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#29 – David Bankston

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Episode 29 is a special one. I chatted with my college professor, best friend, and best man from my wedding. We chat about performing, auditioning, running a marathon while drinking beer, and stories from his past that influenced the creation of his music albums. David Bankston’s musical career began in the early 1970s when his folk-rock band, “Manchild,” was signed to Capitol Records. The group toured the United States performing in famous folk clubs of the era, universities, and concert venues on the same bills with Jimmy Buffett, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Steve Martin, The Drifters, ZZ Top, Edgar Winter and White Trash, Steve Goodman, and many others. He later transitioned into theatrical and operatic singing, performing roles with Houston Grand Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Washington Opera, San Francisco Opera, Casa Mañana, and Lyric Opera of Kansas City. His notable roles include Siegfried in Wagner’s Siegfried, Riccardo in Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera, Cavaradossi in Puccini’s Tosca, and Gaylord Ravenal in Showboat with Van Johnson and as James in Shennandoah with Howard Keel. He now records and performs concerts of his original compositions in the genres of Americana, contemporary folk music and jazz. His recordings feature some of the greatest players in popular music: Sonny Landreth, Sam Broussard, Steve Bailey, saxophonist, Stephen Riley, Byron House, Jeff Taylor and Jelly Roll Johnson. His albums Galvez Town and Jazz Blues Gospel Shoes can be streamed on Spotify and YouTube. He was educated in San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program and the Houston Grand Opera Studio. Dr. Bankston holds a DMA in Vocal Performance from the University of South Carolina. He recently retired as  Professor Emeritus of Music at Coastal Carolina University. David’s students have performed on Broadway, national tours, international and regional opera.

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