Jack Tuttle’s Student Hall of Fame

This is where I get to brag on my students – and I have had some very good ones through the years. To keep myself out of trouble, let it be known that these are strictly in alphabetical order. The qualifications to make this list requires a student to have had a series of lessons in a one-on-one setting and some accomplishment of some sort related to music. This list is just from my head and it’s new, so if I missed you or someone you know, email me, and I’ll fix it.

Brittany Haas: Brittany first came to me at age eight as a talented Suzuki violin student who was interested in old-time fiddling. Over the next seven or eight years I witnessed first-hand, her transformation into one of the greatest fiddlers I have ever had the opportunity to hear, either inside or outside of my teaching studio. Brittany is one of the shining lights of the new generation of fiddlers. While she is widely recognized as one of the greats of old-time fiddle world, she has remarkable versatility as well, able to play in bluegrass, jazz or Celtic settings. She is a member of Hawktail  and Crooked Still. She now has her own band, Hawktail. Her first solo CD, made at age 16 demonstrates a fiddling maturity few seldom achieve at any age.

Bryan McClenahan: Bryan was the first of my very talented young fiddle students, having taken lessons early on in my career. At age 15, Bryan won the California State Junior Division and he was a mainstay in the contest scene of the 1980’s. He now plays bluegrass fiddle with Cabin Fever.

Daryl Silberman: Daryl took fiddle lessons from my as a precocious twelve year-old and promptly disappeared for many years until I got a call from her after she graduated from college as a music major, telling me how much those fiddle lessons influenced her playing though the years. She now is a highly respected performer and string educator, who teaches and performs all over the world.

Elizabeth Barkley: Elizabeth is head of the music department at Foothill College and studied banjo with me. I used to lecture at her class once each quarter. She also taught me music theory at Foothill College in the 1980’s.

Mark Wardenburg: After having given up his violin training from his school years, Mark decided to pick it back up and dedicate himself to bluegrass fiddle. Primarily taking my group classes, with a few private lessons, Mark has become a mainstay of the South Bay jam scene. He is now the bluegrass fiddler with The Mighty Crows and has won the NCBS “Fiddler of the Year” award.

Molly Tuttle: Molly started guitar at age eight, playing bluegrass banjo at age ten, singing at age eleven, playing clawhammer banjo at age thirteen. She now tours worldwide, has been on the cover of many magazines and resides in Nashville, when not on the road. She is a highly regarded songwriter and is the first female winner of IBMA’s Guitar Player of the Year award. Molly is the first bluegrass artist ever nominated for the “Best New Artist” Grammy category and has won a Grammy for her Crooked Tree album.

Michael Tuttle: The youngest of the Tuttle kids, Michael got off to the fastest start. After just a year, he had no trouble keeping up with his older siblings. He has mastered tons of bluegrass tunes and songs and can play a mean guitar on occasion. His YouTube video, El Cumbanchero, made at age eight, has over 1.5 million viewings.

Rick Cornish: Rick has been playing around Northern CA on his left-handed fiddle for many years. He came to me for a series of lessons sometime in the late eighties to help develop a better feel for soloing over bluegrass songs. Since that time he has become the Chairman of the California Bluegrass Association and has been a major force in shaping the future of bluegrass in California, primarily through the CBA.

Sullivan Tuttle: Sullivan has developed into a very fine bluegrass guitar player, and is a master of improvising in several genres. He is able to play at the highest tempos with ease, as he has demonstrated Tuttle shows across the country. His YouTube video, El Cumbanchero, made at age ten, has over 1.5 million viewings. Sullivan is also a talented singer and songwriter. In 2019 Sullivan finished 2nd at the National Flatpicking Championship in Winfield KS. He currently played guitar with AJ Lee and Blue Summit. 

Victor Skidanenko: Victor is a talented bluegrass musician who plays banjo, mandolin and guitar and is the banjo player for the Central Valley Boys. He has played with my talented kids group, School of Bluegrass, as well as another kids’ super group, Pacific Ocean Bluegrass, which released a CD in 2006. He is also an excellent singer.