Ryan Cavanaugh has probably taken the art of playing jazz on 5-string farther than any other living player. He grew up in North Carolina playing traditional bluegrass and took first place at the Merlefest, Rockygrass, and Renofest banjo contests. He began studying jazz in high school, and soon began adapting it to banjo, developing in the process a method for playing rapid runs by in effect performing forward rolls on single strings. Discovered by guitar legend John McLaughlin in 2006, Ryan has spent several years touring the international jazz scene with acclaimed saxophonist Bill Evans. Cavanaugh has also recorded and shared the stage with greats from all genres, including Sam Bush, Béla Fleck, Victor Wooten, Dennis Chambers, Warren Haynes and Robben Ford. His first solo CD, "Songs For the New Frontier" was released in 2007.