Bill Lowrey (musician)

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This article is about Bill Lowrey, a musician. For U.S. Representative Bill Lowrey, see Bill G. Lowrey.
Bill Lowrey
Birth name William Lowrey
Born (1963-01-29) 29 January 1963 (age 54)
Origin San Jose, California
Genres Dixieland, Ragtime, Music of the early 1900s, 20s, and 30s.
Occupation(s) Entertainer and musician, music teacher, software engineer
Instruments Four-string banjo, plectrum and tenor
Years active 1976 - present
Associated acts Dave Marty, Peter Mezoian, Sean Moyses, Don van Palta, Scotty Plummer, Charlie Tagawa, Buddy Wachter.
Notable instruments
Plectrum banjo, tenor banjo, tenor guitar

Bill Lowrey (born January 29, 1963) is an American musical entertainer and banjoist from California. He has been a featured performer or headliner at a variety of jazz festivals around the U.S. for over fifteen years. Lowrey has established himself in the four-string banjo community as one of its key figures as compared to the likes of Sean Moyses, Steve Peterson, and Buddy Wachter.

Early life[edit]

In 1976, at age 13, Lowrey began taking lessons from Charlie Tagawa,[1] a noted Bay Area instructor. Initially he learned to play the tenor banjo, but after discovering the recordings of the talents of banjoists such as the great banjo player Eddie Peabody he switched to a plectrum banjo. After about a year of instruction from Tagawa, Lowrey then joined Tagawa's Junior Banjo Band which was made up of children and teenagers ages six to seventeen. He left after graduating from high school to then attend college out of the area.

Musical career[edit]

Upon his return to the Bay Area after college, Lowrey began performing with the Peninsula Banjo Band (PBB) of San Jose, California. Lowrey, now a longtime member of the PBB and on occasion its band leader, is asked to perform a solo act or in small jazz combos on a regular basis. When he is not playing with the Peninsula Band he travels the country to perform at various traditional, early American jazz, and banjo related shows and festivals. He routinely performs at the FIGA annual convention. Lowrey sits on the Board of Directors for the non-profit foundation that is part of the PBB.

Personal life[edit]

A graduate of St. Mary's College, Lowrey works as a software consultant to the health care industry. He also holds a Master's degree in Business Administration (MBA) from Pepperdine University. Lowrey is actively involved as a Boy Scout volunteer, is married, and the father of two children.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Banjo-Rama: Performers". Banjo-Rama. Retrieved 2010-12-04. 

External links[edit]