Band Bio & Photo

Appealing to traditional and progressive acoustic music fans alike, The Ruta Beggars combine bluegrass and early swing to create a timeless act filled with intricate vocal harmonies, fiery instrumentals, and plenty of fun. They have been praised for their creative yet tasteful arrangements and charming performances. Since 2018 they have brought the joy of their live show to audiences across the US and Canada from festival stages to storied folk listening rooms and as support for legacy acts Lyle Lovett and Ricky Skaggs. The Ruta Beggars are 2019 Thomas Point band competition winners, 2023 IBMA official showcasing artists, Freshgrass Foundation commissioned composers, Freshgrass Award finalists, and Skyline Records artists.

Best-of-friends since their inception, The Ruta Beggars are Micah Nicol (guitar), Trevin Nelson (banjo), Noah Harrington (bass), Sam Stage (fiddle), and Jean-Baptiste Cardineau (mandolin), who met through studying in Berklee College of Music's American Roots Program. 

Music Downloads

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Member Bios

Micah Nicol | Guitar

Micah Nicol grew up with a mandolin in one hand and a banjo in the other playing bluegrass and classic country music with his father in the most popular (and only) group in the West-Central-Ohio Nursing-Home circuit: Harps n’ Strings. He now studies Music Production and Engineering as a piano player at Berklee College of Music and spends most of his musical life as a guitarist and singer for The Ruta Beggars, a traditional bluegrass and swing group based in Boston. Micah has a deep love for musical theater and content creation and lives parallel lives as a magician, uni-cyclist, and clown.



Trevin Nelson | Banjo

Trevin Nelson is from Omaha Nebraska and started playing banjo at the age of 14. He now studies American Roots Music and Performance at Berklee College of Music. Trevin has grown up with very diverse musical taste that has greatly influenced his creativity and the spirit of his banjo playing. Everything from Classic Rock and Heavy Metal to Country Blues and R&B can be found in his playing. When he came to Berklee in the Fall of 2017, Trevin began to dive deeper into the roots of the banjo studying Old Time Clawhammer style and Country Blues with Bruce Molsky, Woody Mann, and Paul Rishel & Annie Raines.  He also studied traditional bluegrass banjo with Dave Hollender and Tony Trischka through the American Roots music program. Trevin is the banjo player for The Ruta Beggars, a band consisting of five very close friends who love each other and playing great music together.


Noah Harrington | Upright Bass

Noah Harrington is an upright and electric bassist from Lexington, Massachusetts, with a strong background in Jazz.  He has a Bachelor's Degree in Performance from Berklee College of Music, where he studied with such figures as Bruce Molsky, Simon Shaheen, Ayn Inserto, John Lockwood, Terence Blanchard, Ralph Peterson, Joe K Walsh, and others.  He is a two-time alumnus of the Acoustic Music Seminar at the Savannah Music Festival (2015 & 2018), where he shared the stage with such luminaries as Mike Marshall, Julian Lage, and Mike Block, as well as his amazing fellow Seminar-goers.  In 2016 he was awarded the Charles Mingus Award for Achievement from the Jazz Composition Department at Berklee College of Music.  Every year from 2013-2015 he attended the Charles Mingus High School Jazz Competition, and the Essentially Ellington Highschool Jazz Competition.  At the Charles Mingus Competition he won two different awards for outstanding soloing.  At Essentially Ellington 2015 he received two awards singularly unique in the history of the festival: Outstanding Acoustic Bass Player and being part of the Overall Most Outstanding Rhythm Section.  In 2019 he travelled to Peru with Grammy-winning bassist Oscar Stagnaro and the amazing Claudia Medina to foster cultural interchange between the United States and Peru.  Noah has shared the stage with such acts as Tower of Power, Lyle Lovett, Darol Anger, Kenny Werner, Alisa Amador, Jacques Schwartz-Bart, Marcus Printup, Ralph Peterson, Terence Blanchard, and many of tomorrow's greats.  He has performed everywhere from NEC's Jordan Hall and The Rose Hall in Lincoln Center to Club Passim and The Regattabar, to the Joe Val Bluegrass festival and IBMA's Annual Bluegrass Festival. 



Sam Stage | Fiddle

Sam Stage is a fiddler, singer, and songwriter from Raleigh, NC. Winner of the both the 2021 RockyGrass Fiddle Competition and the 2022 FreshGrass Fiddle Award, Sam was the youngest selected participant in Silkroad’s 2022 Global Musician Workshop and one of 11 fellows selected for Darrell Scott’s inaugural Acoustic Music Project in 2023. In addition to his work with the Ruta Beggars, he has recorded and toured nationally with bands like IBMA momentum award winners Liam Purcell and Cane Mill Road, FreshGrass Award winners the Cahaba Roots, the Tray Wellington Band, Nefesh Mountain, Into the Fog, Jacob’s Ladder, and Raleigh fan favorites the Beer and Banjos All-Stars, among others. He now spends his time in Boston studying at the Berklee College of Music on a full scholarship.



Jean-Baptiste Cardineau | Mandolin

Jean-Baptiste Cardineau is a Franco-American musician and songwriter based in Boston, Massachusetts. Raised in the French alps playing guitar until moving to the Wild West of the USA where he picked up his grandmother’s centuries-old mandolin in 2017. After spending several years as a pillar of the Montreal roots scene, he moved to Boston in 2022 and now attends Berklee College of Music and is on a mission to reclaim the polycultural quintessence of roots music. With his unique mandolin playing, he has already unleashed the heavy mandolin-picking artillery on some of the biggest bluegrass stages in the world.