2019 Design

2018 Teachers

Special Guest Instructor from Texas:

Gerald Jones | Banjo | bluegrass


Gerald Jones is an instructor at bluegrass and roots music camps around the nation, teaching banjo, mandolin, guitar, and many special topics such as “Jam Survival Skills.” He’s a skilled player in many different styles, including bluegrass, western swing, country, classical banjo, and Polish war hymns. He’s played on stage or recorded with Jim “Texas Shorty” Chancellor, Vince Gill, Sam Bush, Hank Thompson, Red Steagall, Jethro Burns, Jerry Douglas, Tanya Tucker, Junior Brown and many more. He is the inventor of the Jones/AcousticPlus banjo pickup endorsed by Earl Scruggs, Bela Fleck, Alan Munde, and many others. As a banjoist, he’s been a two-time finalist in the National Bluegrass Banjo Championship in Winfield, Kansas. He plays banjo, mandolin, and guitar with Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Bluegrass Band and is with the AllegroClassical Guitar Society and the Bluegrass Heritage Foundation.

1) Jam Survival Skills, Friday 8pm (all instruments, all styles, beg & low int): A collection of tips, tricks and strategies to help you play along in jams without sucking. Half of sounding good is not sounding bad. Skills include: 1. Jam Session Etiquette. How not to be “That Guy” that no one wants to play with.  2. How not to panic when it’s your turn to solo.  3. A set of intros that work with almost any song.  4. I, IV, & V chords. Why you should learn this and How to find them using simple chord shapes.  5. The places most melody notes reside with the standard chord shapes.  6. How to use Harmonized Scales to improvise musical and complex sounding just by following the chords of the song.  7. Using the Pentatonic Scale to fake improvising solos. The if you keep moving nothing sounds wrong scale.  8. Plug and Play Backup. Simple ways to play abut stay out of the way of the singer or soloist.  9. Endings. How to stop “songs that won’t die” before you do. 10. Capos and how to use them to play in any key easily.

2) Redneck Ear Training, Saturday 1pm (all instruments, all styles, beg & int): Learn to use common song phrases to recognize intervals so you don’t have to hunt and peck to find the right note. If you can find the first note of a song it’s easier to find the rest. We will use common songs from Bluegrass, Cartoons, TV shows, Folk, Rock, Blues, so you can recognize Minor, Major, Major Seventh, Diminished, Augmented chords, Scales and Arpeggios.  It’s easier than it sounds. There is some overlap with Jam Session Survival Skills. Harmonized Scales, Chord Shapes, Arpeggios, and
Pentatonic Scales will be explored to develop your ear.

3) INT & ADV BG JAM, Saturday 7pm



JamVember Coordinator:


Tony Watt | Jamming | bluegrass


Award-winning guitarist and mandolinist Tony Watt has performed throughout the United States, Europe, and on the Grand Ole Opry. He has been featured in Bluegrass Unlimited, Bluegrass Now, and Flatpicking Guitar Magazine, and toured with Rounder Recording artist Alecia Nugent, Leigh Gibson (guitarist for The Gibson Brothers), and Jenni Lyn Gardner (mandolinist for Della Mae). He is a graduate of Leadership Bluegrass, has served on the IBMA’s Education and Board Selection Committees, and is the Vice President and Education Co-Director of the BBU. Tony is a visiting artist at Berklee College of Music, Camp Coordinator for Ashokan’s Bluegrass Camp (Ashokan.org/Bluegrass-Camp), and Jam Coordinator and Beginner Track Coordinator for Guitar & Mandolin Camp North and Banjo Camp North (MusicCampsNorth.com). Tony is the director of The Bluegrass
University, which has offered classes for adults at Grey Fox, Thomas Point Beach, Jenny Brook, Pemi Valley, and Podunk. The Bluegrass University also presents JamVember, a weekend-long bluegrass jamming “non-festival” held the weekend before Thanksgiving at the Sheraton in Framingham, MA (JamVember.com). Tony currently teaches lessons, classes, workshops, and jams throughout the Boston area and anywhere
in the world online via Skype video conferencing (TonyWattBluegrass.com)



JamVember Teachers:

Steve Abdu | Bass | bluegrass

NewFound Grass | www.newfoundgrass.com

I have played in all types of bands since high school but for the past 15 years, my focus has been primarily on Bluegrass music.

1) Bluegrass bass by the numbers, Saturday 5pm (bass, bluegrass, beg & low int): This is a 1-4-5. This starts with a 1-5-1-4-1. Do you know what this is and how to play it in any key? This workshop will help you understand what these numbers mean and how to use them to your advantage.

2) BEG BLUEGRASS JAM, Saturday 8pm


Bob Altschuler | Banjo | bluegrass

Three Quarter North, Banjo Bob and the Crabgrass Boys, Shine Hill Road

Bob Altschuler has played banjo for over 45 years, and is a performer, instructor and writer. He performs and records with multiple bands. An in-demand teacher, Bob has been an instructor at Banjo Camp North since 2003, and teaches at the Pete Wernick bluegrass camp in Lake George, NY. He is also a certified Wernick Method jam instructor. Bob has written for Banjo Newsletter, was showcased in the May 2011 issue, and has had over 100 online instructional articles published for Mel Bay and others.  Gene Senyak’s 2008 book, Banjo Camp! (which includes chapters with Pete Seeger, Tony Trischka and others), has a workshop chapter by Bob. His playing has been heard on National Public Radio and radio and TV commercials. Bob is also a 2012 graduate of the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Leadership Bluegrass Class in Nashville.

1) Bluegrass Banjo Backup, Saturday 10am (banjo, bluegrass, low & high int): Effective backup is as important as learning to solo, since we play backup most of the time when playing with other musicians. This workshop will cover backup basics and beyond, including vamping, rolling backup, rhythms and classic Scruggs techniques. We’ll also work with repeating and movable chord shapes, progressions and licks that will ramp up your backup skill set.

2) BEG BLUEGRASS JAM, Saturday 4pm

3) BEG BLUEGRASS JAM, Saturday 8pm


Peter Anick | Fiddle | bluegrass

Wide Open Spaces | www.wideospaces.com

Although he’s better known these days as (gypsy jazz fiddler) Jason Anick’s dad, Peter Anick has been playing acoustic music semi-professionally since his college days.  His song writing, fiddling, mandolin and guitar picking can be heard on past projects (WayStation’s “Looking for Love” CD, Acoustic Planet’s “Can’t Believe that that’s Bluegrass”) as well as with his current bluegrass/new acoustic band, Wide Open Spaces.  A teacher and fan of many genres, Peter is the co-author of Mel Bay’s “Old Time Fiddling Across America” and has been a regular columnist for Fiddler Magazine for over two decades.

1) INT SWING JAM, Saturday 6pm

2) Bluesy Licks in G for Fiddle (or Mandolin), Saturday 9pm (fiddle, mandolin, bluegrass, int): To jam on bluegrass tunes in G, it helps to have some bluesy licks up your sleeve.  We’ll steal a few nice ideas from tunes like Bill Monroe’s “Can’t You Hear Me Callin’” and “Muleskinner Blues.”  What we’ll concentrate on will depend on the attendees (anyone from low intermediate on up), but likely will include slides, chromatics, double stops, kick-offs and some subtleties of bowing.


Michael Bean | Dobro | bluegrass

True Life Bluegrass | www.michaelbeanmusic.com

Originally a rock/funk/jazz electric bass player, Michael is now an in-demand dobro player in the Boston/Cambridge/Somerville bluegrass scene.  As a multi-instrumentalist, he also performs regularly in the Americana/country scene, playing pedal steel, lap steel, bass, mandolin, and guitar with some of Boston’s finest singer/songwriters, as well as national recording artists. Michael’s versatile playing can be heard on recording sessions and live shows in a variety of styles such as bluegrass, country, jazz, blues, folk, funk, rock, swing, progressive, and more.   
Visit michaelbeanmusic.com for more info.

