~ About Our Next Banjo Camp ~

Dates for Next Camp:

MARCH 16-19, 2023

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2022 Camp

2023 Lodging

gen-300-tOn-site Accommodations

Banjo Camp students have several lodging options. At Camp Weed, we have room for all students to stay on site and we strongly encourage all students to stay on-site. However, students may elect to stay off-site at a private home, motel/hotel, AirB&B, or conventional B&B; and register for camp as commuters.

How to Reserve Your Lodging

You must reserve and pay for your lodging directly through our host, Cerveny Conference Center.  Here’s the best procedure. After you register for camp, to arrange for your on-site lodging contact Cerveny Conference Center directly by phone (386-364-5250), and ask for Gina (or explain that you wish to reserve lodging for Suwannee Banjo Camp). Simply ask to reserve the type of lodging you prefer. Your options are: guest room single occupancy, guest room double occupancy, cabin bunk, RV site, or tent camping.  Lodging types are described below on this page.

NOTE: YOU CAN ALSO TRY USING THE LODGING RESERVATION APP ON THE CERVENY CONFERENCE CENTER WEBSITE. In the past however, this app has been plagued with software glitches and hasn’t proved useful.

Lodging FAQ’s

Here are the answers to what we expect will be the “FAQ” about the current housing sign-ups arrangement.

  • http://tsquaredsports.com/2012/10/feature-friday-b4bc-team-rider-hana-beaman/?share=twitter Prices for Lodging. To obtain prices for the different types of lodging available at Cerveny, click here; lodging price information is repeated on the Registration Information page
  • Albury Refunds for lodging. Housing reservations are fully refundable up to 72-hours prior to the start of Camp
  • La Serena Deposits for lodging. You may reserve a lodging unit at Camp with a deposit of 25%; it is also fully refundable until 72 hours prior to the start of Camp.
  • Roommates. The Cerveny payment platform allows you to specify a guest-room roommate, or ask to be assigned a double occupancy roommate.
  • Handicap-Accessible. You will have an opportunity to indicate special needs.

Note: Cerveny Conference Center has not always been quick to get back to people re housing inquiries. If they don’t return your call within 24 hours, contact SBC directly.

Reserve Guest Rooms and RV Spots early

Lodging reservations are assigned by us on a first come, first served basis. There are only a limited number of guest rooms and RV sites and experience tells us they will probably go fast. If you want to assure yourself of a guest room or RV hookup reservation, please sign up early!!

Guest Rooms

We have a limited number of motel-level residence rooms – called Guest Rooms – right on site. The guest rooms are very comfortable with double beds, “en suite” bathrooms and individual climate control. They are all a very short walk from most of our classrooms and the dining hall. They are close to the center of the action, but still well out of earshot of late night jammers. Students may sign up for either single or double occupancy. If you sign up with Cerveny Conference Center for double occupancy, you may either suggest a roommate or ask them to assign you one. Cerveny has six handicap accessible guest rooms. Please specify upon registration if you require a handicap accessible room. There are only a very limited number of guest rooms, so if you wish to reserve one be sure to sign up early!

Guest Room Waiting List

There will be a waiting list for guest-room accommodations after all guest rooms have been reserved.

Lodging Arrangement for Spouse/Companions: Spouse/companions who stay on site must register for housing separately and pay the full lodging price.

Note: we may need to limit the number of spouses and companions. If we begin to run out of space for additional registrants at Camp, we reserve the right to prioritize the admission of regular students.

Cabins

We have plenty of beds in relatively modern cabins that have electricity, heat, air conditioning, and indoor plumbing. Each cabin will have a maximum occupancy of nine students (note: we assign lower bunks only). All cabins are handicap accessible. Each cabin has 3 showers, 3 toilets and a 2 sink vanity. The cabins are located in scenic wooded areas. Cabin residents will need to walk a few minutes through the woods or along a road to get to the dining hall. A few classrooms are close by, but most of them are near the dining hall and require a few minutes of walking.

Note: Areas within each cabin are separated by built in cabinets, so that there is some privacy.  Please also keep in mind that if you participate fully in our program, you won’t be in your rooms very much (aside from sleeping)!

Note: We will have designated all male, all female, and couples’ cabins. 

