Ira Gitlin

Ira playing banjo, bass, and guitar

I moved to the Washington, DC, area at the end of 1986 to take advantage of its vibrant bluegrass scene. In the years since, I’ve made a place for myself there as an instrumentalist, music teacher, and writer. I’ve had the pleasure of performing with many fine musicians, played on dozens of recordings, and helped countless amateur musicians to express themselves on the banjo, guitar, and bass. Along the way I’ve racked up a National Bluegrass Banjo Championship (1992) and a shelf full of “Wammies” from the Washington Area Music Association.

Although bluegrass is at the core of my musical identity, my playing ranges far and wide over what’s often called “roots music.” In addition to traditional and progressive bluegrass, I’m also involved in western swing and older country music styles, with excursions into jazz, blues, folk, and rock ‘n’ roll.

Here are some of the bands I play with more or less regularly:

In the past I’ve been a member of these groups:

Here’s a partial listing of the artists I’ve worked with as a freelance musician:

D'Addario Strings