1) Dobro: Strong Backup & Fills, Saturday 1pm (dobro, all styles, all levels): Some different concepts on how to drive a full band; play one-on-one without a bass player and still provide good strong musical foundation while the other person is soloing, without the song dropping out.

2) INT BLUEGRASS JAM, Saturday 2pm


Lauck Benson | Banjo | bluegrass

Foggy Mountain Consort | www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://www.foggymtnconsort.lehmandesign.org/&ved=2ahUKEwj-2tD0pq7eAhUDTd8KHTIyAkEQFjAAegQIBRAB&usg=AOvVaw31gPKYAVULca42Hfq-C1cH

Lauck grew up listening to Earl Scruggs, John Dowland, and J.S. Bach. Hearing Peter Wernick at age 15 in hometown Ithaca, NY was life-changing. Hearing Country Cooking with Peter and Tony Trischka occasioned transports of Joy! Turning away from Chemistry, Lauck received his Bachelor’s degree in Bluegrass Banjo from Empire State College, where Tony Trischka was his Banjo Professor. He also studied counterpoint with organist Andrew Clarke. After years playing with Frank Wakefield, the Fiction Brothers, Walt Michael & Co. and the Beacon Hillbillies, Lauck joined the Foggy Mountain Consort, an R+B (Renaissance and Bluegrass) ensemble.  There he and his bandmates enjoy experimenting with Baroque-Bluegrass fusion. Lauck also teaches Bluegrass Ensemble at Berklee in the Five-Week Summer program.

1) 81,920 Rolls for Bluegrass Banjo, Friday 7pm (banjo, bluegrass, int & adv): Bluegrass Banjo players: Learn how three simple ideas will enable you to play your breaks anywhere on the neck,  syncopate your rhythm, and easily create your own brand-new licks. Workshop is suitable for players of all levels.

2) Play in Any Key Using G-Tuning, Saturday 12pm (bluegrass, banjo, int):

3) 81,920 Rolls for Bluegrass Banjo, Sunday 3pm (banjo, bluegrass, int & adv): see above.


Gretchen Bowder | Banjo | swing

The Bagboys | www.bagboys.com

A long-time member of Boston-based band The Bagboys, Gretchen has played the banjo for about 25 years. Born into a family of classical musicians, she first became captivated by the bullfroggy syncopation of the banjo after hearing Wade Ward perform June Apple. Although clawhammer style is her first love, Gretchen plays primarily bluegrass and swing. Her banjo playing has been called sparkling and inventive, and her chordally based soloing style on swing tunes has become her hallmark sound. Catch Gretchen with the Bagboys, who can be found pickin’, hummin’, stompin’, kazooin’, and ukulelin’ with friends and at venues all over New England.

1) Swing that Banjo!, Saturday 2pm (banjo, swing, low & high int): Do you feel stuck in first position? Unsure what to do when the jam veers away from bluegrass and into swing territory?  Geared toward advanced beginners and low intermediate bluegrass players, this workshop will arm you with a few basic swing chords and get you ready to participate in the subsequent Swing Jam with Gretchen Bowder and Jamie Peghiny. We will explore how to comp on some major and minor tunes, including Who Knows What Tomorrow May Bring (Henry Hipkens, D minor), San Antonio Rose (A major), and Limehouse Blues (G major). If time allows, we will explore major and minor pentatonic scales patterns.

2) INT SWING JAM, Saturday 4pm       


Rick Brodsky | Bass | bluegrass

Flagpole Band, The Bluegrass Characters and more | www.rickbrodskymusic.com

Rick Brodsky is a multi-instrumentalist who has played within numerous musical genres over the past 35 years. Rick is a regular on the Connecticut/New York bluegrass scene and has played bass for numerous regional and national artists and bluegrass bands including Jonathan Edwards, Jeff Scroggins & Colorado, The Korey Brodsky Band, Stacy Phillips & His Bluegrass Characters, Laura Orshaw & The New Velvet, and Rock Hearts. You can hear Rick’s bass playing on several of Ben Freed’s highly acclaimed banjo albums and more recently on Korey Brodsky’s new album featured on Sirius Radio. Rick enjoys presenting his “Bluegrass Bass Workout” concepts at workshops and festivals including Bluegrass University where he shares his ideas about essential bass techniques and exercises for staying in shape.

1) INT & ADV BG JAM, Friday 7pm

2) Bluegrass Bass Workout, Saturday 10am (bass, bluegrass, beg & low int): If you want to be a bluegrass bass player, there are certain skills you must develop. These skills will result in good tone, steady tempo and the right feel for bluegrass rhythm. This workshop will get beginners acquainted with those skills and show more advanced players ways to practice and strengthen those skills. We will work on proper left-hand shape, various ways to pull good tone with the right hand, posture, and techniques for avoiding fatigue or repetitive strain injuries.  


Michelle Canning | Banjo | bluegrass

The Michelle Canning Band | www.MichelleCanning.net

Hailing from North Eastern Massachusetts, Michelle Canning is known as one of the most energetic performers of bluegrass and country music. A first-rate banjo player and vocalist, Canning plays a variety of instruments including guitar and bass. Recognized for her vibrant stage presence, Michelle Canning has toured several states and seven cities across the People’s Republic of China. In 2009, Canning became the youngest person and only female ever to earn the title of New England Banjo Champion. Her two recordings (2015 and 2018) include several of her original compositions. Michelle Canning is a recent university graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Traditional Music from Morehead State University’s Kentucky Center for Traditional Music.

1) Playing in Strange Keys without at Capo, Saturday 10am (banjo, bluegrass, int): Let’s play a tune…in Bb! This course will explore the use of chord inversions up and down the banjo neck. Students will learn to use chord shapes they already know to play in any key without a capo.

2) INT BLUEGRASS JAM, Saturday 11am

3) Performance Skills, Saturday 7pm (all instruments & styles, int & adv): This hands-on workshop gives students the opportunity to learn important skills in the performance aspect of their music. Covering topics such as eye contact, stage banter, and authentic excitement, students will learn by first discussing important performance skills and then putting them to action. In the first half of the class, we will discuss the most important aspects of stage presentation, the difference between jamming and performing, and the best way to study the art of performing. In the second half of the class, student volunteers will take turns performing a song in front of the group. Together as a class we will assess what they did well, what can be worked on, and what we learned from their performance. Positivity is highly encouraged and requested in this class, especially when we are assessing performances. As always, students will have the opportunity to ask questions throughout the course.


Matt Carlen | Guitar | “New grass,” Jamgrass, Tele-Country on acoustic, Rock, Bizarre songwriting 

Wide Open Spaces, Acoustic Planet | www.widopenspaces.com

Matt Carlen’s dubious badge of honor is his reputation as rhythm guitar mad-man. He’s a composer and arranger for the bands Wide Open Spaces and the posthumous Acoustic Planet. Matt’s wheelhouse is pushing the envelope – in bluegrass, jamgrass, Newgrass, or Tele-inspired soling in cry-in-your-beer country classics. He is a firm believer in listening, rhythmic groove and well- placed melody – that the right 5 notes played with honest emotion can say much more than 50 mediocre ones, it’s about learning to play with “con-texture.”   A longtime student of if both Russ Barenberg and John McGann, Matt’s teaching honors their four T legacy: Taste – Tone – Timing and Technique.

