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Tag: Greg Spatz

Jay Reischman and the Jaybirds band

John Reischman’s roots music coming to Empress Theatre

Toes will tap in time April 19 when John Reischman and the Jaybirds take the stage at Fort Macleod’s Empress Theatre.

The group’s musicianship is tight with Reischman on mandolin, Trisha Gagnon on stand-up bass and vocals, Nick Hornbuckle on banjo and bass vocals, Greg Spatz on fiddle, and Patrick Sauber on lead guitar and vocals.

Lively instrumental solos pass from one musician’s nimble fingers to the next without dropping a beat, and no individual part outshines another.

Together since 1999, John Reischman and the Jaybirds have produced seven albums and earned national acclaim.

The group has two Juno nominations in the Roots and Traditional Album of the Year (Group) category, along with nominations for the Canadian Folk Music Awards.

Concertgoers can look forward to an evening of finely balanced melodies and harmonies accented by a tone that can be found only when people truly enjoy playing together.


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Reischman started playing mandolin in the 1970s. Before joining the Tony Rice Unit, he was a standout soloist with the Good Ol’ Persons, a bluegrass band from the San Francisco Bay area.

True Life Blues: The Songs of Bill Monroe was named Bluegrass Album of the Year at the 1997 Grammys, with Reischman among the musicians playing on the tribute album.

His first solo album, North of the Border, was released in 1993 and his third, New Time and Old Acoustic, in 2021. A Juno nomination for Traditional Roots Album of the Year came with the latter.

The new album includes a refreshed version of “Salt Spring,” one of Reischman’s best-known compositions. Recorded with the Jaybirds in 2001, the song has become a jam-session staple for mandolinists worldwide. While you might not know it by name, there’s a good chance you will recognize the melodious picking at the Empress show.

Give the Empress Theatre box office a call at 403-553-4404 to reserve your seat, or purchase tickets at



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