Sun. June 12 - Sat. June 18, 2011

American Banjo Camp


Teaching staff for 2011


Peter Barnes Photo

Peter Barnes (Piano, English Country Dance Tunes) has been playing piano, flute and assorted other instruments for traditional dancing since 1971, and has  been invited to most major contra, square, British Isles and vintage dance events throughout the United States, performing for dances and concerts, leading ensemble workshops, and generally acting in a crazy and often undignified manner. Averaging over 250 engagements per year since 1980 he is arguably one of Massachusetts' busiest musicians, and has also played for festivals and tours in several European countries. He works with several bands including Bare Necessities, Yankee Ingenuity, Crazy Quilt, and the Dactyls, and he has performed with many traditional greats including Seamus Connolly, Alasdair Fraser, Rodney Miller, and Joe Cormier. His publications include English Country Dance Tunes, and A Little Couple Dancemusik. His many recordings include Kitchen Junket and Heatin' Up The Hall (with Yankee Ingenuity), Bare Necessities, Take A Dance and Nightcap (with Bare Necessities), and Airplang (with Rodney Miller).

Alice Bérubé (Step dance) has always had a keen interest in dance. The energy and joie-de-vivre of step-dancing, a particularly engaging aspect of the French-canadian culture, has always appealed to her. In 1973, Alice joined Winnipeg dance group L'ensemble folklorique de la Rivière-Rouge (EFRR). This group's repertoire contains various styles representing the dances of French Canada, including Qu&eactue;bec, the Maritimes and Manitoba M&eactue;tis. As a member of EFRR, she has travelled to the USA, Taiwan, France, Spain, and Magagascar, and has been a frequent performer in Winnipeg's Festival du Voyageur and Folklorama Festival. She has danced in a number of performances for members of the Royal Family as well as at the opening ceremonies of the Commonwealth Games of `82, the XV Calgary Olympic Winter Games in '88 and the Winnipeg Pan Am Games in `99. Also an accomplished fiddler, Alice continues to perform with the EFRR, fiddles with Bandaline and other groups, and plays festivals, concerts, conventions, and other musical venues.

Matt Cranitch (Irish Fiddle) is renowned as a fiddle-player and teacher at home in Ireland and abroad. He has performed extensively, and has presented many lectures and master-classes. Author of The Irish Fiddle Book, first published in 1988 and now in its fourth edition, he has also contributed to other books on Irish traditional music. He has made various albums, the most recent being The Living Stream with Jackie Daly. An authority on the music of the Cork/Kerry region of Ireland, known as Sliabh Luachra, he received a Ph.D. from the University of Limerick for his study on the fiddle tradition of this region. A long-time consultant for the Geantraí series on TG4, he is also an advisor for the Arts Council of Ireland, and has served on the board of the Irish Traditional Music Archive. In 2003, he received the Hall of Fame Award from University College Cork where he currently teaches a number of courses in Irish traditional music.

Jackie Daly(Irish Accordion). Described in the New York Times as "probably the best accordionist in Ireland," Jackie was born in Kanturk, County Cork, where he grew up surrounded by the rich music tradition of he music of the Cork/Kerry region of Ireland, known as Sliabh Luachra. One of the greatest influences on his early musical development was Ballydesmond fiddle-player Jim Keeffe, a pupil of the renowned Sliabh Luachra fiddle-master Pádraig O'Keeffe. Over the years, Jackie's affinity with fiddle-music has resulted in highly-acclaimed albums featuring fiddle and accordion – with the late Séamus Creagh, with Kevin Burke, and now with Matt Cranitch. Jackie was a central figure in several prominent Irish music groups including De Danann, Patrick Street, and Buttons and Bows. Although his performances with these bands attest to his musicianship and versatility, it is the style and repertoire of the Sliabh Luachra tradition that has made the most significant impression on his music. In 2005, he received the TG4 Gradam Ceoil (National Music Award).

Éric Favreau (Québecois fiddle) comes from a family of traditional musicians and has spent a great deal of time absorbing the repertoires and styles of traditional fiddlers from his region; he has also expanded his repertoire via an exploration of unique recorded sources such as music archives and personally-made field recordings. As a soloist and with various ensembles, Éric has performed extensively in the Canadian, American, and European music scenes. He has recorded two solo CDs, another (Reel à Deux) with fiddler Mario Landry and three CDs with his current group Entourloupe -- La St-Berdondaine, Les choux pis des melons, and Épilogue) . Éric has taught regularly at fiddle camps in the United States, Europe, and Canada.

Iain Fraser: Photo and Bio forthcoming.