1) INT & ADV BLUEGRASS JAM, Saturday 10am

2) Twisted Triads and Bad-A$$ Bass Lines, Sunday 12pm (guitar, all styles, high int & adv): Neckworking… I’ve often thought “I wish someone had shown me that 20 years ago…”. We’ll, this is that workshop. Taking the leap to more advanced playing lies in understating how to network -how to connect the dots – to understand how the guitar neck works.  We are going to take a deep dive into the word of triads. They create a network that connects the fingerboard end- to-end that will help you instantly see awesome chord voicings, find arpeggios, and how to pick the notes that help you find your voice and unique style.


Ellen Carlson | Fiddle | bluegrass

High Range, Rock Spring, EC & The Darrellicks | www.ellencarlson.com

With a Master’s in Education and 15 years of teaching math, Ellen knows what it means to be accountable for people learning what is taught.  Over 40 years of playing fiddle combined with this teaching experience make her a sought-after teacher for workshops.  She has taught at Fiddle Hell, Grey Fox, Joe Val, Pemi Valley, and along with Pete & Joan Wernick at the Wernick Jam Camps.  She has run her own camp for over 20 years and leads the NH Fiddle Ensemble, an “orchestra” with over 100 members and on their 10th year.  She also is a fine player, performing with High Range, Sweet, Hot & Sassy, Rock Spring, EC & The Darrellicks, and many more.  Her album “People I Play With” received a highlight review in Bluegrass Unlimited. 

1) Backup Fiddling, Saturday 2pm (fiddle, bluegrass, beg & int): Learn 4 Useful Licks:  Learn 4 licks to rely on as your “go to” licks for backing up singers or even as part of your solo.  
2) INT & ADV BLUEGRASS JAM – Kenny Baker Plays Bill Monroe, Saturday 3pm


Flynn Cohen | Mandolin | bluegrass

Low Lily | www.flynncohen.net

Flynn Cohen is a mandolin and guitar player who performs in the Internationally-touring American folk band Low Lily. He has been on the acoustic music circuit for two decades and has recorded four solo albums. He has taught bluegrass mandolin and guitar and music camps around the country including Augusta Heritage Center (WV), Swannanoa Gathering (NC), and Brian Wicklund’s Fiddle Pal Camp (MN, WI, MA) and has performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC as well as Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall in New York City. 

1) Intro to Chord Numbers: I-IV-V and Beyond, Saturday 12pm (ALL INS, STY & LEV): Intro to Chord Numbers: I-IV-V and Beyond. Students of all levels are welcome to join this workshop where we will learn the basic language of communicating with chord numbers, as well as learning to hear the basic patterns familiar to all bluegrass songs.


Amy Conley | Guitar | mixed

Amy Conley Music | www.amyconleymusic.com

Amy Conley, M.Ed., teaches and performs music for all ages.  She has recorded three CD’s for children, directs Music Together(R) early childhood programs, and also performs music for seniors with her guitar, banjo and ukulele.  One of her passions is teaching ukulele for beginners at libraries and community centers with her collection of 18 ukes, and classes at her Ukulele Revolution studio in Milford, NH.  Conley leads jams in NH, including a “Rise Up” Singing & Playing circle that’s been meeting monthly since 1991.  She is a member of The People’s Music Network and serves on the board of The Children’s Music Network. 

1) Three Chords, Many Styles, Friday 7pm (guitar, all styles, beg): Learning the three most common chords and how they work together will help you play along with others by ear.  We will work in the Key of G (mainly), using G major, C major and D7 chords with an occasional E minor.   We will also practice the Root/Strum technique and bass runs.  Any instrument is welcome but I will be teaching on guitar and the strum techniques will be specific to flatpick guitar.  After this workshop (at some point) I will lead a Jam that will include some of the things/songs we learned. The styles will include bluegrass and other folksongs including some non-trad songs that I like.

2) DIRECTED SLOW JAM, Saturday 10am


Cathy Bumgarner Day | Fiddle | bluegrass

The Bill Thibodeau Band | www.cathyday.weebly.com

Growing up in a musical family, Cathy began performing at age 10 with her parents and sister in the Rose City Bluegrass Band which played numerous shows throughout the Northeast US during the 80s.  As a teen, she arranged and taught the harmonies to her band, taught fiddle, bass, and dobro, and won numerous contests on fiddle, mandolin, and guitar. While she could be found playing any instrument, her fiddling was and still is most often sought after for performances and studio work in the New England area.  She was a member of the award-winning all-girl band, SassyGrass and New Hampshire based band, Marcy Hill. She is currently in the Bill Thibodeau Band, Cashel Rock (an Irish Band), The Cicadas (a contradance band), The Bluegrass Nighthawks, and often freelances with the Corn Fed Dogs and Dick Bowden’s Flying Circus. She has a passion for passing on bluegrass music and gets the word out as a bluegrass DJ on WHUS 91.7FM in Storrs, CT, demonstrates to kids in the schools, plus still finds time teach fiddle and bass in her spare time.

1) BEG HARMONY JAM, Friday 8pm

2) BEG & INT BLUEGRASS JAM, Sunday 11am

3) Fiddle Harmony, Sunday 1pm (fiddle, bluegrass, int & adv): Bring your fiddle and learn how fiddle two-part and three-part harmony work. Learn how to make it work on the fly by applying the same harmony principles as vocal harmony.  Put it into practice with tunes such as, “Faded Love”, “Golden Slippers”, and songs you’d likely hear in a bluegrass jam. 


Frank Drake | Bass | bluegrass

The Bagboys | www.Bagboys.com

I’m a seasoned musician playing, writing, and teaching music in the greater Boston area since the mid 80’s. My primary bands are: The Bagboys, Hashtag Hoedown and Short Life of Trouble. Something of a genre hopper I work mostly in the various “Americana” idioms: bluegrass, western swing, acoustic pop and singer-songwriter. My most recent CD is a collection of original songs called “Big as Any Universe”.

1) HI-INT SWING JAM, Friday 7pm

2) The Benefits of Music Theory, Saturday 7pm (everyone, all styles, all levels): Many folks balk at learning or concerning themselves with music theory. The urge is to “just play” or to “play by ear” and the idea of “theory” seems abstract if not obtuse. My contention is that by understanding some basic concepts of how melody and harmony are constructed enables one to learn material faster and retain that knowledge more assuredly. Rather than being an abstraction my goal is to allow composition and improvisation to take place at a higher and more organic/instinctual level.


Dimitri Eleftherakis | Bass | bluegrass  

Dimitri Eleftherakis, classically trained Bassist and general Bluegrass junky.  I started playing Bluegrass in 1976 with the band Foxfire, mostly busking around Harvard Square.  I’ve played with many bands, most notably with Barry and Holly Tashian from 1992 to present, and with whom I had the pleasure of touring Europe in 2006.  My most memorable event was playing outdoors at Lincoln Center in NY, opening a Rounder Records show which included the Stephens Sisters and Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys.  Other bands I’ve played with include the Schankman Twins, Bear Acker and Billings Gap, Waystation, and Granite Grass.  Nowadays I perform with several different bands and teach music in the Ipswich area with my wife Maria Wolters.

1) Bass Techniques for Int. Pickers, Saturday 2pm (bass, all styles, low & high int)

2) INT BLUEGRASS JAM, Sunday 1pm


Alan Epstein | Mandolin | bluegrass

Alan Epstein Bluegrass Duo | www.alanepsteinmusic.com

Alan Epstein has been playing music since his college days in the early 1970’s when his father bought him his first mandolin. Over the past 45 years, he has studied with some of the top mandolin players in the world, has played in numerous bluegrass bands, was the founder of the modern-day Pittsburgh Mandolin Orchestra, toured with Don Julin’s Neptune Quartet and since 2007 has been picking, singing, strolling and teaching the mandolin in the Capital district.

1) INT & ADV BLUEGRASS JAM – Kenny Baker Plays Bill Monroe, Saturday 3pm

2) Developing a Mandolin Solo, Saturday 5pm (mandolin, bluegrass, beg & int): The workshop will look at ways of developing a melody based Bluegrass Mandolin solo in the keys of G and A.