Note: Guests staying in the cabins must bring their own twin-size sheets, linens, towels and toiletries.

RV Hookups & Tent Camping

We have a limited number of RV hookups available plus plenty of space for tent-camping. There is a conveniently located bath house with male and female sections that is available to both RV and tent residents. Note that it is a good 10-15 minute walk from the RV and tent site to the dining hall and main classroom area. Those staying in the RV/tenting site might consider bringing along a bicycle or planning to negotiate this short commute via your car.

Note: The RV and tenting area has picnic tables and other amenities; some great jam sessions have sprung up there in the evenings.

A Note Regarding Complete Non-Participants

If your spouse/companion plans to simply stay in an on-site lodging space, RV, or tent through the weekend without signing up for meals, attending concerts or having any other contact with the camp, they do NOT need to register for camp; nor do they need to pay a facilities use fee. We do ask that you supply us with their names and emergency contact information, however.

Lodging Prices

Note that “Full-Camp” refers to three nights’ lodging (Thursday thru Saturday) and “Weekend-Only” refers to two nights’ lodging (Friday and Saturday). Full descriptions of each kind of lodging appears above.

Here are the latest lodging prices, including 10% Florida Housing Tax:

  • Guest Room, Single Occupancy (motel-level accommodations). Full Camp: $270; Weekend-Only: $180
  • Guest Room, Double Occupancy (motel-level accommodations).  Full Camp: $135; Weekend-Only: $90
  • Cabin Residency (bunk beds but with indoor plumbing, a/c and heat). Full Camp: $75; Weekend-Only: $50
  • RV Residency with Hookup. Full Camp: $57*; Weekend-Only: $86*
  • Tent Camping Residency. Full Camp: $30*; Weekend-Only: $20*

* Note:  RV charges are per vehicle; tent camping charges are per tent. If there are multiple residents in the RV or tent, only one resident pays the RV or tent rate; all additional residents simply  simply pay the tuition and meals rate*

Camper Tips

For advice on finding the site, climate-appropriate dress, bedding, what to bring, etc. check out our Camper Tips! Please be sure to read this advice prior to coming to camp!

Off-site Accommodations

Special Arrangement with Holiday Inn Express in Live Oak

We generally reserve a block of rooms at a discounted rate for SBC students at the Holiday Inn in Live Oak; we will try to set up the same arrangement for 2023. If our guest rooms are full, students who prefer motel-level accommodations may elect to reserve a room at the Holiday Inn. The rooms are very nice and by next spring will all be newly renovated. They have a pool and also offer free breakfast. Students who stay at the Holiday Inn register at the commuter rate. If you elect to eat breakfast at the Inn, and let us know by March 1, 2023, we will refund that portion of tuition that covers breakfasts. Breakfast refunds will be made at check-in and amount to roughly $10 per meal.

Another Hotel Option

In the past Cerveny Conference Center has arranged for a group rate at another area hotel, namely Fairfield Inn and Suites.

Other Hotels and AirBnB

There are three sizable motels right in Live Oak, Florida, in addition to the Holiday Inn Express. In addition, quite a number of motels, etc. are to be found in and around Lake City, Florida, less than half an hour away. And don’t forget AirBnB; a quick check showed that there are quite a number of airbnb purveyors within easy range of our site.

Note: Because there are sometimes large regional events in March that draw crowds (such as stock car races), be sure to make your motel reservations early.

Other Motels in Live Oak, Florida

  • EconoLodge: 386-362-7459
  • Sunshine Inn 386-362-7828
  • Best Western Suwannee River Inn 386-362-6000

2023 Camp Tuition & Fees

Tuition & Mealsgen-300-t

One Price for Tuition and Meals

At SBC, a single price covers tuition and meals, but lodging must be paid for separately through Cerveny Conference Center. There are several lodging options: guest room single occupancy, guest room double occupancy, cabin bunk, RV site, tent site, and commuter. All the lodging options, and how to reserve lodging from Cerveny Conference Center are are all explained in detail on the Lodging Page.

Tuition Prices (Including Meals) for Full Camp and Weekend-Only Options

  • Full Camp (from Thursday afternoon to Sunday afternoon, includes meals from Thursday dinner through Sunday lunch): $690
  • Weekend-Only Option (from Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon; includes meals from Friday dinner through Sunday lunch): $565

Note: Lodging must be paid for separately, directly to Cerveny Conference Center. For instructions, see below and also the Lodging Page.

