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POTD: Gina Furtado

Written by on May 23, 2024

Discovering the Banjo Brilliance of Gina Furtado

Gina Furtado, A native of Front Royal, Virginia, began her musical journey in her adolescence, when she toured the East Coast with her siblings. She quickly earned a formidable reputation within the regional bluegrass community.

Early Beginnings

Gina’s early exposure to music came from her family, and it wasn’t long before she was making waves at fiddlers’ conventions, collecting awards, and showcasing her talents. Her unique style of banjo playing, characterized by a blend of traditional and contemporary techniques, has distinguished her in a genre steeped in tradition.

A Rising Star in Bluegrass

Furtado’s career took a significant leap forward when she joined Chris Jones & The Night Drivers in 2016, a move that would see her talents reach a wider audience. During her tenure with the band until 2019, Gina’s artistry on the five-string banjo was not just a backing instrument but a lead voice that told stories and conveyed emotions.

Gina Furtado Band

Photo Courtesy of Susie Neel

The Gina Furtado Project

The next chapter in Gina’s musical odyssey is her band, The Gina Furtado Project. With this ensemble, she has taken creative control, producing music that pushes the boundaries of bluegrass and showcases her songwriting skills. Songs like “The Things I Saw” and “Puppet Show” test her ability to craft personal and universal narratives.

Teaching the Next Generation

Beyond performing, Gina is passionate about sharing her knowledge. Through her YouTube channel and other platforms, she offers lessons and insights into her playing style, helping to inspire and educate aspiring banjo players. Her teaching videos cover everything from single-string scale exercises to the art of tasteful backup, reflecting her commitment to nurturing new talent.


Gina Furtado’s influence on the banjo and bluegrass music is undeniable. Her technical skill, innovative approach, and heartfelt songwriting continue to inspire musicians and fans alike. As she forges ahead with her project and teaching endeavors, one thing is clear: the banjo has found a true champion in Gina Furtado.

For more information on Gina Furtado and to explore her music and lessons, visit her website and YouTube channel.

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