Aaron “Frosty” Foster | Guitar | bluegrass

Dreamcatcher | www.dreamcatcherbluegrass.com

Aaron Foster was born and raised in Wells Bridge, NY. He grew up in the New England Bluegrass scene following his grandparents to festivals at a very young age. He was given his first guitar for Christmas when he was just ten years old. Aaron is recent graduate of East Tennessee State University and now calls Elizabethton, TN home.

1) Bluegrass Rhythm & Dynamics, Friday 9pm (guitar, bluegrass, int & adv): The best way to make your jam session or band sound better is to play in tune, in time, and with solid dynamics! Let’s talk about Bluegrass rhythm, timing, and dynamics. Playing louder is not always better.

2) INT BLUEGRASS JAM, Saturday 11am


Eli Gilbert | Banjo | bluegrass

Dreamcatcher, Laura Orshaw & the New Velvet Band, Tony Watt & Southeast Expressway | www.eligilbertbanjo.com

 Eli Gilbert is a native of North Yarmouth, Maine. After seeing J.D. Crowe and the New South at a local Bluegrass festival Eli decided to pick up the banjo and eventually moved to Johnson City, Tennessee to study Bluegrass at ETSU. There he had the chance to perform as a member of Jeff Brown and Still Lonesome and the ETSU Bluegrass Pride Band. Eli now teaches at high schools and colleges in Maine and performs with the Tennessee based band, Dreamcatcher.

1) Learning Bluegrass Banjo by Ear, Sunday 11am (banjo, bluegrass, int & adv): In this workshop I’ll go through my process of learning music by ear. I’ll supply different software options for slowing down recordings, and give techniques for learning Bluegrass banjo by ear. The goal of the workshop is to show how critical listening is one of the best, if not the best, ways to increase understanding and fluency of the Bluegrass language.


Janet Goldstein | Banjo | Clawhammer Style applied to various genres of music

Bourbon Shuffle | www.bourbonshuffle.com

Janet grew up playing piano and guitar but found the banjo about thirty years ago and never looked back.  She enjoys teaching old time/clawhammer banjo from her home in Putney, VT.  Janet participates in many local jams in and around Windham county.  Over the years, Janet realized the bass was often the “missing instrument”.  She rented a bass and fell in love with it immediately.  On either banjo or bass when she is not playing with Bourbon Shuffle, Janet can often be found sitting in with the All Comers Band at the Pierce’s Hall Contra Dance in Putney.

1) Clawhammer Beyond Old-Time, Friday 7pm (banjo, old-time, beg & low int): Applying clawhammer style banjo techniques to bluegrass songs and other genres of music. Singing and playing pose new and interesting obstacles. These will be jams WITH WORDS. People will have an opportunity to take lead breaks and EVERY break will be celebrated.  We will go around the circle and each person will have an opportunity to present a song to the group that they would like to work on and others will have an opportunity to explore taking a break if they’d like to. No song will be denied. If we don’t take risks we will never move forward.

2) BEG OLD TIME & BEYOND JAM, Sunday 11am


Cathy Goode | Fiddle | classical

Suzuki Association of the Americas, Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, Joe Val Bluegrass Festival

Cathy Goode is an experienced Suzuki violin teacher, having taught for 24 years in a variety of settings. She also teaches in the Grey Fox and Joe Val Kids Academies. She has her undergraduate degree from UMass Lowell in Music Education, and her Masters of Violin Performance from Texas Tech University.

1) Fiddling 101, Saturday 9pm (fiddle, all styles, beg & low int): This workshop will be for beginning to intermediate fiddlers who would like to have individual help with any aspects of technique such as bowing, left hand technique, vibrato, shifting, etc. Cathy can also help beginners who want to learn to play by ear, or to understand the fingerboard better. Or bring in your own topics and we’ll work on them.

2) Fiddle Help, Sunday 11am (fiddle, all styles, beg & low int): Very similar to Fiddling 101 and directed by the needs of the students.


Debbie Hall | Bass | bluegrass

Rhode Island Bluegrass Alliance | www.ribluegrass.org

Co-Founder of Rhode Island Bluegrass Alliance, inspired by first and second-generation bluegrass musicians, IBMA Leadership Bluegrass Alumni, and “in the pocket” Bass player for the Bill Thibodeau Band.  I just love all things bluegrass!  My bluegrass vision is to support and facilitate this 21st century bluegrass re-emergence by connecting people and organizations who are navigating these uncharted waters, by sharing their amazing stories, and by exploring and supporting new ways to grow this evolution in bluegrass music. I cannot wait to meet new people and welcome new bluegrassin’ friends to the family! Let’s Pick!

1) Fun with Rhythm, Saturday 11am (bass, bluegrass, beg & int)

2) GOSPEL JAM, Sunday 11am


Joan Harrison | Banjo | bluegrass + swing

Too Blue | www.toobluemusic.com

Joan’s clear and compelling vocals bring new interpretations to standards from Patsy Cline to Bill Monroe, while creating new stylings for Too Blue’s original songs. A student of Tony Trischka, her melodic banjo technique is creative, graceful and at home with the band’s diverse repertoire. In 2010, Joan took first place in bluegrass banjo at the Pickin’ and Fiddlin’ Contest in Roxbury, CT. Her former bands include “Breakeven” and “Mike Burns and North Country”. During her tenure with Too Blue, Joan has developed considerable songwriting skills, contributing four originals to the band’s latest CD, Trouble with the Grey. Her varied musical tastes are revealed by her ability to capture the lightheartedness of a catchy swing number as well as the smooth introspective feel of a contemporary bluegrass song. She is inspired by her talented band mates and grateful for their adventurous collaboration in bringing her music to life.

1) INT & ADV BLUEGRASS JAM, Saturday 2pm

2) INT & ADV SWING JAM, Saturday 8pm


Ethan Hawkins | Guitar | old time

Mudskippers | www.mudskippersmusic.com

Earthy warm melodies and fiery rhythmic touch holds Ethan Hawkins as one of the most well-rounded guitarists in the Appalachian Roots scene today. Hailing from the heart of the Shenandoah Valley and dedicated to a fierce passion for fiddle music and all its intricacies, Hawkins has developed a unique style that promises to widen eyes and ears. Based in Boston, Hawkins offers a wide variety of techniques and method in accompanying Appalachian and bluegrass players alike and has applied such methods playing alongside such titans as fiddler Bruce Molsky and banjoist Tony Trischka.

1) New Approaches to Old-Time Guitar, Saturday 2pm (guitar, old-time, int & adv): In this workshop, players will be presented with Ethan’s specific method in accompanying fiddle players in an old time setting. This will include illustrations of advanced listening, a look into the different politics and situations that occur in a run of the mill old time jam, and common runs and chord progressions with in the style.

2) INT & ADV OLD-TIME JAM, Saturday 3pm


Dave Hollender | Banjo | bluegrass

Berklee | www.berklee.edu/people/david-hollender

Berklee College of Music Faculty 1987-present. Extensive experience on banjo and bass in bluegrass, jazz and classical music. Began playing banjo as a teenager and teachers included Tony Trischka and Béla Fleck. I studied ear training and theory at Blair Academy of Music in Nashville, spent two years studying at South Plains College where I began playing bass, earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Performance from Berklee and a Masters of Music in Jazz Studies from New England Conservatory. I introduced Bluegrass Ensembles to Berklee in 2003 and two years later created the banjo curriculum. Former students include members of Mile Twelve, Lonely Hearts Stringband, Twisted Pine, Chasing Blue, Molsky’s Mountaineers. Coauthored “Beyond Bluegrass Banjo” on Berklee Press.

