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Mark Johnson and Emory Lester

Sunday, November 12, 2023 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

$25.00 – $30.00


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-Winner of the Steve Martin Award for outstanding accomplishment in banjo.

-Nominated for Instrumental Recording of the Year by the International Bluegrass Music Association, 2007
-Featured in Bluegrass Unlimited and Bluegrass Now
-Featured on Nashville Public radio

The proficient musicianship of Mark Johnson and Emory Lester is individually great, and collaboratively phenomenal.
Joe Ross. Bluegrass Music Profiles

Jim & Jesse, Flatt & Scruggs, Sonny & Bobby Osborne. Let us now add to the list, Johnson & Lester! Mark Johnson has created a completely new banjo art form called “Clawgrass.” Emory Lester, a master mandolin player and multi-instrumentalist, is a perfect, equal, counterpart and together they are absolutely bleeding with talent. We can assure you that you have never heard a duet like this before!
Acoustica Magazine

‘Mark Johnson & Emory Lester are wonderful innovators as individual artists; as a duo their combined creativity is tremendous!
Bluegrass Now Magazine



Mark Johnson: has revolutionized the art of clawhammer banjo by adapting its techniques and rhythms to the demands of playing in a bluegrass ensemble. He calls his banjo style Clawgrass. He has performed and recorded with many bluegrass and acoustic luminaries on the music scene today and is also a gifted teacher and songwriter. . His second recording — Acoustic Rising with Emory Lester, released on the Crossroads/Mt. Home Record Label — was nominated by the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) in 2007 as Instrumental Album of the Year. Marks music was used in the 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan television commercial and in September of 2012, Mark was named as the third annual winner of the prestigious Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass Music Award and has performed his clawhammer banjo style on the Late Show with David Letterman. Mark has conducted countless Clawgrass/Clawhammer banjo workshops at bluegrass and acoustic music camps and festivals across the country, and continues to teach banjo from his home in Dunnellon, Fl.

Mark Johnson and Emory Lester returned from a very successful, sold out, 2015 European Tour together performing in Germany, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Czech Republic, and Italy.

Now that the global pandemic travel restrictions are lifting, Mark and Emory are now in the planning stages for the 2022 touring season with a full touring schedule.

Mark has endorsed Deering Banjos for the last 26 years and together with the Deering Banjo Company, they have created one if the finest banjos on the market today. It is called the Deering/ Mark Johnson “Clawgrass” Model Banjo and is owned and played by celebrities and parking lot pickers around the world.

This banjo was so successful, in 2016, the Deering Banjo Company has released the new “Clawgrass No.2” that sounds just as good but more affordable.

Mark Johnson has made several appearance’s at the Grand Old Opry, with the most recent appearance in the Spring of 2017 with Opry Star Mike Snider

And Mark and Emory have released their new CD Project Mark Johnson & Emory Lester “Acoustic Milestones 20 years” and are enjoying Great radio exposure from the folks at Sirrus XM “Bluegrass Junction” radio Program.


Emory Lester

EMORY LESTER has been a notable fixture in the acoustic mandolin world for the past four decades, and is an innovator of mandolin technique and a renowned creative artist, multi-instrumentalist, and instructor.  His large body of recorded work has placed him among the elite mandolinist of our time.  He has inspired and influenced many of our current generation’s mandolin players, and pointed the way with his clean, clear, fast and efficient mandolin technique. Emory has performed across the U.S., Canada, Europe, U.K. and Czech Republic, with Clawgrass banjoist Mark Johnson, Wayne Taylor and Appaloosa, and his own Emory Lester Set, as well as a roster of famous notables such as Del McCoury, Tony Rice, Steve Martin (on The David Letterman Show), Babik Reinhardt (son of Django), and Jim Hurst, to name a few. He has a long and impressive body of recordings including nine solo albums, all of which showcase Emory’s skills as a composer, arranger and creative multi-instrumentalist.  A sought-after instructor of mandolin, banjo and guitar, he has a world-wide roster of online students and has taught at many prestigious music camps and workshops in the U.S., Canada, Europe and the U.K. for the past 25 years.
NAMM Show, Los Angeles


Mark Johnson, David Letterman, Steve Martin – 3rd Annual Steve Martin Banjo Prize to Mark Johnson
Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Doors at 6 P.M. Show at 7 P.M.


Sunday, November 12, 2023
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
$25.00 – $30.00


Heartwood Soundstage
619 South Main St.
Gainesville, FL 32601
+ Google Map
352 448 4849


Food Options
Bingo Deli, Humble Pie