Steve Baughman is a banjo teacher and philosophy graduate student who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is the author of five guitar books on Mel Bay Publications and he produced Banjo Gathering , a CD of fifty unaccompanied banjo solos played by twenty-three of the world's top old-time banjo players. Steve is also a pioneer of clawhammer guitar and the producer of the instructional DVD, The Power of Claw.
Like Heng Sure, Steve is a Mandarin-speaking vegetarian. Also like Heng Sure, he spent time studying in Taiwan. Unlike Heng Sure, Steve went to Taiwan as a college dropout and made his living on the island playing music in the bars. He later returned to the U.S. and earned an M.A. in Asian Studies at U.C. Berkeley. In addition to teaching and performing, Steve practices law part-time at Baughman & Wang in San Francisco. If you find yourself facing deportation from the U.S., give them a call.
Steve has never won any musical awards, but he did win the tournament at the Carmel Valley Tennis Camp in 1975, defeating, in straight sets, a younger opponent who was widely expected to trounce him. Steve employed a serve-and-volley strategy that, combined with his deadly overhead smash, proved too much for the youngster.
If that's not enough about Steve, here's his website: http://www.CelticGuitar.com
Rev. Heng Sure is the senior monastic disciple of the late Chan Master Hsuan Hua. Fluent in Mandarin, Heng Sure also speaks Quebec French and Japanese. He holds an M.A. in Oriental Languages from U.C. Berkeley and a Ph.D in Religion from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. He lectures on Mahayana scriptures and is a translator of Buddhist texts and the Director of the Berkeley Buddhist Monastery. Heng Sure writes a blog, Dharma Forest and maintains the mp3 site, Dharmaradio.org.
Heng Sure began playing classical and folk guitar at age sixteen, just before he started to practice Zen meditation. Ordained as a monk in the Chan/Zen tradition of China at age twenty-four, he sold his Guild D-40 and followed a monastic training discipline. Around the time Steve Baughman was playing banjo in the bars of Taiwan, Heng Sure was on a two-and-a-half year, six hundred mile, bowing pilgrimage from Los Angeles to northern California, during which time he began a six year vow of silence. In the year 2000, after a twenty-four year guitar hiatus, he resumed song-writing and playing the guitar. A great fan of old-time banjo, finger-style guitar and folksong accompaniment, Heng Sure also plays clawhammer guitar, blues, and classical guitar and has published an album of original songs: Paramita: American Buddhist Folk Music.