Bluegrass Week

Bluegrass Week

July 30 – August 4, 2017

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Stay tuned for the complete listing of 2017 classes & instructors!

For 2016, Augusta brings together another spectacular lineup! The staff of well-known bluegrass figures will share their talents with students in classes, workshops, demonstrations, special presentations, concerts and sessions throughout the week. Informal picking sessions at all levels go on ’til the wee hours all over campus as students get together with old friends and make new ones. Evening concerts feature exciting combinations of master bluegrass artists with special guests. While classes are geared for adults, young folks able to maintain an adult level of participation are welcome. All classes (except Vocals) are intended for those who can already play their instrument to some extent and are ready to start learning bluegrass style, technique and repertoire.

Students register for one class for the week. Each class builds upon information presented the previous day.

Hello, bluegrass lovers! Team Bluegrass has been busy putting together a spectacular staff of bluegrass luminaries for Augusta Bluegrass Week 2016. We’ll be announcing more in the near future, so check back often for additions. This year promises to be the best ever, filled with classes, concerts, dances, special round-ups, demonstrations, artist spotlights, afternoon electives, directed slow jams, nightly picking sessions that go into the wee hours, student showcases, and much more. Mark your calendars for a week of total bluegrass immersion, and come pick among the stars in “Almost Heaven” West Virginia. We hope to see you there! –Ira Gitlin, Mary Burdette, and Neel Brown, Bluegrass Week Coordinators


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Bluegrass Week Week Coordinator – Neel Brown

Bio

Neel Brown, an accomplished singer and multi-instrumentalist, has played the Bluebird Café in Nashville, the Olympics in Atlanta, and countless places in the Washington, DC, capitol region. He now enjoys picking and singing in living rooms and the occasional local bluegrass gig with the band Only Lonesome. Neel makes his home in Arlington, Virginia, where he runs an advocacy communications company.

Bluegrass Week Week Coordinator – Mary Burdette

Bio

Mary Burdette has performed at bluegrass festivals throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe with Skip Gorman, Tom Sauber, Patrick Sauber, and Ruthie Dornfeld, and at cowboy poetry gatherings around the country. Her bass playing can be heard on several recordings, and on the soundtrack of Ken Burns’ PBS documentary Lewis and Clark: Journey of the Corps of Discovery.
Mary is Assistant Director of the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, and an active member of the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) and Leadership Bluegrass Alumni Association.

Bluegrass Week Week Coordinator – Ira Gitlin

Bio

Ira Gitlin is widely known and respected in Washington-Baltimore music circles as a versatile multi-instrumentalist, teacher, and writer. A former National Bluegrass Banjo Champion, he has backed up such nationally known performers as Bill Harrell, the Johnson Mountain Boys, Laurie Lewis, Peter Rowan, and Peter “P.D.Q. Bach” Schickele.

Ira has taught at numerous music camps and festival workshops. A frequent contributor to Bluegrass Unlimited and Banjo NewsLetter, he has lectured on bluegrass for the Smithsonian Associates, and also delivered a paper at the 2005 Bluegrass Music Symposium.
In 1993 Ira was a one-day winner on Jeopardy.

Master Artist – Dudley Connell

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Bio

Dudley Connell came to national attention in the 1980s as the powerhouse singer-guitarist of the Johnson Mountain Boys. He has been a member of the Seldom Scene since 1995. Dudley has contributed his distinctive voice and guitar to the work of numerous artists, including Hazel Dickens, Seneca Rocks, and the supergroup Longview. In 2000 he received the International Bluegrass Music Association’s award for Male Vocalist of the Year.

Banjo (Beg.) – Gina Clowes

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Bio

Gina Clowes spent her teen years touring with her siblings in what Bluegrass Today has dubbed “the absurdly talented Furtado family.” She later gigged with Blue Light Special, Nash Street, New Girls Night Out, Bud’s Collective, and other bands. A featured artist on the Patuxent Banjo Project compilation, Gina has recorded on over half a dozen albums to date. She has taught in Murphy Method banjo camps, festival workshops, and private lessons for over 12 years. Gina now plays full-time with Chris Jones and the Night Drivers. Her own solo project is due to be released in 2017.

Banjo (Beg.)

