Jason Bales of New Market, TN captured the third place trophy and a Deering Deluxe Banjo by Deering Banjo Company of Spring Valley, CA. Jason was born and raised around Gatlinburg, TN where his father bought him his first banjo, because according to Jason, “Dad loved the sound of a banjo.” At 30, he is now a professional musician but also teaches the banjo. This is his second try in this contest and it paid off for him. He’ll be back next year because he says he loves to compete. His hobbies include farming (raising beef cattle with his dad), fishing and he says, “Spending time with my soul mate Lori Beth Hogan, soon to be Mrs. Bales.”
He started playing for Archie Campbell at theater in Pigeon Forge TN when he was about 12 . Now he performs nightly at the SMOKY MOUNTAIN JUBILEE which is a show in Pigeon Forge. He teaches banjo daily at the MUSIC OUTLET in Seveirville TN. He has played in concert with Dolly Parton and Mandy Barnette..who is a singer out of Nashville....shows he has performed on in his career are: Nashville Now with Ralph Emory, The Grand Ole Opry, David Letterman and Jay Leno.