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Old Time Banjo Festival ONLINE!

Posted by Cathy Fink on Friday, April 17, 2020

The First ONLINE OLD TIME BANJO FESTIVAL will take place Saturday and Sunday, May 2-3, 2020. Brought to you by hosts Cathy Fink (2018 Clifftop Banjo Champion, Grammy Winner, Banjo Playing Rockstar) and Brad Kolodner (4-Time Clifftop Banjo Contest Finalist, Member of Charm City Junction, Ken & Brad Kolodner, DJ for Bluegrass Country Radio). There will be afternoon workshops via Zoom and two evening concerts via YouTube.
$25/workshop - Preregistration Required*
Pay what you can concerts ($25 suggested donation)**
$150/full weekend pass (includes all workshops and concerts)

*To register for workshops, send $25/workshop via PayPal to "" and include the workshop(s) you would like to register for. Send payment as "family/friend" to avoid service fee. Email with questions. We will send you a private Zoom meeting link.

**Concerts will be streamed worldwide via YouTube both nights. Pay what you can. Concert will be streamed via Brad's YouTube page here:


Concerts (Streamed via YouTube)

Saturday Evening: 7:30-9:30pm
Evie Ladin & Keith Terry
Victor Furtado
Brad Kolodner
Cathy Fink
Eden & Lukas Pool

Sunday Evening: 7:30-9:30pm
Chris Coole
Frank Evans
Frank & Allie Lee
Allison DeGroot

Workshops via Zoom (advanced registration required)

Saturday, May 2
12pm-1:30pm - Adam Hurt
Add Flavor to Simple Tunes by Manipulating Textures
Join us as we learn fundamental versions of Old-Time Backstep Cindy, a great square-dance tune from the Round Peak tradition, and Walking in the Parlor, a lovely reflective banjo piece from West Virginia. Once these versions are under our fingers, we will spice them up with some fun and flexible variations that can extend to other tunes in your repertoire. Please come ready to play in double-D tuning: aDADE (or double-C, gCGCD, capo-2). Facility with drop-thumbing is essential for success in this workshop.

2pm-3:30pm - Chris Coole
Building Tunes from the Ground Up. (int/adv)
This workshop introduces a systematic approach to coming up with arrangements of tunes and songs that is accessible to all levels. In the process, we'll look at the right and the left-hand clawhammer tools, get a better understanding of how they work, as well as their limitations. In doing so, we'll learn a "stepping stone" strategy to arranging tunes that will shed light on playing variations, learning by ear, and the esthetic choices we make in the process. As an added bonus, all the skills you'll develop directly translate to the skills needed to learn tunes on the fly in a jam session. Students will be emailed a written overview of the subject including tab and video links. Recommended Prerequsites - You will get the most out of this workshop if you are already familiar with the "basic strum", "double thumbing" and "drop thumbing", and can play a handful of tunes. Having said that, a beginner (someone who only does the basic strum) could benefit from getting a better understanding of the how/why of techniques that lay ahead, and having a plan for the path forward.

4pm-5:30pm – Evie Ladin
Moveable Chords (Adv Beginner/Intermediate)
Description of Workshop: Demystify the banjo neck! Understand chord shapes, how and why they move around the neck, how to use this information playing Clawhammer style, and increase your understanding of how to translate general musical information to the five-string. Recommended Prerequsites: familiar with double C and Open G tunings

Sunday, May 3

12pm-1:30pm – Lukas Pool
Learning Melodies by Ear (Adv Beginner/Int)
In this workshop we will learn how to pick out a melody by ear and break a melody down to its most basic form to add in other variations. Prerequisites - If possible have listened to Arkansas Traveller ahead of time as that's the first tune we'll be looking at.

2pm-3:30pm - Frank Evans
More Notes!
Learn how to play Blackberry Blossom on the clawhammer banjo. We will be discussing how to navigate chord blocks as well as melodic techniques that can easily be transferred to a your entire repertoire. If you've ever wanted to open up the fret board or add that one note that you're not quite sure how to fit in, this is the workshop for you. Tab will be provided but the coarse will be taught by ear. Prerequisites: You will need to have a comfortable understand of basic chords in G tuning. You will also need to be comfortable with drop thumbing.

4pm-5:30pm – Allison De Groot
Exploring Jigs in 6/8
We will start to internalize the 6/8 rhythm on clawhammer banjo and work through some phrases on how to catch the notes and keep the jig feel driving forward. The goal is to give you some tools so you can play your favorite jigs on clawhammer banjo!
Recommended Prerequsites: Be able to drop thumb.

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