About Brian Oberlin
Brian Oberlin is an internationally acclaimed mandolin player and educator. During his 16-year professional career, Brian has been playing swing, bluegrass, and Italian classical as a solo mandolinist and vocalist. Brian celebrated the release of his 20th album in May, 2017; Troubadour which features Brian playing solo and singing original music. Along with the myriad of award-winning bands (GER Mandolin Orchestra with Mike Marshall and Twin Mandolin Slingers with Evan J. Marshall) and ensembles he has collaborated with throughout the United States and Europe, Brian is also the founder and director of the River of the West Mandolin Camp and the Oregon Mandolin Orchestra. Most recently, Brian was a top ten finalist at the 2013 Telluride Troubadour Contest, an instructor/performer at the 2012, 2013 and 2017 International Mandolin Academy in Italy, a featured soloist at the 2014 EuroFest Plucked String Festival in Bruchsal, Germany, and a featured soloist at the 2015 Mandolin Upgrade festival in Berlin, Germany. When he is not performing, Brian teaches music to children and adults at art centers, cultural events, festivals, camps, music schools and academies. Originally from Rockford, Michigan, where Brian was inducted to his High School’s Hall Of Fame, he now lives in Portland, Oregon.
About The Big North Duo
When The Big North Duo plays toes tap, audiences smile and everyone gets a break from the workaday world. The music comes from the deep catalogs of classic swing, blues and country, and features original material informed by those traditions. Often swinging, sometimes mournful, always from the heart. Christian McKee (vocals, mandolin, mandola) and Paul Prato began playing together in 2004, and have played together in a variety of bands ever since. After logging hundreds of hours on the bandstand, Paul and Christian are as comfortable in free flights of musical fancy as they are delivering a tightly arranged song. Though they are an uncommon combination for a duo, the mandolin and bass are quite well suited, each instrument leaving a great deal of sonic space for the other, each player free to explore all aspects of his instrument’s voice.