Ryan Cavanaugh's innovative ideas of how and what is played on the 5-string banjo are occupied by few banjo players and musicians alike. Hailing originally from North Carolina, by way of New Jersey, Cavanaugh’s first appearances as a child featured his hard-driving bluegrass banjo on radio and on stages with traditional greats like Doc Watson, Doug Dillard, and John McEuen. Having honed his present ultra-modern chops under the wings of Jazz sax legend Bill Evans, Cavanaugh has meticulously developed a technical approach and songwriting craft entirely his own while not compromising his instrument, or the music, to play new genres.  

Lauded by roots music authority No Depression, the ambitious and musically relentless Ryan Cavanaugh is, “the most versatile banjo player in the world whose name isn’t Fleck…He can play anything, and he’s proven he’s crafty enough to impress John-Oh-My-God-McLaughlin.”

"Most readers will see the word “banjo” and music described as “anything but bluegrass” and no doubt think of Bela Fleck. However, a comparison to Fleck would be a bit lazy here."  -Jambands.com, 2017

Read more: http://www.jambands.com/reviews/cds/2017/03/09/ryan-cavanaugh-and-c-lanzbom-every-note-the-heart-can-play#ixzz4hqe8lLm7

Cavanaugh’s 2014 release, “Back Country,” is a series of three “bluegrass/rock/funk singles” featuring Reuben’s Cube (Tribute to Earl Scruggs), Once Upon a Time in Appalachia and the title track, Back Country. 


“One of the best technical players ever.” – Bela Fleck, Elmore Magazine, 2011

Recommended by John McLaughlin and Béla Fleck in 2006, Cavanaugh spent nine years touring in the acclaimed saxophonist Bill Evans's Soulgrass band. Cavanaugh records and shares stages with greats from all genres, including Sam Bush, Béla Fleck, John Popper, Victor Wooten, Dennis Chambers, Warren Haynes and Robben Ford.  In addition to the 2017 release of "Every Note the Heart can Play" (C Lanzbom/Ryan Cavanaugh),  recordings to date include the 2013-14 release of "Back Country" plus the 2 additional singles "Once Upon a Time in Appalachia" and "Reuben's Cube,"  Ryan's new-grass venture "Songs for the New Frontier" (2006) and the modern jazz tinged "Ryan Cavanaugh and No Man's Land" (2010). All available and distributed by digital resellers. The Back Country singles feature Cavanaugh on banjo, Bill Evans on saxophone, Mark Egan on bass, Tyson Rogers on keyboard, and Joel Rosenblatt on drums.


“Cavanaugh’s bluegrass credibility is undeniable but, while he’ll humbly tell you that he’s still got so much to learn, he’s already a remarkable jazz player.” - All About Jazz Magazine, 2010