Kansas Bluegrass Association
The KBA Treblemakers began as the dream of the Kansas Bluegrass Association board of directors. Their vision was to support youth in Bluegrass by something more than just lessons for individual kids. After all, the FUN part of playing Bluegrass music is meeting others and jamming. So in 2010, board members began scouting young folks at jam sessions that they went to. Through their hard work, the original Treblemakers band came to be.
The band has been performing since early 2011, and have been featured at such notable events as Silver Dollar City’s Bluegrass & Bar-B-Que, The Walnut Valley Festival’s Acoustic Kids stage as well as the legendary “Stage 5”, Wichita’s Riverfest, Colby KS Pickin’ on the Plains, Bartlett Arboretum’s Treehouse Concert Series, and Rhonda & Darrin Vincent’s family festival, Sally Mountain Park. In May 2015, the group was honored to take second place in the National Youth In Bluegrass contest at Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO. The dreams of the group came true in October 2015 when they were chosen as featured performers on the IBMA's Youth Stage at the Wide Open Bluegrass Festival in Raleigh, NC.
There have been several "generations" of the band, but all the graduates of the Treblemakers are still making music. The current line-up consists of two sets of siblings, which makes the coordination of rehearsals and family schedules a LITTLE easier.
Dawson Tarrant (16) is the only founding member still in the band. In addition to guitar, Dawson plays saxophone and piano as well as football & basketball at Conway Springs High School. He is also in the show choir - so he has plenty of opportunities to use the skills he's learned on stage with the Treblemakers.
Brothers Wayne (16) and Mason (12) Ruble are from Minneapolis KS and both boys play multiple instruments. Mason joined us in late 2012 on banjo. Wayne is primarily a guitar player, but when he saw the need in our group for a mandolin player, he decided that he'd give it a try – and we are so glad he did! Both boys are avid outdoorsmen and athletes.
Sisters Caitlin (19) and Alyssa (17) Carlson are from Falun KS. They joined the group in late 2011. Caitlin plays fiddle and is a student at Kansas State University. Alyssa plays bass with the Treblemakers, but plays oboe & cello in band & orchestra.
Jacob Metz (16) is from Oxford KS, and he is another multi-instrumentalist. He had just picked up the banjo when we met him at Winfield's Acoustic Kids in September 2013, then in October he started on Dobro. He also plays saxophone, guitar & piano and has been writing some songs the group will be performing.
Ella Bird (12) is the newest member of the group. She is from Wichita KS, and has been playing violin for 4 years. She is a member of the Wichita Youth Symphony, but is excited to be expanding her musical horizons into fiddling. We met Ella in 2013 at Winfield's Acoustic Kids performance, and she joined us in mid 2015.
Directing this group of gifted young musicians is husband/wife team Jimmy & Karla Campbell of Wichita KS. Jimmy is originally from Northeast Missouri and has been playing Bluegrass since he was just 9 years old. He was mentored by many wonderful musicians in his early years, and is proud to be giving back to young people in this way. He is part of the award-winning Bluegrass band Driven. Karla is on the Kansas Bluegrass Association board of directors, and is an award-winning Bluegrass bass player with the Kansas City-based Hootin’ Annies.
The KBA Treblemakers
From left to right
Ella Bird, Fiddle
Mason Ruble, Banjo
Cait Carlson, Fiddle
Alyssa Carlson, Bass
Dawson Tarrant, Guitar
Wayne Ruble, Mandolin
Jacob Metz, Dobro
KBA Treblemakers' first CD was released in 2015
The Treblemakers recorded their first project as a way to raise money to attend the IBMA in Raleigh, NC. There are 7 songs, including 4 originals. Check out the CD artwork and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like us to mail you a copy. Suggested donation is $10 plus shipping.
Check out these links to Treblemaker performances at Silver Dollar City
Promoting and preserving bluegrass music in Kansas
Dawson, Wayne, Jacob, Cait, Alyssa and Mason at their CD release party (complete with cake!)