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Jimmy Gaudreau

2017 RIBA Hall of Fame inductee

Jimmy Gaudreau has long been regarded as one of the top bluegrass performers in the world. Since getting the call in 1969 to move to the Washington, DC area from his native Rhode Island and join the legendary Country Gentlemen, he has performed with a veritable Who’s Who of bluegrass bands and earned a reputation as a mandolin maverick with a sound and a style all his own.


Jimmy got his start as a professional musician during his high school days, playing electric guitar in his band Jimmy G & the Jaguars. In the ‘60s, Jimmy found himself interested in bluegrass music and the banjo. One evening, while attending a jam session, someone heard him singing tenor and told him he should be playing mandolin. The rest is history.


Jimmy has also performed with JD Crowe and the New South, with The Tony Rice Unit, and with his own bands Country Store, Spectrum, Chesapeake, and Auldridge, Bennett & Gaudreau. He was a member of Carolina Star and joined the Fine Group for several years.


Jimmy’s main gig for the past several years has been with Moondi Klein, former lead singer in Chesapeake. In 2005, Jimmy was inducted into the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America’s “Hall of Greats.”