BB Bowness


In her hometown, Koitiata, New Zealand, Catherine (BB) began her musical studies with banjo tutor, Mark Warren. A few years later she received the Frank Winter memorial award at the Auckland Folk Festival to travel to the USA and study with world renowned banjo players Tony Trischka, Alan Munde and Bill Evans. She won the Uncle Dave Macon banjo competition in Murfreesboro, Tennessee at age and came runner up in the Rockygrass banjo contest in Colorado. In 2007, she was invited to join bluegrass band, Long Road Home, to perform at festivals throughout the USA.

BB has toured extensively throughout New Zealand and Australia with the bluegrass band, Twisted Oak, in a banjo duet with tenor banjoist, Alex Borwick and with Cy Winstanley and Vanessa McGowan of Tattletale Saints. In 2010, she recorded her debut album, Village Green, which features original compositions and collaborations with some of the best acoustic musicians from all around NZ. BB travelled on a Massey University scholarship in 2011 to study at the Miles Davis program in Jazz studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and in 2012, completed her BMus in Jazz performance at the NZ school of music, being the first person to be accepted on the banjo.

In 2013, BB was was one of the 16 young string players from all over the USA to be invited to the Acoustic Music Seminar in Savannah, Georgia to work with world-class artists such as Mike Marshall, Julian Lage, David Grisman and Darol Anger for an intensive week of classes, workshops and performances. In 2015, she won first place at the 2015 Freshgrass Banjo Contest, receiving a Deering banjo and a perfomance at the 2016 Freshgrass Festival. Since re-locating to Boston, MA she has been busy teaching, recording and performing around New England with Tony Watt and Southeast Expressway, the Reunion Bluegrass Band, Laura Orshaw and the New Velvet Band, No Bones About It and most recently with bluegrass band, Mile Twelve.