Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Earl Scruggs’ 100th Birthday Celebration at the Ryman (Nashville, TN)

January 6 @ 8:00 pm 10:00 pm


Pete will join a host of bluegrass pickers for this unique and historic tribute to one of bluegrass music’s founders. Proceeds will benefit the Earl Scruggs Center.

“I’m so honored to be included in this event, which honors the musician who inspired me — and countless others — on so many levels. No doubt he changed my life, radically.”

Pete’s Special Performances With Earl

All-Star Banjo Jam at MerleFest


Here’s a once-in-a lifetime all-star banjo jam — that I was honored to be asked to lead — the first time Earl played MerleFest, in 1999. Everyone was so excited that (western North Carolinian) Earl Scruggs had come to play at the iconic western North Carolina festival.

Left to right: John McEuen, Alan O’Bryant, Pete Wernick, T. Michael Coleman, Doc Watson, Tony Trischka, Béla Fleck, Earl Scruggs, Scott Vestal. Tom Adams and Jens Kruger were there as well, though not visible in the photo. The tune? “Foggy Mt. Breakdown” of course!

Pickin’ “Foggy” w. Earl on the Letterman Show

“Men With Banjos Who Know How to Use Them”: l to r: Steve Martin, Pete Wernick, Joan Wernick, Charles Wood, Tony Ellis, Earl Scruggs


Five banjos, two guitars, one mandolin, and a piano, playing Foggy Mt. Breakdown at top speed for three and a half minutes.

Wouldn’t be such a big deal, but in this case something made it daunting – being on the David Letterman show. National TV! Yow! It all started with Steve Martin, the celebrated comic, actor, writer, and not-as-famous banjo player A major banjo devotee, and a fine player, he decided to put together an unlikely banjo band, featuring the incomparable Earl Scruggs, Tony Ellis, Charles Wood…. and …. Me!

Here’s the full video clip, and you can read my recollections online (Part 1 and Part 2).

Pete’s Articles About Earl

Photos of Pete and Earl