Band Bios

Mark Kreitzer Band Bio PhotoMark Kre­itzer (gui­tar, banjo, fid­dle, bass, man­dolin, man­do­cello, man­dola, Dobro, ukulele). The Min­nesota Blue­grass and Old-Time Music Asso­ci­a­tion (MBOTMA) rec­og­nized Mark’s vir­tu­os­ity by pre­sent­ing him with its first Favorite Blue­grass Multi-Instrumentalist award. Mark also is a mem­ber of the Clear­wa­ter Hot Club, Patty and the But­tons, and the Mill City Hot Club. He often sits in with other local groups, includ­ing Becky Schlegel, The Platte Val­ley Boys, Twin Cities Hot Club, and the French 75. He was a long-time mem­ber of the Har­mo­nious Wail and, as a mem­ber of the Mid­dle Spunk Creek Boys, was inducted into the Min­nesota Rock and Coun­try Hall of Fame. Mark, a pro­lific song­writer and recip­i­ent of MBOTMA’s first Favorite Blue­grass Song­writer award, has recorded two CDs of his orig­i­nals — “Pages” (solo CD) and “The Mark Kre­itzer Band.” A num­ber of other bands have recorded his music, as well. One of Mark’s most recent projects was writ­ing the music and lyrics for the Min­nesota Cen­ten­nial Show­boat musi­cal, Mark Twain’s Mis­sis­sippi, based on Twain’s book, Life on the Mis­sis­sippi. Lau­rie Lewis cap­tures Mark’s writ­ing with a sim­ple state­ment: “ This fel­low has some­thing to say.” Mark is an edu­ca­tor, as well, cur­rently teach­ing Amer­i­can Folk Instru­ments at Car­leton Col­lege

Anthony Ihrig Bio PhotoAnthony Ihrig (banjo, dobro, gui­tar, per­cus­sion, vocals), a for­mer rock and roll drum­mer, has spent the last ten years mak­ing a name for him­self in the Upper Midwest’s boom­ing acoustic music scene. In 1999, he co-founded the Twin Cities-based string band Free Range Pickin’, who were at the fore­front of a “new­grass” rev­o­lu­tion that helped intro­duce mod­ern string band music to a whole new gen­er­a­tion of fans. In 2006, he 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. Anthony was one of a hand­ful of song­writ­ers selected for the 2012 Inter­na­tional Blue­grass Music Association’s (IBMA) Song­writer Show­case at the World of Blue­grass con­ven­tion in Nashville, TN. He has released nine full-length albums, toured the US play­ing major blue­grass fes­ti­vals, recorded one of his orig­i­nal songs with Grammy-winning Nashville musi­cians Randy Kohrs and Mike Comp­ton, per­formed with Prairie Home Companion’s Gar­ri­son Keil­lor, con­sulted with banjo vir­tu­oso Bela Fleck about the his­tory of the banjo before Fleck’s Throw Down Your Heart album/film, and has had his orig­i­nal music fea­tured in film and on radio sta­tions across the country. You can learn more about Anthony at

Chuck Kreitzer Bio PhotoChuck Kreitzer’s (bass, vocals) father taught orches­tral strings, his mother taught vocal music and orches­tra, and all six Kre­itzer chil­dren played instru­ments, start­ing with piano and ven­tur­ing out from there, gen­er­ally to stringed instru­ments and folk music. Chuck went the clas­si­cal route and played the French horn until col­lege, ini­tially plan­ning a dou­ble major in French horn and voice. He started down a slip­pery slope, how­ever, when his high school band teacher asked him to fill the band’s need for a bass player. At the Uni­ver­sity of South Dakota, Ver­mil­lion, he gave up the French horn but con­tin­ued play­ing orches­tral bass, then got his mas­ters in bass from the Uni­ver­sity of Col­orado, Boul­der. Upon his return to the Mid­west, Mark led him and his bass astray, and Chuck joined Mark first in the Mid­dle Spunk Creek Boys, then in the newly-formed Mark Kre­itzer Band. Not want­ing to turn his back com­pletely on his love of orches­tral music and edu­ca­tion, Chuck played for a num­ber of years with the St. Paul Civic Orches­tra, Bloom­ing­ton Sym­phony, Wayzata Com­mu­nity Orches­tra, and the Met­ro­pol­i­tan Orches­tra, and now is near­ing his 30th year teach­ing strings (vio­lin, cello, bass, and viola) in Hop­kins pub­lic schools.

Tom Schae­fer Bio Photo“Doc­tor Tom” Schae­fer (fid­dle) started med­ical school 1975, and, not hav­ing enough to do, started learn­ing to fid­dle, quickly becom­ing the South Dakota State Fid­dle Cham­pion (’78, ’79, ’80) and North Dakota State Fid­dle Cham­pion (’87). He’s cur­rently a mem­ber of Cousin Dad, Tune Jerks, and Cagley Black, Schae­fer, Njoes, and plays with Rugged Road, Clear­wa­ter Hot Club, Platte Val­ley Boys, and Mary Henderson/Geoff Shan­non. He often sits in with other local groups, includ­ing seven at the 2012 MBOTMA Win­ter Blue­grass Week­end, pos­si­bly set­ting a fes­ti­val record! Tom’s fid­dling has been recorded on more than 60 CD’s, and he has per­formed with many notable per­form­ers, includ­ing Coun­try Music Hall of Famers Hank Thomp­son and Jethro Burns, Grammy win­ners Rid­ers in the Sky and Clay Hess, Texas Play­boy alumni Tiny Moore and Eldon Sham­blin, and Blue­grass Boy alum­nus Bob Black, as well as with Tommy Emmanuel, Peter Ostrousko, Paddy O’Brien, Daithi’ Sproule, Altan, Jay Ungar, Liz Car­roll, Michael Cleve­land, Gar­ri­son Keil­lor, Dean Magraw, Dan New­ton, Katie McMa­hon, Mike Auldrige, Randy Kohrs, Brian Miller, Norah Ren­dell, Jack Lawrence, Tim Hen­nessy, Laura MacKen­zie, and Ross Sutter.