Bluegrass in Flagstaff – The Burnett Family

When I first heard the Burnett Family Bluegrass Band, I was wide-eyed AND tongue-tied!  We had been invited by friends to the Coconino Center of the Arts for a family friendly concert gathering.  I unknowingly thought it was a talent show where families present their talents.  I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered that the evening consisted of listening to and participating in some mind-blowing, toe-tapping bluegrass music by an amazingly talented family of musicians!   The Burnett kids were quite a bit younger at the time, but they could make a fiddle sing almost as well as their parents.  When the concert was over, I left yearning for more.

I decided to have a little history lesson on the Burnetts since I had last heard them play.  Here are some things I discovered:  The band has been together since 1993 and has won numerous awards!   In 2004, the Burnett Family Bluegrass Band competed in the prestigious Telluride bluegrass competition and won first prize with the youngest child, Ryan, being only 14 years old.  Twenty-two years later, the band still consists of dad and mom – Brian (mandolin and guitar) and Connie (stand up bass), two daughters – Rachel (fiddle) and Jessie (mandolin, fiddle, guitar and banjo), and son, Ryan (mandolin, fiddle and banjo).  The Barnetts not only play their instruments well, but their singing talents are widely acclaimed too.  In 2005 the band was invited by the International Bluegrass Music Association to play at their convention in Nashville, TN.  They have been written about in Arizona Highways, the Arizona Republic and are known internationally.

Don’t miss hearing some amazing bluegrass music this Thursday, August 6 from 5-7 p.m. at Heritage Square.  You also won’t want to miss them at “Pickin’ In The Pines” this September 18-20 in Flagstaff, AZ (more to come on this topic) where they will not only play but sing as well.


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By Leslie Crawley, Assistant to Jacki Tait

Posted in Music, People, Places to Play and tagged , , .

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