My name is Anthony Ihrig

I write and perform music, teach the banjo and seek to make a difference at the intersection of music performance, education, and entrepreneurship.

I also like to geek out about design thinking, technology and tasty craft beer 🙂

I teach out of my home studio in south Minneapolis, MN and perform regularly around the Upper Midwest with The High 48s Bluegrass Band.

When I’m not in the studio or on the road, I’m working hard to raise my two amazing young daughters.

If you’re interested in connecting as a student, a collaborator or you just want to say “hi,” please feel free to reach out here or come find me @AnthonyIhrig on Instagram or Twitter.

My Musical Highlights

In 1999, I co-founded the Twin Cities-based string band Free Range Pickin’ (1999-2009), who, alongside young acoustic bands like Trampled by Turtles and Pert Near Sandstone were at the forefront of a “newgrass” revolution in Minnesota that helped introduce modern string band music to a whole new generation of fans.

In 2004, after years of academic research on the history of bluegrass music and the banjo, I was asked to consult with banjo virtuoso Bela Fleck on the history of the banjo before the filming of his award winning documentary Throw Down Your Heart.

In 2006, I co-founded The High 48s Bluegrass Band, one of the premier traditional bluegrass bands in the region and winners of the prestigious RockyGrass Bluegrass Band Competition in Lyons, Colorado in 2008.

In 2010, I released an original banjo instrumental with the High 48s entitled Darrington, which features Grammy winners Randy Kohrs on the Dobro and Mike Compton on the Mandolin. It was a real honor to have the play on that track!

In 2011, I released my debut solo album Missing Ghosts, an all original album of songs and instrumentals that features some of the top acoustic musicians in the upper-midwest. Performances in support of this project included a slot at the prestigious Minnesota Bluegrass & Old-time Music Association’s annual festival.

In 2012, I was selected to perform my song Great Northern Railroad at the International Bluegrass Music Association’s (IBMA) Songwriter Showcase at the World of Bluegrass convention in Nashville, TN.

In 2016, my banjo playing was featured on the soundtracks of two wonderful independent films, the PBS documentary Kevin Kling: Lost & Found (2016) and the award-winning comedy short: You Beautiful Crazy Blind Cripple (2016)

Other notable accomplishments in the last decade include releasing 13 full-length albums, touring the United States playing major bluegrass festivals, performing with Prairie Home Companion’s Garrison Keillor as well as having my original music featured on radio stations across the country and on local television shows like Almanac (PBS) and the KARE 11 Morning Show (NBC).

“Great picking and cool songs”

-Joe Bonsall, The Oak Ridge Boys