Beijing Pickers meets regularly at local Beijing bars, restaurants and community centers to play bluegrass, old-time and other folky, acoustic-friendly genres. Our network seeks to bring people and cultures together through traditional American Appalachian songs and instrumental music.

Pickers began one cold March night in 2011, at a bar just off the north second ring road, conceived by one of the last remaining members of The Redbucks. Four intrepid people showed up with open minds and instruments to play. We’ve seen fiddles, violas, mandolins, ukuleles, banjos, guitars, uprights basses, accordions, kazoos, spoons, and even a Mongolian horse-head fiddle. The focus is bluegrass and old-time, but community is the goal.

The group has since become a node for local musicians with different backgrounds and skill levels to meet, share and learn from one another. This musical network of friends has witnessed the formation of multiple bands, such as the Randy Abel Stable, The Hutong Yellow Weasels and The Little Handsome, and provided a weekly meeting place for itinerant musicians of the diaspora. Pickers-related activities have grown to span shows, square dances, sing-a-longs, workshops as well as educational outreach programs for families and universities, and even instrument lessons.

We meet at a number of venues around the center of the city, here are some (click links for directions):

AmilalCozy hutong bar, a staple of the Gulou lounge community.

Great Leap No. 6The Beijing microbrewery’s original hutong location.

The BookwormBeijing’s foremost literary hub and event space.