Ira Gitlin is widely respected on the Washington-Baltimore scene as a versatile multi-instrumentalist, teacher, and writer. A former National Bluegrass Banjo Champion, he has worked with Bill Harrell, the Johnson Mountain Boys, Laurie Lewis, Peter Rowan, and Peter “P.D.Q. Bach” Schickele. Ira has taught at the Maryland Banjo Academy; the Swannanoa Gathering; the Augusta Heritage Center; Pete Wernick’s Jam Camps; Banjo Camp North; and the “kids’ academies” at the Grey Fox, Gettysburg, Joe Val, and Delaware Valley bluegrass festivals. Since 2013 he has been a coordinator of Augusta’s Bluegrass Week. Ira has written about bluegrass music for Bluegrass Unlimited, Banjo NewsLetter, andBluegrass Now, and has contributed liner notes to several commercial recordings. He has lectured on the history of bluegrass for the Smithsonian Associates, and delivered papers at the 2005 and 2017 bluegrass music symposiums. In 1993 Ira was a one-day winner on the television game show Jeopardy.