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Banjo (Int.) – Mark Delaney

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Bio

Mark Delaney started playing the banjo at the age of 10 and has been performing and recording since the age of 14. Has toured nationally and internationally with artists and groups such as the Country Gentlemen, Frank Wakefield, and the Legends of the Potomac, and currently holds down the banjo spot with Danny Paisley and the Southern Grass.

Mark has taught at Common Ground on the Hill, Banjo Camp North, and various workshops over the years. He released a solo project, Sidecar, in 2009, and co-produced 2014’s Patuxent Banjo Project.

Banjo (Adv.) – Alan Munde

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Bio

Alan Munde began playing banjo as a teenager in Oklahoma in the 1960s. After a stint as one of Jimmy Martin’s Sunny Mountain Boys, he helped found the influential and popular band Country Gazette in 1972. Alan’s clean and inventive playing continues to inspire banjo players today. His 1975 album Banjo Sandwich remains a melodic-style banjo classic.

Alan taught full-time in the Bluegrass and Country Music program at South Plains College from 1986 to 2007. His current band is the Alan Munde Gazette, and he teaches frequently at bluegrass and banjo camps throughout the United States and abroad.

Banjo (Adv.)

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Bass (All Levels) – Missy Raines

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Bio

Seven-time IBMA Bass Player of the Year Missy Raines is one of the most respected figures within the bluegrass community. Her bluegrass roots include work with first-generation legends such as Eddie Adcock, Mac Wiseman, Jesse McReynolds, Josh Graves, and Kenny Baker. She’s a former member of the Claire Lynch Band, the Brother Boys, and the duo Jim Hurst and Missy Raines.

Currently, Missy leads Missy Raines & the New Hip, a jazz-tinged ensemble. She is also a member of the bluegrass supergroup Helen Highwater Stringband, and she heads up the online ArtistWorks Academy of Bluegrass School of Bass.

Bass (All Levels)

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Fiddle (Beg.) – Kimber Ludiker

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Bio

Born of fiddle playing parents in Spokane, WA, Kimber Ludiker is a 5th generation fiddle player who finally picked one up at the age of 3. With 11 combined family National Fiddle Championships, Kimber holds 3 herself. She is a multi-instrumentalist, playing the cello, mandolin, and guitar at an early age as well. In 2009, Kimber founded all-female bluegrass/Americana super group “Della Mae”. They were IBMA’s Emerging Artists of the Year in 2013, GRAMMY Nominees in 2014 for their first album on Rounder Records, and named by Rolling Stone as 10 bands to watch for in 2015. Della Mae has traveled to 15 countries with the US Department of State, spreading peace and understanding through music. Besides working and recording with Della Mae, Kimber has performed on stage with many artists including the Black Lillies, Asleep at the Wheel, Dierks Bentley, Ed Helms, Peter Rowan, Mark O’Connor, Alison Krauss, Jim Lauderdale, Laurie Lewis, Darol Anger, Mike Marshall, the Travelin’ McCourys, the Del McCoury Band, and more

Fiddle (Beg.)

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Fiddle (Int.) – Jon Glik

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Bio

Jon Glik is an intense, fiery fiddler who is has been a fixture on the Baltimore-Washington bluegrass scene for four decades. Best known for his work with Del McCoury in the 1980s, he has also performed and recorded with David Grisman, Frank Wakefield, and many others. He currently performs with the Footworks dance troupe, and has taught at the DC Bluegrass Union’s annual camp at Common Ground on the Hill.

Fiddle (Int.)

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Fiddle (Adv.) – John Mailander

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Bio

John Mailander, a graduate of the Berklee College of Music, has become known for his soulful voice as a soloist, improviser, and writer. John maintains a busy performance schedule with artists including Tony Trischka & Territory, Molly Tuttle, Chris Stuart & Backcountry, and Darol Anger, and has shared the stage the Alison Brown Quartet, Victor Wooten, Tim O’Brien, and Christopher Guest. John played fiddle in the New York production of Steve Martin and Edie Brickell’s musical Bright Star.

Fiddle (Adv.)

