Bluegrass Week

Bluegrass Week

August 5 - 10, 2018

For 2018, Augusta brings together another spectacular lineup! The staff of well-known bluegrass figures will share their talents with participants in workshops, demonstrations, special presentations, concerts, and jam sessions throughout the week. Informal picking sessions at all levels go on ’til the wee hours all over campus as participants and staff get together with old friends and make new ones. Evening performances feature exciting combinations of master bluegrass artists with special guests. While workshops are geared for adults, young folks able to maintain an adult level of participation are welcome. All workshops (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.

Bluegrass Week runs concurrently with Vocal Week; Arts, Crafts, & Folklore Workshops; Folk Arts for Kids; and Evening Mini-Courses. This is the first year of our Bluegrass Week and Vocal Week pairing, and we have some exciting plans in store. Participants can take advantage of both weeks by attending special events, afternoon electives, swapping songs in jam sessions, and sharing in the fun!

Bluegrass Week 2017

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

Coming soon a greeting from –Ira Gitlin, Mary Burdette, and Neel Brown, Bluegrass Week Coordinators

Tuition Guide:
$490/week if paid before June 1. $
530/week if paid after June 1. 

(+ Room & Board or other available options.)

Registration will open on March 1, 2018.

2018 Workshop Leaders and Classes. Click any name below to open more details. Click again to close.

Bluegrass Week Week Coordinator – Neel Brown

Neel Brown

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

Mary Burdette

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

Ira Gitlin

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.

Bass (All Levels) with Marshall Wilborn

Marshall Wilborn playing bass

Marshall Wilborn

Bio coming soon!

Bass (All Levels)

Class description coming soon!

Banjo (Beginning) with Tom Adams

Tom Adams

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.

Banjo (Beginning)

Class description coming soon!

Banjo (Intermediate) with Greg Liszt

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Greg Liszt

Bio coming soon!

Banjo (Intermediate)

Class description coming soon!

Banjo (Advanced) with Greg Cahill

Greg Cahill

Bio coming soon!

Banjo (Advanced)

Class description coming soon!

Guitar (Beginning) with Tyler Grant

Tyler Grant

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 twelfth  year as an instructor at Augusta’s Bluegrass Week.

Guitar (Beginning)

Class description coming soon!

Guitar (Intermediate) with Jordan Tice

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Jordan Tice

Bio coming soon!

Guitar (Intermediate)

Class description coming soon!

Guitar (Advanced) with Russ Barenberg

Russ Barenberg

Bio coming soon!

Guitar (Advanced)

Class description coming soon!

Fiddle (Beginning) with Bryan McDowell

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Bryan McDowell

Bio coming soon!

Fiddle (Beginning)

Class description coming soon!

Fiddle (Intermediate) with Kimber Ludiker

Kimber Ludiker

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 (Intermediate)

Class description coming soon!

Fiddle (Advanced) with Darol Anger

Darol Anger

Bio coming soon!

Fiddle (Advanced)

Class description coming soon!

Mandolin (Beginning) with Avril Smith

Avril Smith

Avril Smith, a founding member of the Grammy-nominated bluegrass band Della Mae, is a teacher and award-winning multi-instrumentalist and vocalist. She started playing guitar at a young age and is widely recognized as a highly accomplished electric and acoustic guitarist and mandolin player.

Avril plays with mandolinist Joe K. Walsh; with award-winning songwriter Becky Warren, with whom she is touring a string of dates opening for the Indigo Girls in 2017; with legendary fiddler Rickie Simpkins; and with a trio featuring Vickie Vaughn (Patti Loveless) and Kimber Ludiker (Della Mae).

Avril’s mastery of a wide range of styles makes her a sought-after on-stage and studio performer.  Her musical palette draws from country, jazz, bluegrass, rock and roll, and old-time music. Her innovative take on the fiddle tune “Lincoln’s Retreat” was featured in Flatpicking Guitar Magazine.  She has also reviewed guitars for Acoustic Guitar magazine.

Avril has performed at top venues and festivals including the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage (Washington, DC), Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival (Oak Hill, NY), the Birchmere (Alexandria, VA), the Knitting Factory (New York, NY), Freight & Salvage (Berkeley, CA), the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (Cleveland, Ohio), and the south lawn of the White House.

Avril has played with Emmylou Harris, Pete Seeger, Hazel Dickens, Tom Morello, Jill Sobule, Darol Anger, Frank Solivan, Lester Chambers, Boots Riley, Dar Williams, and John Kadlecik, among others.

Avril is a guitar instructor at Ossipee Valley Music Festival and String Camp.  She has guitar and mandolin students in the Washington, DC, area and teaches students in far-flung places over Skype.

Mandolin (Beginning)

Class description coming soon!

Mandolin (Intermediate) with Alan Bibey

Alan Bibey

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 (Intermediate) 

Class description coming soon!

Mandolin (Advanced) with Matt Flinner

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Matt Flinner

Bio coming soon!

Mandolin (Advanced) 

Class description coming soon!

Resonator Guitar (All Levels) with Mark Panfil

Mark Panfil

Bio coming soon!

Resonator Guitar (All Levels)

Class description coming soon!

Songwriting (All Levels) with Claire Lynch

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Claire Lynch

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Songwriting (All Levels)

Class description coming soon!

Vocals (All Levels) with Sally Love

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Sally Love

Bio coming soon!

Vocals (All Levels)

Class description coming soon!

Vocals (Advanced) with Dudley Connell

Dudley Connell

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.

Vocals (Advanced)

Class description coming soon!

Staff Musician – John Seebach

Teacher name

Bio coming soon!

Staff Musician – Grant Flick

Grant Flick

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 return to  Bluegrass Week as a staff musician for the second year.