Sarah Hotchkiss (Novice Fiddle & Banjo) A native Vermonter, Sarah teaches to all ages at her private studio, Woodbury Strings, in Montpelier, Vermont. She is the Musical Director of The Vermont Fiddle Orchestra and plays fiddle and banjo with the Damn Yankee String Band as well as a fiddle/banjo duo, High-Low-Jack. She has also taught at numerous fiddle camps, workshops, and weekly fiddle groups in Northern Vermont and New Hampshire as well as thirteen years of teaching strings in public and private schools around Vermont. Because of her varied musical and teaching background, along with exposure to a wide range of fiddle styles, she has developed a special expertise in teaching [ommit "fiddle"] technique to beginning and intermediate level musicians of all ages and backgrounds. Web site:

Alan Jabbour (Appalachian fiddle) Alan Jabbour is a Floridian by birth and a violinist by early training. The folk revival drew him into studying folklore and folk music as a graduate student at Duke University in the 1960s, when he documented and apprenticed with oldtime fiddlers in the Upper South. His albums fiddling with the Hollow Rock String Band became benchmarks of the oldtime music revival from the 1960s on, and the documentary albums and Library of Congress websites he has edited have likewise become benchmarks. Recently, he retired from the Federal government and is devoting more time to oldtime music again. Alan and NHMC co-Director Ken Perlman have recently released a joint CD of fiddle and banjo duets entitled Southern Summits. Website:

David Kaynor (Caller, Swedish Fiddle, Harmonizing Fiddle Tunes) David Kaynor began playing fiddle in 1974, and started calling local contra dances in Western Massacussetts around 1980. Over the last two decades, he has become increasingly involved as both fiddler and caller in the New England and national contra dance scenes. He has been on staff at Northern Week at Ashokan 22 times, and at Contra Dance Musicians' Week at the John C. Campbell Folk School 8 times. He has also played for and taught dancing at Pinewoods, Buffalo Gap, Mendocino, the Lady of the Lake, Ogontz, Summer Acoustic Music Week, Suttle Lake, Wannadance Uptown and a myriad of other camps, workshops and music events around the country. He is also involved in playing and teaching Sweedish fiddle-music and folk-dancing.

Peter Langston (Western Swing Band, Vocal Harmony) seems to play anything with strings on it, and is equally adept at backup and hot improvisation. He has played in bands on both the East Coast (Metropolitan Opry, Wretched Refuse String Band) and the West Coast (Puddle City, Entropy Service, Portland Zoo), and has performed with such notables as Doc Watson, Reverend Gary Davis, Tony Trischka, Peter Rowan, Alison Brown, Johnny Gimble, and Mike Seeger. Peter has led a double life as a musician and a computer whiz and has taught both audio recording and computer science at the college level. He has been a frequent member of the staff of various music and dance camps, including the California Coast Music Camp, Sierra Swing, the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, Alta Sierra, Sierra Swing, the American Banjo Camp, and the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop. Web site:

Ken Perlman (Clawhammer Banjo). Perhaps the best-known exponent of the "melodic" clawhammer style, Ken is known where-ever banjos are played as a master of clawhammer technique and an expert teacher of clawhammer mechanics. He has been a Banjo Newsletter columnist for 30 years; he has written several books on clawhammer instruction including the well known works Melodic Clawhammer Banjo and Clawhammer Style Banjo, he has recorded several series of audio and video banjo instruction. He spent over a decade collecting tunes and oral histories from traditional fiddle players on Prince Edward Island in eastern Canada, and his book, The Fiddle Music of Prince Edward Island is considered a classic in its field. In recent years, he has been working with the Canadian Museum of Civlization in Gatineau, Québec to create a website devoted to PEI traditional fiddling. His most recent recordings are Northern Banjo, Island Boy, and a collaboration with fiddlear Alan Jabbour entitled Southern Summits. Web site:

Jim Prendergast (Guitar & Mandolin) now resides on the New Hampshire seacoast and is an active participant in the New England Folk/Celtic world, playing concerts and sessions with banjoist Ken Perlman, fiddlers Randy Miller and Roger Burridge, Irish flute player Peter Maguire, box player Chris 'Junior' Stevens, piper Paddy Keenan and others. Also a veteran of 30 years in the Nashville recording scene, his deep and varied experience in music has found him backing up many of the Grand Ole Opry stars, working as a studio musician with many of the legendary 'Nashville Cats' and producing thousands of recording sessions. A 7-year tenure running the band at Findley's Irish Pub in the Gaylord Opryland Hotel led to a deep immersion in Irish music, a specialization in 'DADGAD' guitar, and a role as producer of CMH Records' Celtic Tribute series. For more information: see his Portsmouth recording studio website,

Pete Sutherland (Southern String Band, Shape Note Sing, Songwriting). A warm-voiced singer, songsmith and accomplished multi-instrumentalist known equally for his potent originals and his intense recreations of age-old ballads and fiery fiddle tunes, veteran Vermont-based musician Pete has been on staff at dance and music camps and workshops coast-to-coast and is a widely-known year-round teacher and performer in the Champlain Valley. A Renaissance man of the folk arts, he is also a record producer, concert promoter, collage artist and author. His recent recordings include Streak o' Lean and The Wilderness Road

Instructors from Prior Years (Under Construction)

Short bios will be on-line shortly for the slate of teachers in our first year (2005), our second year (2006), our third year (2007). our fourth year (2008). our fifth year (2009). and last year (2010). Click on any of the years to see the line-ups for those past camps.