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Guitar (Beg.) – Tom Adams

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Bio

Tom Adams is best known as one of the great banjo stylists of his generation, but he started out as a guitar player, and has played guitar with Bill Emerson and Michael Cleveland. He first hit the national scene in the 1980s with first-generation bluegrass artist Jimmy Martin, then went on to tour and record with the Johnson Mountain Boys, Lynn Morris, Blue Highway, Rhonda Vincent, and many others. Tom is a three-time recipient of the IBMA Banjo Player of the Year award. He brings to his guitar teaching a deep understanding of the instrument’s role in bluegrass.

Guitar (Adv.)

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Guitar (Level TBA) – Tyler Grant

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Bio

National Flatpicking Champion Tyler Grant is an internationally recognized guitar virtuoso with an impressive resume as a session musician, bandleader, and sideman. He has shared the stage with Tony Rice, Sam Bush, Tim O’Brien, Jerry Douglas, Chris Thile, and many other luminaries. He performs regularly with his band Grant Farm. Tyler has won flatpicking contests across the U.S., and has taught at camps and workshops here, in Canada, and in England. This is his eleventh year as an instructor at Augusta’s Bluegrass Week.

Guitar (Level TBA)

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Guitar (Level TBA) – Jake Stargel

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Guitar (Level TBA)

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Mandolin (Beg.) – Sharon Gilchrist

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Bio

Sharon Gilchrist—singer, mandolinist, and upright bass player—has performed with Darol Anger, Peter Rowan and Tony Rice, Laurie Lewis, Scott Nygaard, Kathy Kallick, and Uncle Earl. She earned a degree in Mandolin Performance from Belmont University in Nashville, and has taught mandolin for more than 15 years both privately and at some of the nation’s finest music camps. From 2004 to 2012 she served on staff at the College of Santa Fe teaching mandolin. Sharon currently resides in the Bay Area of northern California.

Mandolin (Beg.)

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Mandolin (Int.) – Mike Compton

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Bio

Mike Compton is the leading living exponent of Bill Monroe’s mandolin style. A native of Meridian Mississippi, he helped found the Nashville Bluegrass Band in the mid-1980s. Also known for his work with John Hartford, David Grier, and Joe Newberry, Mike played in the Grammy-winning soundtrack to O Brother, Where Art Thou? In the words of Mandolin Magazine, he is “one of the modern masters of bluegrass mandolin…a certi?ed mandolin icon.”

Mandolin (Int.)

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Mandolin (Adv) – Alan Bibey

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Bio

Alan Bibey has been known as one of the most creative and technically gifted mandolinists in bluegrass since the early 1980s. He was an original member of the the New Quicksilver, IIIrd Tyme Out, and BlueRidge. For the last 10 years he has led Alan Bibey & Grasstowne. Alan is winner of multiple SPBGMA and IBMA awards, and in 2004 Gibson began producing an Alan Bibey signature model mandolin. Alan runs Maggie’s Crib, a recording studio in Surfside Beach, South Carolina. His latest CD is Alan Bibey & Grasstowne 4.

Mandolin (Adv.)

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Resonator Guitar (All Levels) – Jimmy Heffernan

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Bio

Jimmy Heffernan, one of America’s leading teachers of the resonator guitar, has a deep bluegrass resumé that includes work with Larry Sparks, Red Allen, and the duo of Bill Grant and Delia Bell. During a stint in Nashville in the 1980s and ’90s he performed on guitar, resonator guitar, and pedal steel with Joe Diffie, Doug Kershaw, Brad Paisley, and other top country stars. Since his return to the Philadelphia area, Jimmy has concentrated his efforts on instruction, releasing a full range of DVDs and video lessons, and teaching at music camps in the United States, England, and Germany.

Resonator Guitar (All Levels)

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Songwriting (All Levels) – Joe Newberry

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Bio

Known around the world for his exquisite clawhammer banjo playing, Joe Newberry is also a powerful guitarist, singer, and songwriter. The Gibson Brothers’ version of his song “Singing As We Rise,” featuring guest vocalist Ricky Skaggs, won the 2012 IBMA “Gospel Recorded Performance” Award. With Eric Gibson, he shared the 2013 IBMA “Song of the Year” Award for “They Called It Music.”

