I lead bands, playing jazz standards, swing, bluegrass, blues, country, dixieland or rockabilly. I also play solo, playing those styles on guitar, banjo and ukulele. I sing and play guitar, uke, banjo, Dobro, lap steel, autoharp, mandolin.
Fred Sokolow and his team were amazing!!!!
Very professional and very friendly and easy to work with.
Playing skills were off the charts, very talented musicians. I will definitely use them again
My tenants loved the band.
We had the great pleasure of having Fred Sokolow perform at our recent event. Fred provided toe-tapping, hip swaying music for our guests. Fred is a gifted artist. He brought along his banjo & guitar, which fit perfectly with our theme. He played at the volume that people could still sit around and chat, yet enjoy the music he provided. I would definitely hire Fred for another event. Thank you to Fred for making our evening extra special.
Performers were friendly and set up and packed right away.
Price Range: $300 - $2000, negotiable
Phone Number: Call
What to Expect
I perform solo, and lead bands, playing lots of musical genres: swing, bluegrass, blues, classic rock, etc. I sing, but I also can play strictly instrumental music. It can be background music for weddings, parties, or concert performance. I have a huge repertoire of songs.
Fred Sokolow is best known as the author of a library of instructional books and DVDs for guitar, banjo, Dobro, mandolin, lap steel and ukulele. There are currently over a hundred and twenty of his books or DVDs in print, sold all over the world. Fred has long been a well-known West Coast multi-string performer and recording artist, particularly on the acoustic music scene. The diverse musical genres covered in his books and DVDs, along with several bluegrass, jazz and rock CDs he has released, demonstrate his mastery of many musical styles. Whether he's playing Delta bottleneck blues, bluegrass or old-time banjo, Hawaiian lap steel, 30s swing guitar or screaming rock solos, he does it with authenticity and passion.
Born in Los Angeles September 14, 1945, by the early 1960s Fred was well known in the California bluegrass scene, playing with Jody Stecher, Brantley Kearns, Sandy Rothman and Eric Thompson. Relocating to Berkeley, he toured and recorded with a hippie rock band throughout most of the 60s, the Bay Area-based Notes From the Underground (Vanguard Records). In the early 70s Fred performed with R&B, rock, country and bluegrass bands. By 1975 Fred had played with bluegrass luminaries like John Herald, Frank Wakefield and Jerry Garcia, had opened for the Dead, the Doors, B.B. King, Country Joe and the Fish and countless other acts, and he was playing in jazz combos with some of the Bay Areas best studio players.
In 1975 Fred returned to Los Angeles. He recorded two ground-breaking banjo albums for Kicking Mule Records and began touring with Bobbie Gentry and Jim Stafford, playing rock guitar, bluegrass banjo and lap steel. He also toured with the folk group the Limeliters, juggling seven different instruments. By the end of the 70s he had begun writing instructional books (methods, transcription books and arrangement books) for all the music print publishers: Mel Bay, Hal Leonard, Warner Brothers, Carl Fischer and more. He recorded a banjo video for Hot Licks, and several guitar videos for Stefan Grossman's Guitar Workshop. His transcription books became known for their accuracy, and his method books were lauded for their clarity and effectiveness in music magazines all over the world. He began teaching guitar and banjo seminars in music camps and stores, and he taught classes at the reknowned McCabes Music in Santa Monica.
Fred currently lives in Santa Monica and primarily performs retro jazz guitar with some of LA's finest musicians, playing and singing songs of the 30s and 40s. He often plays and records with British ex-rock star Ian Whitcomb. And he plays bluegrass, blues or rockabilly whenever the opportunity arises. With over a dozen ukulele books and videos in his catalog, he has become a major player/teacher in the worldwide ukulele renaissance, teaching and performing at uke festivals all over the US and in England and Ireland. He's active on the studio scene, playing on other people's albums and on numerous TV and movie soundtracks, and he was a musical advisor on Michael Mann's film, Public Enemies. Fred also records and performs with children's artists like Dan Crow, Greg & Steve, KPFK's Uncle Ruthie and Paul Stookey. He relishes the diversity of his portfolio: he played lap steel on the Tonight Show, mandolin on Rick James' last CD, played Dobro with Chubby Checker and won on the Gong Show (playing bluegrass banjo), jammed at the House of Blues with Junior Brown...and he performs with the legendary folksinger Tom Paxton whenever Tom comes to California. He continues to create instructional material, including his very successful "Roadmaps" series, and is regarded as an authority on many musical genres, particularly what is now called "Americana."
Past Booked Events
|April 13, 2022 • 6:00pm - 8:00pm||Dinner Party|
|August 14, 2021 • 11:00am - 1:00pm||Holiday Party|
|September 22, 2018 • 5:00pm - 6:30pm||Fundraiser|
|July 07, 2018 • 7:00pm - 8:00pm||Birthday Party|