New Music, World Music
The Jake Schepps Quintet has made a name as an ensemble with an intrepid, imaginative vision for contemporary stringband music. Although we are all students of traditional and progressive bluegrass styles, the quintet has stretched beyond those boundaries. In 2011, leader of the quintet Jake Schepps released an album of music by Béla Bartók arranged for string band. In 2012 the quintet premiered a new commission by Marc Mellits, the first of its kind being a contemporary classical work written for 5-piece bluegrass stringband (banjo, mandolin, guitar, violin and bass). This stems from our belief that the traditional bluegrass ensemble is as sonorous and well-disciplined as a string quartet or jazz piano trio, yet relatively unexplored.