Howard Parker has been a bluegrass fan since the mid 1970s and active in the Mid-Atlantic bluegrass scene since 1985. He is a dobro player and was a student of Mike Auldridge. Howard's performance activities included festival appearances, recordings and a U.K. tour.
Howard has become involved in other aspects of the bluegrass music business starting with an eight-year stint with dobro luthier Paul Beard. He serves on the board of directors of the Brandywine Friends of Old Time Music and is the stage manager of the Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival. Howard is an enthusiastic supporter of IBMA and a proud 2006 graduate of IBMA's Leadership Bluegrass program. In addition to bluegrass Howard is a huge fan of honky tonk country and western swing. You can often catch him on a stage, sometimes in western garb, with dobro or pedal steel guitar.
Akira Otsuka was born in Japan and started playing bluegrass as a teenager. He formed a legendary group “Bluegrass 45” in 1967 and toured the States in 71 & 72. Akira moved to the States in 1973 and since then he has been active as a performer, studio musician, producer, educator and writer. He is a 2017 graduate of IBMA's Leadership Bluegrass. Akira has played at venues such as The White House, Vice President's residence, Grand Ole Opry, Kennedy Center, Smithsonian Institute, Birchmere and many festivals including Grey Fox/Winterhawk, Wintergrass, Carlton Haney’s, Joe Val, Bean Blossom and Thomas Point Beach.