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Bankesters Will Perform At KASU Bluegrass Monday March 24


JONESBORO, Ark. — The Bankesters will perform a concert of bluegrass music on Monday, March 24, at 7 p.m. at the Collins Theatre, 120 West Emerson Street, in downtown Paragould. The concert is part of the Bluegrass Monday concert series presented by Arkansas State University’s on-campus radio station, KASU 91.9 FM.

From southern Illinois, the Bankesters is a family band comprised of dad Phil, mom Dorene, three of their adult daughters, and their one son-in-law. They have been entertaining audiences since 2004, performing a mixture of gospel music plus traditional and contemporary bluegrass music. Their travels have taken them from New Mexico to the North Carolina coast and from Alabama to northern Wisconsin, sharing the stage with many of bluegrass music's top acts.

In 2009, the Bankesters appeared at the prestigious showcase concert at the International Bluegrass Music Association’s annual convention, performing for industry leaders, peers and festival promoters. Well over 100 bands applied to appear at this concert, and the Bankesters were one of only 13 groups chosen for this showcase.

In 2012, Emily Bankester won the International Bluegrass Music Association’s “Momentum” award for vocalist of the year. The association gives this honor to the most promising new bluegrass vocalist. The entire family was nominated for this award in the band category.

Parents Phil and Dorene Bankester each sing and play guitar in the band. Oldest daughter Melissa Triplett plays upright bass, and her husband, Kyle Triplett, plays banjo, guitar, mandolin and dobro. Alysha Bankester plays fiddle and mandolin while her sister Emily also plays fiddle. All of the daughters in the band also sing.

The Bankesters have produced five CDs and numerous music videos. They are performing in support of their Compass Records CD “Love Has Wheels,” which is currently in the top 20 of the Bluegrass Today radio airplay chart. More information about the family, including links to their videos, is available at their website www.bankesters.com.

In addition to the concert, Terry’s Café, 201 South Pruett Street in Paragould, opens on Bluegrass Monday nights to welcome bluegrass music fans. The café serves a catfish buffet meal beginning at 4:30 p.m. on the evenings of Bluegrass Monday concerts. Concessions will also be available at the Collins Theatre.

KASU will literally “pass the hat” to collect money to pay the group. The suggested donation is $5 per person.

Bluegrass Monday concerts are held on the fourth Monday night of each month. These concerts are presented with support from Bibb Chiropractic, the Posey Peddler, Holiday Inn Express and Suites of Paragould, the Northeast Arkansas Bluegrass Association and KASU.

KASU, 91.9 FM, is the 100,000-watt public broadcasting service of Arkansas State University in Jonesboro. For more information, contact KASU Program Director Marty Scarbrough at mscarbro@astate.edu or 870-972-2367. Bluegrass Monday is also on Facebook (search “Bluegrass Monday”).


(Left to right) Phil Bankester, Emily Bankester, Melissa Triplett, Alysha Bankester, Dorene Bankester, Phil Triplett