Banjo Nickaru and Western Scooches specialize in Country, Bluegrass, old timey, Western Swing, 20s/30s, traditional jazz, music of New Orleans, blues, tin pan, ragtime, world music & dance. We also play an eclectic mix of traditional genres, Blues, Gullah Geechee & World Music. We take genre & song requests.
Our band members have performed at such NYC venues as Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, 55 Bar & around the world, including Japan, Spain, Brasil, Sweden, St. Kitts, Bermuda, Israel, Korea, Moscow, Omsk, Tomsk, Novosibirsk, Academy City, Canada & across the U.S..
You can see our vocalist/guitarist in films: Disney's Enchanted & Mona Lisa Smile with Julia Roberts. Banjoist/guitarist, Nick Russo appears in the Sam Mendes film, Away We Go, on ABC's Good Morning and playing banjo/guitar on pilot episode of the PBS cartoon, Peg & Cat.
Summer of 2013, Nick performed at Gwyneth Paltrow & Chris Martin's place. It was an honor for Nick to meet Paul McCartney & jam with him while he played toy harmonica! Please feel free to view Gwyneth Paltrow & Stella McCartney's "An English Garden Party" video.
We have over 70 CLIENT REVIEWS (All 5 Star) between our 4 EPKs. Here are a just a few:
Hiring Nick and Betina for our wedding was a decision I would make a thousand times over. They not only played absolutely beautifully, but they also had incredible energy, charisma, and such chemistry between everyone in the band, keeping everyone going all night. They accommodated our every request, from learning new songs (with incredible arrangements), to adjusting their volume levels to suit the differing demands of the Mothers. I would recommend them for every event. Even now, months later, people are still complimenting us on our choice, and asking where they could catch more gigs! It was truly an honor to have them play for us.
Review by Michael B. FROM BREEZY POINT, NY ON 9/7/2014
"Betina and her husband, Nick were completely fantastic at our wedding. Nick was able to play classical guitar at the ceremony, and also to arrange a piece from one of my favorite movies on guitar as the processional. They were able to accommodate a wide range of music, rearranged pieces creatively, and really just wowed the crowd at the reception. We got tons of comments on how fantastic they were and I'm sure they will get more gig offers from our friends. Also, they spent hours on email and the phone with us prior to the wedding, confirming every detail. They made every announcement I requested, and did everything with a smile. Love them! "
Quinn D. Wedding in Stockbridge, MA 07/27/2013
Nick and Betina played at our wedding outside of Little Rock, Arkansas. Simply stated, they were incredible. They worked closely with us throughout the planning process and were very flexible and accommodating. Their energy, style, range, chemistry, and fun-loving nature were major contributions to creating a special atmosphere during our wedding. Our guests were extremely complimentary of their unique sound and impressive talent, and my wife and I would highly recommend them for other weddings!
Review by Andrew F. FROM LITTLE ROCK, AR ON 10/10/2015
Nick and Betina were the absolute best thing that happened to our wedding reception! Our guests are still raving about the music. Both Nick and Betina went out of their way to make sure that everything was just as we wanted it. They even accommodated some new songs that we sprung on them at the last minute. They also added a Sax/Clarinet player that was outside of their normal band, he was amazing! This whole ensemble was truly great. Their professionalism and helpfulness truly went above and beyond. I simply cannot say enough good things about them and would hire them again in a second! The videos posted here do NOT do this band justice, they're truly amazing. -Lyman T, 10/22/2011, Wedding Reception, Lakeville, CT
Nick Russo is the most accomodating musician you could ever hope to work with. He honored every song request we asked for. He went above and beyond when he and his wife helped me compose an original song for my husband as a surprise. He then accompanied me on the song at my wedding. People couldn't stop talking the entire night about how amazing the song was. His talent is phenomenal. The feel his musicianship lent to the cocktail hour & ceremony was one of elegance, sophistication, fun, uplifting, and beautiful. I highly recommend him to any future bride, not just for his talent, but for his warm and inviting personality as well. Thanks Nick! Jessica & Paul Bartels
-Jessica A., Wedding Cocktail Hour in North Bergen, NJ 6/10/2012