1) HI-INT SWING JAM, Friday 7pm

2) Playing as a Band: How to Listen and Coordinate Parts, Saturday 12pm: This workshop will explore the role of each instrument in a bluegrass band and how to make them work effectively as a unit. Topics will include how to play effective breaks and supportive backup, how to create a strong rhythmic groove, use varied instrumental textures, and create arrangements of traditional and new songs and instrumentals. All participants are encouraged to perform but anybody is welcome to attend and observe. Existing bands are invited to play and receive coaching. Individual students will be organized into bands at the workshop.

3) INT BLUEGRASS JAM, Saturday 2pm


Jeffrey Horton | Bass | bluegrass

Wide Open Spaces, The KroppDusters, The Mary Maguire Band, The Neon Valley Boys, Northern Lights | www.wideospaces.com

Jeff Horton has been playing bluegrass for forty-two years, and the upright bass for seven more. He is known for his versatile voice that has helped lead each of his bands to critical acclaim. Earlier this year, Jeff was inducted into the RI Bluegrass Hall of Fame. He has played with top New England bluegrass bands, starting with The Neon Valley Boys and Northern Lights. While with NL, he shared the stage with Vassar Clements, Jonathan Edwards and Peter Rowan. Jeff currently plays with Wide Open Spaces, The KroppDusters and The Hope Valley Volunteers. Watch for upcoming performances of his old band The Neon Valley Boys. Jeffrey has been teaching harmony and vocals for over 16 years at Greyfox, Joe Val, Ossipee, Pemi, Podunk and Thomas Point Beach.

1) BEG HARMONY JAM, Friday 8pm

2) INT & ADV BLUEGRASS JAM, Saturday 10am

3) INT & ADV BLUEGRASS JAM – Kenny Baker Plays Bill Monroe, Saturday 3pm

4) Bass and Singing… Together!, Saturday 8pm (bass, all styles, int & adv): Have you ever tried to sing and play the bass at the same time? Can you sing harmony while playing the bass? How about the parts? Do you need to sing bass and play bass at the same time? Doing this can be daunting, to say the least, especially singing and playing in the bass register at the same time. I can help. I’ve been doing it for years.


Gerald Jones | Banjo | bluegrass


1) Jam Survival Skills, Friday 8pm (all instruments, all styles, beg & low int)

2) Redneck Ear Training, Saturday 1pm (all instruments, all styles, beg & int)

3) INT & ADV BG JAM, Saturday 7pm


David Kiphuth | Banjo | bluegrass

New England Bluegrass Band and Bolt Hill Band | www.Newenglandbluegrassband.com + www.bolthillband.com

Dave began playing banjo and guitar in 1961 growing up in the New Haven CT folk scene. With Phil Rosenthal and friends, he helped found the seminal band Apple Country in the late 60s which played venues in the Northeast and south through the early 80s. He is now playing banjo in the New England Bluegrass Band with Cecil Abels and banjo and dobro with the eclectic Bolt Hill Band. Dave is steeped in the Scruggs and early bluegrass tradition and the sounds of classic folk music. He is a certified Wernick Jam Method instructor and is often an instructor at Banjo Camp North. He has also taught at Colorado Roots Music Camp and Common Ground.

1) INT & ADV BLUEGRASS JAM – Kenny Baker Plays Bill Monroe, Saturday 3pm

2) Golden Ladder of Chord Patterns, Saturday 9pm (banjo, bluegrass, intermediate): The Golden Ladder is the exploration of the three cyclical pattern sets on the neck in G Tuning and with the Chord Cage System we’ll explore finding melodies up the neck based in the chords they occupy.

3) INT BLUEGRASS JAM, Sunday 1pm


Bob Kordas | Dobro | bluegrass

Bluegrass Bureaux Cats | www.facebook.com/www.bluegrassbureauxcats/

Like a lot of folks, I was initiated into bluegrass via “Old and In the Way” and the “Circle Be Unbroken” albums when they came out. Dug back into the roots of bluegrass from there, and forward into more progressive variations of bluegrass, plus swing and jazz. I started playing my great grandfather’s banjo about 40 years ago, and it all took off from there. After getting a decent bluegrass banjo, I branched into Dobroland and started playing a resonator guitar too. I’ve attended many workshops and camps over the years and had instruction from Stacy Phillips and Josh Graves. I have been in several New England bands with my wife, Diane Kordas. For years in Late Night Radio. Currently, the Bluegrass Bureaux Cats, based in southeast NH.

1) Dobro Backup & Other Essentials, Sunday 1pm (Dobro, all styles, all levels): Dobro, or resophonic guitar, can be a mysterious instrument. People can’t even agree on a name for it. The Dobro is a new entity (invented in 1928), especially compared to the long lineage of all the other instruments used in bluegrass. Likewise, it doesn’t carry all the associated baggage of history. There is still a lot of room for exploration and is not restrained by excessive tradition. I think the role of the Dobro in backup deserves some discussion: pinch, the Rob Ickes chop, strum, arpeggios –and combinations of all those. Where and when to play them. When not to. How to complement vocalists with coherent fill licks. When to not play. How to play palm harmonics. How to direct chord sequences in jams. I’ll also be sharing nuggets of valuable Dobro information I’ve collected over the years.


Diane Kordas | Chick Pick jam | bluegrass

Bluegrass Bureaux Cats | www.facebook.com/www.bluegrassbureauxcats/

Diane has been playing music in a variety of local and regional bands, writing songs, playing guitar and bass and jamming at festivals for over 30 years.  Growing up in a musical family, learning how to sing Carter Family songs and harmony from her parents, steeped in bluegrass and swing, she opens the door to a variety of musical styles, all are welcome!  She has recorded 2 CD’s with Late Night Radio, a bluegrass and swing band, and 2 award winning solo family music CD’s. 

1) INT BLUEGRASS JAM “Chick Pick Jam” – Focused on Women in Bluegrass, Friday 7pm

2) INT SWING JAM, Saturday 6pm

3) Different Approaches to Songwriting (ALL INS, STYLES & LEV), Sunday 11am: Songwriting – different approaches, how to get started, and “is it finished?”


Rick Lang | Songwriting | bluegrass

Rick Lang Music | www.ricklangmusic.com

A native of New Hampshire, award-winning songwriter Rick Lang has become well known in the Bluegrass community and beyond. His songs have been covered by some of the most renowned artists in Bluegrass music, Southern Gospel and even the Jazz world. Over 80 song cuts to his credit, the number keeps growing each year. Rick has released six studio albums of his own to date. Each have featured all original Rick Lang compositions. Rick’s first Christmas release “The Season of My Heart” (2003), was voted one of the top twenty-five albums of the year by the National Folk Radio survey. “Look to The Light”, an all Gospel CD released in 2010 on Rural Rhythm Christian (RRC) was nominated for a GMA (Gospel Music Association) Dove Award as well as an IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) Gospel Recorded Event of The Year. In 2012 Rick recorded and released the Christmas single “Little Did They Know” on the Rural Rhythm Records Label…. featuring Jana Mougin on vocals. Rick’s 2nd Christmas/Seasonal album, “That’s What I Love About Christmas” was released on Oct 7, 2014 on his RLM Music label. Unlike his previous Holiday recording, this one has a heavy jazz influence, some of the songs having the feel of some of the classic Christmas songs of the ’30s and ’40s. The title cut, written by Rick and Stephen Mougin, was awarded 2015 Holiday Song of The Year by the IMEA (International Music & Entertainment Association) at their annual awards show at the Marietta Performing Arts Center, Marietta GA Saturday Oct 24, 2015. In March 2018, Rick’s very 1st concept album “The Undertow” was released. Living near the NH coastline all his life, it is not surprising that several of Rick’s original songs have ocean themes & settings. He picked a dozen of them to record on this most unique concept album. The story lines in the songs are all based on, or inspired by, real life stories, personal experiences, and places Rick has frequented since childhood. In June 2018, Rick was signed the newly launched Billy Blue Records Label. They will be releasing Rick’s 2nd all-original Gospel album “Gonna Sing, Gonna Shout” in November of this year that will feature a star-studded cast of performers.  In addition to a busy songwriting schedule, Rick does some freelance writing for Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine, conducts songwriting workshops in the New England area, and still actively performs on occasion. Rick is an alumni of the IBMA Leadership Bluegrass program (class of 2012), currently chairs the IBMA Songwriter committee and is a mentor in the IBMA Songwriter Mentor Program.

