Innovative artist Gina Furtado brings her unique musicianship, style and songwriting into the spotlight with her new group, The Gina Furtado Project. Nominated for IBMA Banjo Player of the Year in 2018 and known for her recent work with Chris Jones & the Night Drivers, Gina has become recognized as one of the most exciting new artists in the progressive acoustic music scene.
Joined by a group of bold musicians who also fit that description, Gina has already begun booking and performing with this new lineup. Joining her full-time are bassistMax Johnson (Molly Tuttle); noted Asheville-based guitarist Drew Matulich (Billy Strings); and Gina's sister, violinist Malia Furtado who is also the Director of Education at The Front Porch Music School in Charlottesville, VA. The band will be a featured showcase artist for the IBMA's Bluegrass Ramble this September.
"To me, the most influential perk to playing music for a living has been the opportunity to get to know and work alongside many profoundly creative and fearless human beings. The way I see it, their individuality makes the world a more vibrant and happier place to be," says Gina. "I have something of my own to share (as we all do!) and it is with respect and appreciation for those creative heroes of mine that I have decided to focus fully on that - The Gina Furtado Project!"
In anticipation of her exciting new direction, Gina has already recorded her second album for Mountain Home Music Company, scheduled for release in September of 2019.
About The Gina Furtado Project
Formed by innovative artist Gina Furtado, The Gina Furtado Project brings unique musicianship and songwriting that breaks free from the assumed constructs of traditional music modalities and makes a new musical statement influenced by emotion, played with the highest skill, and expressing an enormous verve and vitality.
Furtado, known for her work as the banjo player for Chris Jones & The Night Drivers, she has a long history with her banjo. Born and raised in Front Royal, Virginia, Gina began touring up and down the east coast in her tween years with her siblings, earning countless ribbons from fiddlers conventions, a strong reputation in the regional bluegrass scene, and a stamp from Bluegrass Today as "absurdly talented." She later played in a number of regional acts before making her international touring debut with Chris Jones and the Night Drivers soon after joining the group in 2016.
She is joined by Drew Matulich on guitar, Max Johnson on bass and Malia Furtado, her sister, on violin, who each bring experience and energy to the band.
Now based in Asheville, NC, Matulich grew up in Georgia and began playing guitar at 8. While studying music in college he performed with several bands of various styles in and around Georgia and Florida before immersing himself in the Bluegrass scene of Western North Carolina. He has toured and recorded with Billy Strings, made a guest appearance on Roland White's album and shared the stage with the likes of David Grisman, Bryan Sutton, Sam Bush, Cody Kilby, and Sierra Hull.
Harvesting the wild energy and joy of free jazz and bluegrass, Johnson, a bassist and composer, approaches his music with love and authenticity. A first-call bass player in the Bluegrass community, he has performed with some of the most legendary names in bluegrass, including David Grisman, Sam Bush, Chris Thile, Molly Tuttle, the Travelin' McCourys, Darol Anger, and Jeff Scroggins & Colorado at some of the top festivals in the world.
Malia's musical journey began at the age of 3 with classical violin lessons and took a turn, when she attended her first festival, Galax Old Fiddler's Convention, a few years later. Since then, she has performed with a number of different groups, taken home a range of prizes, graced the stage of numerous venues up and down the East Coast and given private lessons in both bluegrass and classical playing. Malia is the Director of Education at the Front Porch Music School in Charlottesville, VA, and currently teaches adult continued education courses in bluegrass fiddle at Blue Ridge Community College in Weyer's Cave, VA.