Jemini Venture of Baton Rouge
Jim Bookter - Mandolin, guitar, vocals
Born and raised in the shadow of the iconic Louisiana Hayride, Jim paid his musical dues in the honky-tonks and gritty blues clubs between Shreveport and Baton Rouge. Returning to his more rural roots and adding the mandolin to his repertoire, his instrumental stylings have been shaped by a variety of musicians ranging from Jethro Burns to Jimi Hendrix and everything in between. Influenced by many types of music including Texas Blues, Country, Rock 'n' Roll and of course (given the proximity to New Orleans) Jazz, Jim brings an eclectic background of experiences to the sound that is Jemini Venture.
Kathryn Carlson - Bass, guitar, ukulele, vocals
Like a good southern girl, Kathryn began taking piano lessons at a young age and joined the church choir. Rebellion started and she took up the ukulele. Modulating to the guitar, she joined the folk/Gospel group "The Goodnews Singers" and toured around the south for a summer after 9th grade. While in high school, she played the tuba in band and the banjo in a folk/bluegrass band and finally found the upright bass. Decades passed, and after losing her mind with having four children, the bass now occupies most of her time.
Marguerite Gravois - Fiddle, vocals, percussion, bass, viola, ukelele
Marguerite grew up in the foothills of the Ozarks in a family of singers listening to all kinds of music. After getting her nose out of the books, a move to Louisiana allowed experimentation with a variety of musical instruments. She constructed her own mountain dulcimer then explored playing guitar, whistle and mandolin until a fiddle chose her to be its primary player. Pete Wernick's Jam Camp at Bluegrass on the Bayou served as an introduction to bluegrass music. In 2008, Marguerite received a full scholarship from the Louisiana Folk Roots organization to study cajun fiddling at the Dewey Balfa Cajun & Creole Heritage Week. She has studied under notable fiddlers including Bobby Hicks, Stuart Duncan, Michael Cleveland, Andy Leftwich, Jim "Texas Shorty" Chancellor, Randy Elmore, Ron Stewart, Nate Lee, Brian Conway, Betse Ellis, Mitch Reed and David Greely. She has enjoyed singing and playing fiddle with several bluegrass bands as well as performing in vintage, gospel, celtic, cajun, rock and classical ensembles.
Mark Raborn - Banjo, guitar
Mark began playing banjo in 1971 in northwest Georgia and soon was competing in inumerable banjo competitions. By 1978 he was playing at The Station Inn in Nashville. He has played onstage with the father of Bluegrass, Bill Monroe, as well as James Monroe, Red Taylor and Robert Bowlin. Mark recently released a compilation of his original tunes on a solo cd entitled "Fit of Clarity." His next project was released in 2013 and is comprised completely of cajun tunes.
Dan Williams - Guitar, vocals
Dan began playing bluegrass guitar in 1975 with the award-winning Lost Creek Ramblers. Before moving to Baton Rouge in 2008, he played with the Dentville Fiddletune Society and Reliance. He was also a member of the legendary east Tennesse bluegrass band Hiawassee Ridge who opened for the likes of Rhonda Vincent, The Grascals, Cherryholmes, IIIrd Tyme Out, Blue Highway, Lonesome River Band and Grasstown.
Melissa Yarborough - Flute, percussion
Melissa has played flute since the 5th grade in Baton Rouge. She played the notes on the page until she was 17 years old, then improvised for the first time on a Jethro Tull tune at her high school talent show. While living for several years in Philadelphia, she played with singer-songwriters and in local jazz and Latin ensembles. Making many Latin American friends in north and south Philly, she learned to play the congas, güiro, claves and native Mexican/Andean flutes and drums. She loves to play and listen to all kinds of music.