Banjo-player jokes and world-class mandolin playing filled Pitt Meadows Heritage Hall on Saturday night.
Feet were tapping at at the hall, as the BAMA (Bergthorson Academy of Musical Arts) Bluegrass Circle hosted its first-ever mini-bluegrass festival.
Dubbed as the 101st birthday party for Bill Monroe, the "godfather of bluegrass," a cake in his honour set the theme for the evening: "Your music lives on," it read.
Bluegrass musician and local fiddler Denis Leclerc was the emcee for the evening, and in addition to telling banjo-player jokes, talked about the evolution of bluegrass.
He gave a short history lesson of the musical genre from its roots in country music, influences from Celtic and French music, and the journey it made across the Appalachians, into Louisiana and Cajun country and to the west coast.
"Bill Monroe took all of that and made a music of it," Leclerc said, adding that "every time it touched down and landed, an influence was added to it."
Bluegrass continues to evolve, Leclerc explained, and he has heard bluegrass with an Asian sound to it and Klezmer bluegrass.
"Only God and maybe Bill Monroe knows where it's going to end up," Leclerc concluded.
The headliner for the evening was John Reischman & the Jaybirds, including Reischman, Trisha Gagnon, Lonesome Lee Watson, and Nick Hornbuckle on banjo.
The musicians, who are based in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley, played some classic Bill Monroe pieces, but also many of their own original works.
Before the 8 p.m. concert, there were two bluegrass master classes.
In addition to the headliner, during the intermission, audience members who had brought along their own instruments got up on stage and played a few bluegrass pieces.
The BAMA Bluegrass Circle meets the second and fourth Thursday of the month from 7: 30 to 9: 30 p.m. in the Bergthorson Academy of Musical Arts Pitt Meadows location, 12229 Harris Rd.