1) The Essence Of Good Songwriting, Saturday 4pm (everyone, all styles, all levels): The focus of this workshop will be about song quality…. the fundamentals of writing a really good song. Does not matter what stage you are along your songwriting journey, there is always room for improvement. We will discuss techniques that can turn your OK song into a good song, your good song into a great song. Also some of those pesky pitfalls that plague most writers. I’ll have some examples of what I feel are well written songs, written by others, to share. Together we’ll try to gain an understanding of the elements that made ’em so effective!  I’ll include singing excerpts of some of my own original tunes, and explain my own approach to songwriting and style that evolved over time.  There will be hand outs offered (“Rick’s Songwriting Tips”), things I’ve learned over the years that have helped me to improve and become a better writer.

Alex MacLeod | Singing | bluegrass

Rock Hearts, Back Eddy Bluegrass, Northern Lights, | www.rockheartsbluegrass.com/

Classically trained in voice as a teen, Alex ultimately followed his dad Sandy’s, footsteps into the world of bluegrass and old country.  Raised on the sounds of the Stanley Brothers, Jim & Jesse, Jimmy Martin and Merle Haggard, he aspired to one day sing like Ricky Skaggs or Keith Whitley.  Oh well…we should have set lofty goals in our lives… Since 1992, Alex served as the front-man for several bands in New England including Back Eddy Bluegrass, Northern Lights and most recently, Rock Hearts. He’ll review preferred breathing, projection, diction, warm ups, and maintenance to hopefully help all who attend the workshop, “Discover, use and protect their vocal instrument.”

1) Discovering, Using, and Protecting Your Vocal Instrument, Saturday 6pm (all instruments, BG, BEG & INT): Discovering, using and protecting your vocal instrument: What are the preferred breathing techniques for keeping pitch and sustaining a note? How do I practice correct breathing? What is sustaining a note all about? Vibrato or not in bluegrass? What are some routines to warming up the chords? Where is the “happy” zone for vocals: Tummy, throat or nose..? How do I project my voice?  Can’t sing with “marbles” in your mouth… we’ll cover intonation and diction and pronunciations – vowel sounds – and some Road Hazards: things we do that hurt our vocal instrument…


Mary Maguire | Singing | bluegrass

Mary Maguire Band | www.marymaguiremusic.com

Ever welcoming, Mary Maguire has years of experience as a soloist, song-writer, and lead singer with several northeast bands. Longtime guitar, piano, and voice instructor, Mary is also enjoying a new career as a Spanish and French teacher. She enthusiastically presents her popular bluegrass harmony, lead singing, and jamming classes and workshops at Grey Fox, Joe Val, Ossipee Valley, Pemi, Podunk, and Thomas Point Beach music Festivals. A guest on many Northeast musicians’ recordings, Mary’s own six albums reflect her unique sound and ease with folk, bluegrass, western swing and jazz.

1) BEG SWING JAM, Saturday 11am

2) BEG & INT SWING JAM, Sunday 12pm

3) Creating Harmony, Sunday 2pm (singing, bluegrass, beg & low int): Creating Harmony – A quick explanation of how harmonies are formed followed by hands-on singing exercises to get you feeling more comfortable with finding your own parts. We’ll put it all together with one or two of your song ideas!


Avery Merritt | Fiddle | bluegrass Mudskippers | www.averymerritt.com

Based out of Boston, Avery Merritt is an accomplished Bluegrass and multi-style fiddler. He has performed on stages across the country with acts such as Front Country and Tony Trischka, and strives to push the boundaries of modern fiddle playing with a new acoustic sound. Avery has won numerous awards and accolades like Berklee’s Fletcher Bright Scholarship, California Governor’s Medallion for arts, Music Center Spotlight finalist, and has placed and won various contests around the country. Avery was also a selected participant in the 2017 Acoustic Music Seminar, a prestigious program run by Mike Marshall for upcoming acoustic musicians. Currently, Avery is finishing his education at Berklee College of Music with Dr. David Wallace, Matt Glaser, Darol Anger, and others under scholarship. Avery has performed as a Berklee representative at venues such as Grey Fox, Freshgrass, 3 Sisters Festival, Joe Val, IBMA, The BPC, Symphony Hall, and others. You can find Avery performing around the Boston area with the acoustic outfit, Mudskippers.

1) Rhythm Fiddle, Friday 8pm (fiddle, bluegrass, high int & adv): In this session, we’ll explore some ways in which a fiddle can serve as more effective support for other instruments in a general acoustic context. Since fiddle is primarily a lead instrument, it can be hard to decipher the best way to add to the ‘rhythm section’ in a tasteful way that isn’t distracting or overpowering. We will cover various ways to play to and support other instruments, and we’ll dive into ways that fiddlers can learn tricks and ideas from other more traditional rhythm instruments to become more learned accompanists.

2) BEG & INT SWING JAM, Sunday 12pm


Lincoln Meyers | Guitar | bluegrass

317 Main

Lincoln has been on the New England music scene for years, a go to bluegrass guitarist and instructor. He has toured nationally as well as abroad and continues to teach, give workshops and preforms in many configurations. He lives in Pownal Maine and teaches at the community music school “317 Main St” in Yarmouth Maine.

1) HI-INT SWING JAM, Friday 7pm

2) Bluegrass Guitar with Lincoln, Saturday 4pm (guitar, bluegrass, int & adv): We will cover all aspects of bluegrass guitar, rhythm and flatpicking.

3) INT BG JAM, Sunday 2pm


Laura Orshaw | Fiddle | bluegrass

Alan Bibey & Grasstowne | www.lauraorshaw.com

Power-house fiddler and vocalist, Laura Orshaw, is a member of Alan Bibey & Grasstowne. She has toured throughout the United States and Canada with Danny Paisley and the Southern Grass, the Tennessee Mafia Jug Band, and Jenni Lyn, mandolinist of Della Mae. Laura has also performed with Del McCoury, Ricky Skaggs, John Scofield, Sarah Jarosz, Tony Trischka, and Darol Anger. Additionally, she fronts her own band, Laura Orshaw and the New Velvet Band, based in Boston, MA. Her music has been featured on Del McCoury’s SiriusXM radio broadcast, Hand Picked with Del, and in Bluegrass Today, Vintage Guitar Magazine, Sing Out!, and Dirty Linen. According to Bluegrass Unlimited, “Laura Orshaw has firmly established herself as a significant emerging artist in the arena of traditional American music… [she is] an extremely talented musician with unlimited potential.”

1) HI-INT & ADV BLUEGRASS JAM, Saturday 5pm


Akira Otsuka | Mandolin | bluegrass

Bluegrass 45 | www.AkiraOtsuka.com

Akira was born in Japan and started playing Bluegrass while in teens.  Toured the States with Bluegrass 45 in ’71 & ’72 and he has been active in Washington DC area Bluegrass scene ever since.

1) Intro to Jazz Mandolin, Friday 9pm: This will be a mid-level swing mandolin for Bluegrass players.  I will discuss augment and diminish chords, VI-II-V-I progression, quick turnaround like (I6-Idim-IIm7-V) and (I6-I#dim-IIm7-V).

