Project Description

Rudy Cortese is a singer, songwriter and composer from Cortland, NY. He is a five time winner of the Four Corner States Banjo Championships, and also an Arizona state banjo champion, as well as winning numerous contests in the southwest region. Rudy’s invigorating charisma on stage and off is undeniable and his energy is passionate and infectious. His original songs come from the heart and from a love for the earth and music. His look and sound are all his own, reflecting the road he has traveled, “a long, tumultuous, toilsome road, not a smooth one paved with gold”. Rudy captures the essence of our connectedness by enveloping the audience with his powerful songwriting abilities and arrangements, inviting the listener to take a journey into the life experiences that we all share.

Rudy started playing banjo at the age of 12, and composing music at 17 years old. He is a multi-instrumentalist proficient on guitar and mandolin as well as the banjo and occasionally playing a song on the wood flute to cleanse the auditory palette. Rudy also composes melodies for mantras and chants that he sings from 3 different cultures in their native languages. He has over 30 years of experience playing music in the Southwest and currently resides in Tucson, AZ.
Rudy has been instructing students on banjo since he was 15 years old, influencing many players, Trevor Smith of Wood and Wire being one of them. Rudy has played with the Cherryholmes family band, helping Cia Cherryholmes get her start on the banjo. He helped put together a local favorite bluegrass band Crucial County, which launched Jesse Stockman and Jess Barry into positions in Doyle Lawson’s band.
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CLASS: Banjo

Details coming soon.