The HeritageMay 5, 2016 | 0 comments
Founded by Donald Warthan in 1984, Heritage has long been known for its exceptional vocals and solid instrumental work. 2016 finds us celebrating 32 years of “Keeping the Bluegrass Tradition!”. Having produced four CD’s, the music of Heritage has been widely distributed being broadcast both internationally and across the USA. Heritage has been a showcase band for the IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association), the VFMA (Virginia Folk Music Association) and many other national and regional music festivals.
HERITAGE – BAND MEMBER BIOS
Donald Warthan, Guitar and Vocals: The founding member of the Heritage Bluegrass Band, Donald has been playing and singing since the age of eight, buying his first Gene Autry guitar from the proceeds of seed sales. He played and sang in school, church and publicly and his early influences were from the Grand Ole Opry and Old Dominion Barn Dance. In 1980 he was honored to be named the Virginia Folk Music Association’s Male Soloist of the year. His strong and distinctive vocal style and warm personality make him recognizable on and off stage.
Kevin Phillips, Guitar and Vocals: Kevin grew up in the Falling Springs area of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. He began playing music at the age of 10 in his father’s band, “The Sun Valley Boys”. He played with New Dominion Bluegrass and was originally teamed up The Heritage Bluegrass Band as a founding member in 1987 and played with the band back then until 1993, recording 4 albums and performing at the IBMA Showcase in 1992.
Donnie Warthan, Bass and Vocals: Donnie was born in Hopewell, Virginia and now resides in Varina, Virginia with his wife Kathy. His earliest recollection of old time Gospel Music was as a young boy at an old backwoods country church. His grandfather was a Minister and the music for the congregation was usually provided with guitars, tambourines and whatever may have been available. His love for Bluegrass and Bluegrass Gospel came when he was approximately 8 or so. He remembers riding along back country roads with his dad searching for lost hunting dogs and listening to the Stanley Brothers, Don Reno and Red Smiley, Flatt and Scruggs plus many others on an 8 track tape deck. After learning a few chords on the guitar and a few licks on the banjo, he soon found the joy of just picking. Donnie has had the pleasure of performing with many local groups including
Southern Edition, Virginia Bluegrass Band, Churchyard Grass and of course, Heritage
Brandon Skinner, Dobro: Brandon started playing Dobro in 2008 at the age of 15. He has always loved and been surrounded with bluegrass music and it shows in his music. In 2011, at the age of 18, Brandon entered the contest at The Virginia Folk Music Association’s annual competition and was logged as one of the best resophonic guitar players in the state of Virginia by placing 2nd in that State Competition. Brandon resides in the village of Matoaca.
John Bullard, Banjo: In 2005, John became the first classical banjoist to graduate from Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Music with a Bachelor of Music degree in Performance. Music from John’s recordings has been included in several feature films such as the DreamWorks animated film The Rise of the Guardians and the award winning The Edge of Heaven. He has published two books with Mel Bay Publications, Bach for the Banjo and Scales and Arpeggios for Classical Banjo. John is also included in Mel Bay Publication’s popular book and CD collection Banjo 2000 featuring works by the world’s finest banjoists. John was on the faculty of the world-renowned Tennessee Banjo Institute along with such luminaries as Pete Seeger, Bela Fleck and Tony Trischka. John is currently teaching banjo as an Adjunct Professor at Cairn University near Philadelphia. He has performed throughout the United States and has been featured on numerous radio and television programs. In addition to his classical music, John’s involvement with Bluegrass music has included work with New Appalachian Express, Virginia Rail, The Virginia Bluegrass Band, and many others.
Patrick Kelley, Mandolin and Vocals: Pat has been playing music professionally since the age of 13. Over the past 40 years, he has played in numerous bands covering many genres including Pop, Rock, Country and Bluegrass. Pat has worked as a recording engineer on over 200 projects, has produced over 50 albums and has worked as a session player on hundreds of recordings. His recorded works have been included in Television, Film and Radio. Pat has worked with many Bluegrass bands over the years including The Virginia Bluegrass Band with both Donnie and John. Pat’s love & respect of Bluegrass music has stayed with him throughout his musical career and he is proud to be working with Heritage to help “Keep The Bluegrass Tradition”!
Tickets just $8 in advance/ $10 the day of
Show starts at 8:00, doors open at 6:30 pm.