2) Making of the John Duffey Tribute Album, Saturday 11am


Jamie Peghiny | Guitar | swing Manic Mountain Boys | www.thereisntone.com I’ve played music since I was about 5 years old, starting with piano and violin.  When the Beatles landed, I switched to guitar.  Since then I’ve played guitar, bass, mandolin, tenor & alto sax and baritone uke. I focused on bluegrass for a long time then discovered jazz and swing guitar which I love and want to share.

1) Let’s Swing, Saturday 3pm (guitar, swing, int & adv): The goal of the workshop is to have the picker come away with 3-4 new chords that they can use right away to start playing in a “Swing” session.
First I contrast the bluegrass and swing rhythms with more emphasis on the 1st and 3rd beat.
Next I show how to use jazzier voicings like 6th’s, minor sevenths, ninths and alternate fingerings for dominant sevenths plus a great ending chord –the 6/9. I demonstrate these chords on a familiar major tune like San Antonio Rose and a minor tune like Who Knows What Tomorrow May Bring – aka Let’s Swing. I have a handout with several pages of movable chord forms, some very useful chord progressions and YouTube links to some instructional videos.

2) INT SWING JAM, Saturday 4pm


Dave Reiner | Fiddle | bluegrass

Fiddle Hell, Reiner Family Band, Granite Grass, Boston Road | www.fiddlehell.org

Dave Reiner plays and teaches multiple fiddle styles, from bluegrass and oldtime to Irish and Western Swing. Twice Wisconsin State Fiddle Champion, he’s also won many Northeastern contests and has written three fiddle instruction books for Mel Bay Publications. In the past, Dave played with Hot Off the Frets, Southern Rail, and Fire on the Mountain. Now, Dave’s family and friends join him in the broadly-ranging Reiner Family Band, which recently recorded “52 Traditional Fiddle Tunes from Fiddle Hell, Volume 2: Played Fast and Slow”. He also plays with Granite Grass, a bluegrass and Western Swing band, and sits in with Boston Road, which plays bluegrass and beyond. Dave and his family run Fiddle Hell, a 4-day festival with 13 concerts and 500 workshops and jams for fiddle and other instruments. Dave enjoys teaching, from bowing patterns and chords to learning by ear and backing up a singer.

1) BEG & INT FIDDLE TUNE JAM, Saturday 10am (bluegrass + old time)

2) A Bluegrass Fiddler’s Bag of Tricks for Jamming, Saturday 12pm (fiddle, bluegrass, INT & ADV): Dave will cover practical techniques that help fiddlers participate in bluegrass jams, which generally include a mixture of songs, fiddle tunes, and other instrumentals.  These techniques constitute a bluegrass fiddler’s “bag of tricks” for accompaniment, solo breaks, double stops, bowing, and more. Dave will touch on learning by ear, adding fills, constructing breaks, kicking off tunes, playing in unfamiliar keys, and some nuances of jamming as a fiddler. Informative handout included. This material should be very useful at JamVember – and for the rest of your musical life! Intermediate through advanced levels, although beginners are welcome to listen in as well.


Lauren Rioux | Fiddle | old time + bluegrass 


Lauren Rioux is enthusiastically sought out for her teaching expertise and leads classes and workshops across the globe. In her private studio, she teaches a delightfully rowdy group of over thirty violinists, violists, and fiddlers. Her online learning community www.JamWithLauren.com provides students the world over with access to her innovative curriculum and inimitable teaching style. Lauren has toured the United States, Europe and the UK with Darol Anger and his Republic of Strings, as a duo with Brittany Haas, with Scott Nygaard and Crow Molly, and most recently with her husband Sten Isak.

1) Improvising on a Fiddle Tune, Friday 7pm (all instruments, all styles, high int & adv): So you can play the melody, and you even know the chords, now what? Learn fiddle vocabulary see how fun it is to come up with your own versions and solos for a standard tune. This is the perfect way to dip your toes into this process.

Ethan Robbins | Guitar | bluegrass

Cold Chocolate, Bluegrass: The Band | www.coldchocolatemusic.com

Ethan Robbins is the guitarist/songwriter of Americana band, Cold Chocolate, and is creating an exciting and unique new sound in the world of Americana: fusing bluegrass and roots with a dash of funk.  Ethan began his bluegrass career at Oberlin College where he began to explore how this hard-driving fast-paced genre could be stretched. His band, Cold Chocolate, has established itself as a force in the Americana genre.   Ethan and his band have shared bills with Leftover Salmon and David Grisman, and regularly perform at venues and music festivals up and down the East Coast.

1) INT BLUEGRASS JAM, Saturday 2pm


Betsy Rome | Guitar | bluegrass

Too Blue | www.toobluemusic.com

Betsy Rome is well-known for her flatpicked guitar, blending bluegrass, old-time, Celtic, & swing influences. Noted for her rock-solid rhythm and inventive leads, she has won or placed in numerous band and instrumental contests. Betsy teaches guitar and mandolin, both in person and online via Skype. She has taught workshops at Grey Fox, Joe Val, Podunk, Winter Village, Thomas Point Beach, Music Camp North and Marist College. A founding member of Too Blue, one of the Northeast’s most respected bands, Betsy is also an occasional member of The Bluegrass Characters, and plays mandolin in the Walkingwood Mandolin Quartet. “Betsy plays with a direct, highly effective approach…Everything about her playing is catchy and infectious, the sign of a total pro.” – Dan Miller, Flatpicking Guitar Magazine feature article.

1) INT & ADV BLUEGRASS JAM, Saturday 2pm

2) INT & ADV SWING JAM, Saturday 8pm


Tim Rowell | Banjo | old time

Real School of Music, Burlington | www.timrowell.com

Tim Rowell is an avid clawhammer banjoist, tune collector and educator. He was heavily influenced as a young lad by Pete Seeger and a whole bunch of wonderful musicians from the Hudson River Valley.  An award-winning player and teacher, Tim has taught and performed at regional schools, stages and music camps from Los Angeles to Boston. Author of several books of clawhammer tablature and producer of Old-Time music CD’s, Tim has a deep interest and affection for Southern Appalachian music and culture.

1) Dock Boggs Style Banjo, Saturday 7pm (banjo, old-time, low int): Learn the unique up-picking style of Dock Boggs on one of his best-known songs “Oh, Death”. Played in one of Dock Boggs more interesting tunings f# C G A D. 

2) INT OLD-TIME JAM, Saturday 8pm


Michael Sassano | Mandoling | bluegrass + swing

Too Blue | www.toobluemusic.com/

For 40 years, Michael Sassano has delighted audiences with his remarkable versatility and fun-loving stage presence. A mandolin fixture in the North East for decades. The guitar-slinging kid from Brooklyn reveled in the rock and folk scenes of the late sixties and seventies & then studied mandolin with the renowned Jay Unger. A founding member of the eclectic “Out to Lunch”, Michael honed his harmony chops creating dynamic twin mandolin arrangements and solos with bandmate Wayne Fugate.  Has performed with Byron Berline, Barry Mitterhoff, Joe Walsh, David Amram, Walt Michael & Company, Buddy Merriam & Backroads, Jon Sholle and Grammy award winner Lisa Gutkin. Current projects include: Too Blue & Mandolin Madness. Recording s include: Too Blue’s Trouble With the Grey, & A Little on the Blue Side, Ben Freed’s American Idle,  Buddy Merriam’s Back Roads Mandolin, Out To Lunch, OTL. Has performed & taught at most of the major festivals & venues in the North East. A powerhouse soloist, gifted arranger and clever tunesmith, Michael is known to be exceptionally generous with his knowledge of mandolin, music & jamming. Where Fun is the norm!

