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Apr 17, 2020 - 3:00:20 PM
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264 posts since 4/13/2006


MAY 2 & 3 

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. Stay tuned for the links!

$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.

See Less

Apr 18, 2020 - 1:57:14 PM

3953 posts since 11/29/2005

Cathy, what time zone is the schedule listed in? I'm in AZ, where we don't do DST, and we're 3 hours earlier that EDT (I think, we watch Rachael Maddow at 6PM during the summer, but at 7 on Standard Time).

Apr 18, 2020 - 2:47:47 PM

264 posts since 4/13/2006

Eastern Standard Time. Tape Rachel and banjo on.

Apr 20, 2020 - 4:11:58 AM
Players Union Member



3821 posts since 3/11/2004

Cathy, I signed up for a workshop (one so far). Is there a reason why the schedule is using Eastern Standard Time when the rest of the East coast is on Eastern Daylight Time (even Kentucky, a long way from the coast smiley).


Apr 20, 2020 - 7:12:13 AM

354 posts since 10/9/2017


Thanks to you and the other organizers for putting this together. Is there going to be a limit on numbers for each workshop?

Apr 20, 2020 - 7:51:49 AM

264 posts since 4/13/2006

We haven't discussed limits on numbers in the workshops, but we're likely to consider if they get over 25.

Apr 21, 2020 - 1:46:01 PM



1080 posts since 12/12/2007

This is such a cool idea. I look forward to checking it out.

Apr 22, 2020 - 6:36:52 AM

354 posts since 10/9/2017

Is Brad sending out confirmation emails? I sent a paypal to him but haven’t heard anything back yet.

Apr 22, 2020 - 7:23:56 AM
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264 posts since 4/13/2006

Yes, he will. He's likely waiting to do a large "batch" at once.

May 2, 2020 - 7:10:38 PM

6476 posts since 6/27/2009

I watched the Saturday night concert. This is a homebody’s dream come true — staying home and enjoying the best of the old-time banjo world. I even won a banjo quiz by answering a question about who taught Grandpa Jones banjo and will look forward to the downloadable CD prize. There are still workshops open tomorrow with awesome teachers and another concert in the evening fir which I’ll be tuning in. Thanks, Cathy, Marcy and Brad.

Edited by - JanetB on 05/02/2020 19:12:36

May 3, 2020 - 5:44:41 AM
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Players Union Member



3821 posts since 3/11/2004

I attended the Adam Hurt workshop, along with about 100 others. It went very well. Adam is, of course, an excellent instructor, and he, along with the fine help of Brad Kolodner and Cathy Fink, managed the Zoom experience very well. He introduced two tunes and then led us through some variations. Everyone but Adam -- and occasionally Brad and Cathy -- were muted, and we were able to play along slowly with Adam. I have been teaching classes at the Louisville Folk School with Zoom during this Healthy At Home period. While my students seem happy with the experience, I have felt less confident. At this workshop, I got to play the role of the student and saw no issues with lag in the audio and video since we were muted. I will need to explore more of these workshops -- including those scheduled for today at this festival.


May 3, 2020 - 8:23:06 AM
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264 posts since 4/13/2006

Thanks -we worked hard at creating a good online experience!

May 4, 2020 - 7:36:51 PM

34 posts since 7/1/2010

A very smooth and well run event. Kudos to you both, Cathy and Brad, and thanks so much for your efforts. I did two workshops, both great: Chris Coole and Allison De Groot. I could only go to one concert but it was so fun to watch.
It's super sad to have all the summer camps/fests cancelled. No wandering around in the dark, listening for a great jam, no falling asleep to the sound of the music right outside the tent. But if we can't go anywhere, I guess that's just more woodshed time and man on man was this a great boost on that front.

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