A frequent guest on Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion, he was recently featured on the Transatlantic Sessions tour in the United Kingdom with fiddler Aly Bain and Dobro master Jerry Douglas. In addition to performing solo, Joe plays in a duo with mandolin icon Mike Compton, sits in the banjo chair with old-time music legends Mike Craver, Bill Hicks, and Jim Watson, and also performs with the dynamic fiddler and step-dancer April Verch.

A noted teacher of traditional music and song, Joe has taught banjo, guitar, and singing at numerous camps and festivals, including Ashokan; Midwest Banjo Camp; American Banjo Camp; the Swannanoa Gathering; the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes; Pinewoods Camp; Vocal Week, Bluegrass Week, and Old-Time Week at the Augusta Heritage Center in Elkins, WV; the Australia National Folk Festival; the Blue Ridge Old-Time Music Week; and the Bluff Country Gathering. He was for many years the coordinator of Old-Time Week at the Augusta Heritage Center.

Songwriting (All Levels)

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Vocals (All Levels) – Chris Jones & Dede Wyland

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Bio

Chris Jones is a quadruple threat as a singer, a songwriter, a guitarist—and, thanks to his role hosting SiriusXM’s Bluegrass Junction, as the most widely heard broadcasting voice in bluegrass. Following apprenticeships with bluegrass legend Dave Evans and Chicago’s durable Special Consensus, Chris moved to Nashville at the end of the 1980s. He has been the front man for Chris Jones and the Night Drivers since the mid-1990s, and his original songs also been recorded by many other artists.
In 2007 Chris earned an IBMA Song of the Year award, and also that organization’s Broadcaster of the Year trophy.

Best known for her work in the 1980s with the groundbreaking progressive bluegrass group Tony Trischka and Skyline, Dede Wyland is known as “a singer’s singer” and a role model for a generation of female bluegrass musicians who followed her.

Since moving to the Washington-Baltimore area in 1990, Dede has continued to perform, while concentrating on her work as a vocal coach. She is the subject of a chapter in Murphy Henry’s 2013 book Pretty Good for a Girl: Women in Bluegrass, and recently unveiled Dede Wyland’s Online Video School of Voice.

Vocals (All Levels)

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Staff Musicians – Grant Flick, Mark Panfil, & John Seebach

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Bios

Grant Flick of Bowling Green, Ohio, has been playing bluegrass, jazz, and new acoustic music on violin, mandolin, tenor guitar and other instruments for seven years. He has received numerous awards, and his many performances include appearances at the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival and the Red Wing Roots Festival, on the WoodSongs Old Time Radio Hour, and online at the Fretboard Journal. Grant has taught at the Tenor Guitar Gathering in Astoria, Oregon, and is excited to be making the jump from Bluegrass Week student to staff musician this year.

Born and raised in Lackawanna, NY, Mark began playing five-string banjo at age 15, and took up dobro while in college. After graduating, he began teaching music in public schools, and playing in the Buffalo-based bluegrass band Creek Bend. Mark has shared the stage and classroom with bluegrass heroes including Vassar Clements, Jerry Douglas, Bobby Hicks, Rob Ickes, Phil Leadbetter, Bryan Sutton, Chubby Wise, Mac Wiseman, and Sally Van Meter. Mark’s instructional book A Dobro Player’s Guide to Jamming is available from Mel Bay publishing, and he and has recorded a highly successful Murphy Method instructional DVD.

John Seebach was born and raised in Lexington, Kentucky. He lives in the Washington, DC, area. An accomplished tenor and lead vocalist, John also performs on mandolin and guitar with the Rickie Simpkins Quartet, Only Lonesome, and Big Chimney. Along with fellow staff musicians, John will assist in classes, give short ad hoc lessons, and participate in slow jams.


Arts, Crafts, & Folklore Workshops

Blacksmithing: Sculpture Studio and Metal Finishes (Int./Adv.) – Lucas Warner

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Green Wood Utensil Carving (Beg./Int.) – Stan Jennings

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Into to Working with Local Clay Using Traditional Techniques (Beg./Int.) – Michael Ray

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Woven Shibori (Int.) – Wendy Clark

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Folk Arts For Kids Workshop

Folk Arts for Kids: Augusta Adventurers (Grades K-5) – Emily Prentice

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Dance Workshop

Ensemble Choreography for Percussive Dance (Int.) – Sharon Leahy & Rick Good

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Evening Mini Courses

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