1) Jamming Skills for Mandolin, Saturday 1pm (mandolin, bluegrass & swing, int)


Sal Sauco | Mandolin | bluegrass

Greystone Rail, Bill Thibodeau Band, RIBA, Bluegrass Throedown | www.greystonerail.com

Sal plays mandolin with the award-winning Greystone Rail band and with the Bill Thibodeau Band. He teaches mandolin and guitar and is regularly involved in bluegrass music education both for youth and adults. A regular moderator at the monthly RIBA Slow Jam, he was also on staff for this year’s Greyfox Slow Jam workshops. He has been an instructor in a number or Kids Academies at New England bluegrass festivals over the past four years.

1) INT & ADV BLUEGRASS JAM, Friday 8pm

2) Bluegrass Mandolin, Saturday 7pm (mandolin, bluegrass, all levels)


Arthur Schatz | Fiddle | swing

BBU, Beantown Buckaroos, Foggy Mt Consort | www.artschatz.wixsite.com/fiddlestix

Art Schatz has been a mainstay bluegrass and country fiddler on the Boston acoustic music scene for more than 30 years. For bluegrass, he has played with Southern Rail and later with the Reunion Band (bluegrass), as well as filling in with many regional bands. Art currently plays and sings with the Foggy Mountain Consort (Renaissance-Bluegrass fusion), the Beantown Buckaroos (western swing) and with songwriter Deborah Silverstein. He teaches fiddle in Cambridge, MA and regularly leads workshops at the Joe Val Bluegrass Festival, Fiddle Hell, and Lowell Fiddle Contest.

1) BEG SWING JAM, Saturday 11am

2) INT & ADV SWING JAM, Saturday 8pm

3) INT BLUEGRASS JAM, Sunday 1pm


Max Silverstein | Fiddle | bluegrass

Dreamcatcher Bluegrass, ETSU Bluegrass Pride Band | www.dreamcatcherbluegrass.com

Max Silverstein grew up in Bangor, Maine. After starting to learn the violin/fiddle at a very young age, and having a father who also played music, Max decided to attend college at East Tennessee State University. He is a current member of the East Tennessee State University Bluegrass Pride Band. Max has also toured with a popular bluegrass gospel band known as Chosen Road. Max is now the fiddler for Dreamcatcher, but will continue his pursuit of a degree in Bluegrass, Old Time, and Country Music Studies at East Tennessee State University. Although Bluegrass is his main style, he also plays Old-Time, Swing, and Celtic.

1) Twin Fiddling w/ Michael Cleveland and Jason Carter, Saturday 1pm (FIDDLE, BLUEGRASS, HI-INT & ADV): I am going to teach a Michael Cleveland and Jason Carter twin fiddle tune called ‘Henryville’. This is a fun and challenging tune to play harmony to and it demonstrates good Bluegrass fiddle harmonies.

2) INT BLUEGRASS JAM, Sunday 2pm


Rich Stillman | Banjo | bluegrass

Southern Rail | www.waystation.net

Rich Stillman has taught literally hundreds of students to play banjo, both face-to-face and worldwide through Internet lessons. He played and recorded with New England bands Southern Rail, Adam Dewey and Crazy Creek, The Bogus Family and WayStation, and has memorably (at least for him) played sets with Peter Rowan, James Monroe and even the Arlington High School orchestra. Rich wrote “Bluegrass Banjo from All Sides” for Mel Bay, and one of his BCN workshops was turned into a chapter in the book “Banjo Camp”. He is a two-time New England banjo champion, a one-time New Jersey banjo champion, and a six-time bluegrass banjo winner at the Lowell Banjo and Fiddle contest. Rich teaches banjo at Tufts University, Concord Conservatory of Music and Concord Academy and at The Music Emporium in Lexington.

1) Kicking Off a Tune on Banjo, Saturday 6pm (banjo, bluegrass, int & adv): Do your kickoffs leave people unsure of when to come in, or with a puzzled look on their faces about exactly what tune they’re about to play? We’ll look at how to play a kickoff that will leave no doubt in their minds.

2) Tony Watt-Style SINGING JAM, Saturday 8pm (bluegrass, all levels)


Bruce Stockwell | Banjo | bluegrass

The Stockwell Brothers, Hot Mustard | www.musiccampsnorth.com

Bruce Stockwell has been playing bluegrass banjo since 1968 and teaching since the 70’s. By age 16 he had won banjo contests, recorded his first album, and opened for Earl Scruggs, Doc Watson, John Hartford, and many others. In the late 70’s he worked with Phil Rosenthal and Mike Auldridge as Old Dog producing two albums on Flying Fish. Since the 1980’s, Bruce has performed with his two brothers (and now wife Kelly) in various acoustic/electric formats, currently as the Stockwell Brothers Band. In 2005 he won the Merlefest Banjo Contest, and in 2008 a NH Arts Grant led to the formation of Hot Mustard, a double-banjo bluegrass band.

1) Getting Started with Banjo, Saturday 3pm (banjo, bluegrass, beginner): Everything you need to get started right now- essential listening practice gear, setup and tuning, positioning, basic chords and progressions, left hand ornaments, basic rhythm and a roll or two.  Then we’ll attempt to put it all together in a couple of two card songs complete with solos.

2)  INT & ADV BLUEGRASS JAM, Saturday 8pm


Bill Thibodeau | Mandolin | bluegrass

Rhode Island Bluegrass Alliance, Rock Hearts, Bill Thibodeau Band | www.ribluegrass.org

Bill Thibodeau has been performing since 1971 and has been teaching since 1985.  He has been in many New England Bands such as Bluegrass Supply Company, Kennebec Valley Boys, Union River Band, and currently has his own Bill Thibodeau Band and is the newest member of the Rock Hearts.  He is one of the founding members of the Rhode Island Bluegrass Alliance a nonprofit organization to promote and educate bluegrass in southern New England.  Bill loves to teach and promote the music that he loves and is glad to be part of Jamvember.

1) Fun with Bluegrass Rhythm, Saturday 2pm (mandolin, bluegrass, all levels): We would be discussing the importance of the Mandolin Chop the jobs of all the other instruments to make the rhythm strong and driving.  Any instrument is welcome in this workshop.  We will be practicing different timings and approaches to rhythm and grove.  We will be talking about when and when not to play.  Most of all, how to be successful in any jam.

2) INT & ADV BLUEGRASS JAM, Saturday 4pm

3) GOSPEL JAM, Sunday 11am


Phil Zimmerman | Mandolin | bluegrass

The Bluegrass Characters, Last Fair Deal | www.bluegrasstime.com

Phil Zimmerman developed his multi-instrumentalist chops as a solo performer at the University of Rochester, and has won regional contests for bluegrass and clawhammer banjo, guitar and mandolin. He’s a founding member of Connecticut’s ground-breaking eclectic string band, Last Fair Deal, now in their 46th year of acclaimed public performance. For ten years, Phil played mandolin and sang lead with Connecticut’s premier traditional bluegrass band, Traver Hollow. Phil also performed Old-Time music in Heroes of Tradition, a duo with Stacy Phillips, and with Phil Rosenthal and Bluegrass Union. Phil was Music Director of both Mandolin Camp North and Banjo Camp North from 2007 to 2018, helped reorganize Music Camps North in 2015 and served as President until May of 2018. Phil has been on the faculty of Bluegrass University at Podunk, Jenny Brook, and Thomas Point Bluegrass Festivals, and has taught mandolin and banjo workshops at the Joe Val Bluegrass Festival every year since 2006.

1) INT & ADV BLUEGRASS JAM, Saturday 8pm

2) Clawhammer for Bluegrass-ers, Saturday 1pm (banjo, old time, beg & low int): Clawhammer Banjo for Bluegrass Pickers – An introduction to this most common Old-Time banjo technique, including tunes and tunings, right- and left-hand moves, and a comparison to Scruggs-style.