Rapidgrass Quintet is a super rad, high-energy, fusion string-band made up of old and new friends from the front-range Colorado bluegrass scene. The band features guitarist and pro skier Mark Morris from Golden, Colorado and champion fiddler Coleman Smith from Dallas, Texas. The duo met as members of the Hickory Project and have shared the stage all over the world. They are both instructors at the La Roche Bluegrass festival in France. Playing the banjo in the Quintet is singer/songwriter Kyle James Hauser who stays busy performing his original music in various bands and as a solo act in cities across the United States. On bass is Louisville Colorado resident Paul Watinas, owner and operator of Paul's Coffee and Tea (bassist in the original "CPG" band, Slipstream). Alex Johnstone is featured on the mandolin/vocals from the Colorado based bluegrass band Spring creek. Alex brings amazing life to the band with his power-house energy and awesomeness. The band plays a blend of bluegrass, gypsy swing, modern folk, and acoustic funk, with all moods in between.
Mark Morris began playing guitar when he was 10 years old, and shortly after he began playing the mandolin. His musical tastes eventually gravitated from folk and country to bluegrass and jazz by the time he was a teenager. He graduated from the University of Colorado in the fall of 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in music, and he has been a full-time touring musician/teacher since. His music has taken him all across the US, Europe, and Asia, teaching camps and workshops. Mark is also a big mountain athlete for the Colorado-based ski company Icelantic.
Alex Johnstone has spent the last many years touring around bars, bluegrass festivals, and kids music camps all over America and Canada as a member of the Colorado based bluegrass band Spring Creek. He started his musical life as teenager playing electric rock and blues guitar and took up the mandolin and fiddle in his early twenties. Alex started playing out professionally while ski bumming in Crested Butte Colorado and also where he met the other members of Spring Creek. He followed the band out to South Plains Collage in Levelland Texas where he studied music with renown pickers Alan Mundy and Joe Carr. Alex Now makes his home in Lyons Colorado and enjoys making music, skiing, and fly fishing.
Coleman holds a degree in Music from Marywood University and has been teaching fiddle, mandolin, and guitar for nearly 15 years. He has traveled throughout the world with his fiddle bringing joy to all that hear him. Coleman has a unique style that fuses Jazz, Gypsy Swing, Celtic and Bluegrass. Coleman is also a virtuoso in the style of Western Swing and strives to keep the legacy of Bob Wills alive wherever he goes.
Kyle James Hauser
Kyle James is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music with a degree in Songwriting and performs what American Songwriter described as, "neo-folk" on banjo, guitar and voice. Hauser began performing his original songs in 2011 and that year was a finalist at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival's troubadour contest as well as The Rocky Mountain Folk Festival and made showcase performances at CMJ and The Toronto International Film Festival.
In January, 2012 he released his debut album "Oh Oh" on sonaBLAST! Records with a lineup including cellist Ben Sollee, guitarist Grant Gordy (David Grisman Quintet), producer Jayme Stone, and Grammy winning mastering engineer David Glasser. Songs from "Oh, Oh" have been featured on MTV's series 16 & Pregnant and Teen Mom and in the feature films YERT, 2nd Serve, and A Strange Brand of Happy. Hauser has since toured extensively, including a showcase at SXSW and opening performances for Brett Dennen, John Hiatt, The Head and the Heart,Mayer Hawthorne, Thao & the Get Down Stay Down and Gregory Alan Isakov.
Paul has been playing upright bass for as long as he can remember. He has toured the nation providing bass for many different bands since 1998. Paul lives in Lafayette, CO with his lovely wife and their two crazy dogs and owns a killer coffee shop in Louisville, CO named "Paul's Coffee and Tea".