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KEITH KESTER (Bass & Vocals)

Keith was born and raised along the Appalachian Mountains in northeastern Pennsylvania. He fell in love with bluegrass at an early age listening to Flatt & Scruggs, The Dillards, and Bill Monroe. He’s been playing for over 50 years in a variety of musical genres before finding a home with bluegrass music over 20 years ago. Keith considers Tom Gray, Willie Dixon and Ray Brown among his major influences on the upright bass. He plays an Upton Bass affectionately known as Sadie.


Paul Spriet (Banjo & Vocals)

Paul was born, and currently resides in, New Jersey. A Multi-instrumentalist on Banjo, Acoustic and Electric Guitars, Drums, Voice, and many others, Paul has over 5 decades of musical experience and is completely self-taught. Pre-war Gibsons, a Tennessee Top Tension and a Fender Artist are among his banjos of choice. Top influences are Earl Scruggs, Bill Keith and Alan Munde, to name a few. 

BILL PARKER (Mandolin, Guitar, Vocals)

Originally from Rochester, NY Bill grew up attending bluegrass festivals with his family and learned to play guitar from his father.   In the early 2000's he came back to the genre by attending bluegrass jams in Eastern PA where he met Paul & Keith, and the rest is history.  His primary influences are his father (Bill Parker Sr.), Ronnie McCoury, Ricky Skaggs, Shawn Lane, Darren Nicholson & Tim O'Brien.  Most recently Bill has been certified as a Wernick Instructor for Bluegrass Jamming. 


ALISON GILLESPIE (Fiddle & Vocals)

Alison, a life-long fiddler and violinist, is a performer and teacher of fiddle and classical violin in her Coopersburg, PA studio and at Moravian University. Born in Essex, England, she became interested in the folk music of her English/Irish/Scottish heritage as a young adult which led to her further exploration of American folk music. Alison is a high-profile figure in the Lehigh Valley Celtic folk music scene, performing with two Celtic groups Blackwater and Banna Lach, hosting a monthly Celtic music session, teaching fiddle clinics and directing the Moravian University Celtic Ensemble. She founded and organizes the long-running Celtic Classic Fiddle Competition, is a member of the Berks Fiddle Fest, and has served as a judge at other fiddle contests. Alison’s dive into American traditional fiddling took root when she teamed up with Big Valley in 2017, bringing her eclectic fiddling talents to the region’s bluegrass scene.

TOM GILLESPIE (Guitar & Vocals)​

Tom began playing guitar at 11 years old and got his own first real six-string in the summer of ’69, forming a jug band with friends in which he played both guitar and 5-string banjo. Never keen on the rock guitar scene, Tom stuck to country, bluegrass and folk until, at age 14, he began playing piano while continuing folk guitar/singing.  Over the years he studied classical piano, violin, viola, upright bass, classical guitar and voice, earning a degree in musical composition and conducting, during which time his roots in folk and country took a back seat. Tom went on to become a geologist (no “rock musician” jokes, please), met and married Alison, and the two began their decades’ long (and counting) career performing Celtic music with numerous bands and ensembles. Tom has also performed as company lutenist with the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival since 2002. As the newest member of Big Valley Bluegrass, Tom is thrilled to come home to the music that first twanged his heartstrings.​​

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