featured on NPR's "The California Report." (Courtesy)

Crying Uncle is a brother duo who performs with guest artists. Miles and Teo have been featured on NPR's "The California Report." (Courtesy)


Prescott based blugrass band, Sugar and the Mint come home to headline the Bluegrass Festival which is focusing on the next generation of bluegrass players.(Sugar and the Mint/Courtesy)

The 38th annual Prescott Bluegrass Festival, held this weekend in downtown Prescott, is featuring plenty of young of bluegrass talent, according to a news release from Prescott Chamber of Commerce Office & Events Manager Laura Warne.

“This year’s audience will witness the next generation of bluegrass talent and the unique interpretation and genius of new, young bluegrass players,” the release states. “Take in the musical bent of Crying Uncle, the Blue J’s and Sugar & the Mint – They bring in a new, fresh perspective on bluegrass music.”

While strangers and friends will gather with their instruments around courthouse plaza and jam with each other, the south side of the courthouse will see performances beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, June 22-23.

Headlining this year is Sugar & the Mint, a local band known for exciting and robust performances with their unique vocal approach alongside complex, ethereal harmonies supporting accessible melodies meant to captivate their audience.

“They promise to bring ‘new energy to traditional Americana’ by introducing brand-new singalong hooks with a passion that is hard to miss,” the release states. “They’re a well-informed band that covers a vast expanse of their own original music as well as the current pop and country styles. Their sparkling repertoire and interpretation of music is challenging the world of traditional folk music and defining new boundaries for the next generation.”

Sugar & the Mint takes the stage at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Also expected this year is Crying Uncle, a brotherly duo who performs with guest artists, Crying Uncle plays contemporary and traditional styles of bluegrass with astounding dexterity and incredible harmonies. Founded two years ago by Miles, 14, and Teo Quale, 12, they have been featured on NPR’s “The California Report” and performed at venues including IBMA’s Diversity in Bluegrass Showcase. For the 38th annual Prescott Bluegrass Festival, they’ll be joined by Sugar & the Mint’s guitarist Keenan Hammack and Jason Howard, former bassist for Sugar & the Mint.

Crying Uncle performs at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday. For more information, visit

Additionally, the Blue J’s features second and third generation performers coming together to create a sound all their own.


R-L: Lem Johnson on the guitar, Christina Davis on the guitar, Jim Davis on the upright bass and Chloey Davis on the banjo jamming out on the northern end of courthouse plaza during the 37th annual Prescott Bluegrass Festival in downtown Prescott Saturday, June 23. (Jason Wheeler/Courier)

“Their music primarily includes the influences of other bluegrass bands like Bill Monroe, Don Reno and Smiley/Harrell, Red Allen & Frank Wakefield and Del McCoury, as well as country artists such as Buck Owens and George Jones,” the release states. “Their creative and imaginative twists on traditional bluegrass music are crowd pleasers, and they are truly a sight to behold! Their shows are crowd favorites, wildly engaging, fun and full of stunning musicianship with a mature musical sensibility.”

The Blue J’s perform at 1 and 5 p.m. Saturday and noon Sunday. For more information visit

Performers this year also include The Central Valley Boys at noon and 4 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. Sunday, and Old Blue Band at 2 and 6 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.

There is a drawing on the main stage at 3 p.m. Sunday as well. The festival is free to attend.

For more information about the 38th annual Prescott Bluegrass Festival, visit

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