Commuters

Commuter rates for tuition and meals are the same as for resident students; the only difference is that you simply do NOT need to sign up for on-site housing. This said, please be sure to check the “commuter” box on the registration form so we know that in your case lodging is not required.

Non-playing Spouses, Chaperones and Companions

Half Price!! We offer a special arrangement for non-playing spouses, chaperones and companions of registered students. The spouse/companion/chaperone pays half the regular price for tuition and meals. The spouse/chaperone/companion rate entitles them to the full meal plan and access to demonstrations, jams, and concerts. They may not attend classes. Every non-playing spouse/companion/chaperone must fill out a separate registration form.

Lodging Arrangement for Spouse/Companions: We are unable to offer a half-price arrangement re lodging at camp. Spouse companions who stay on site will have to sign up for housing separately and pay the full lodging price.

Note: we may need to limit the number of spouses and companions. If we begin to run out of space for additional registrants at Camp, we reserve the right to prioritize the admission of regular students.

Complete Non-Participants Who Reside on Site

If your spouse/companion plans to simply stay in an on-site lodging space, RV, or tent through the weekend without signing up for meals, attending concerts or having any other contact with the camp, they do NOT need to register for camp. You just need to supply us with their names and emergency contact information.

Reserving and Paying for Lodging

You must reserve and pay for your lodging directly through our host, Cerveny Conference Center at Camp Weed. Here’s the procedure. First register for camp. We then send you an acknowledgement email, which also contains a Cerveny Lodging Link. Use this link to reserve and pay for you on-site lodging. All the lodging options, and how to reserve lodging from Cerveny Conference Center are are all explained in detail on the Lodging Page.

Lodging Prices

For your convenience, lodging prices are re-stated here. Note that “Full-Camp” refers to three nights’ lodging (Thursday thru Saturday) and “Weekend-Only” refers to two nights’ lodging (Friday and Saturday). Full descriptions of each kind of lodging appears above.

Here are the 2019 lodging prices, including 10% Florida Housing Tax:

  • Guest Room, Single Occupancy (motel-level accommodations). Full Camp: $270; Weekend-Only: $180
  • Guest Room, Double Occupancy (motel-level accommodations).  Full Camp: $135; Weekend-Only: $90
  • Cabin Residency (bunk beds but with indoor plumbing, a/c and heat). Full Camp: $75; Weekend-Only: $50
  • RV Residency with Hookup. Full Camp: $57*; Weekend-Only: $86*
  • Tent Camping Residency. Full Camp: $30*; Weekend-Only: $20*

* Note:  RV charges are per vehicle; tent camping charges are per tent. If there are multiple residents in the RV or tent, only one resident pays the RV or tent rate; all additional residents simply  simply pay the tuition and meals rate*

Students Under 18

Minor students may attend SBC if accompanied by a parent or other responsible adult. Parents must sign a permissions form that allows their child to attend (please contact us and ask us to send a Youth Permissions Form). If a non-parent acts as “guardian” at Camp he or she must have signed permission to do so from a parent. Parents or Camp-Guardians may register as students, but if they do not wish to fully participate in Camp they may register for SBC at the non-playing spouse/companion” rate (see above).

Paying a Tuition Deposit

**Note: All new registrations made after Jan. 16, 2023 must be accompanied by payment of full tuition.**

Our internet sales platform requires a certain system for handling deposits and balances. If you wish to put down a $100 deposit to hold your place at camp, you just partially register at this time. During the deposit registration process, you will enter your name and email. You’ll also be asked to fill out a questionnaire, which allows you to provide us with information about your interests. When you select “Deposit Only” on the registration form, a charge for $100 will appear in your shopping cart. Once you finish the financial transaction, you will be issued a thank you email. Within a few days, you will receive a follow-up email from Suwannee Banjo Camp with a promo code for $100 which you will apply when you complete a full registration (see below).

Note 1: All those who have registered with a deposit must submit the remainder of their tuition by Jan. 16, 2023. Again, all new registrations made after that date must be accompanied by payment of full tuition.

Note 2:  When you place a tuition deposit, unless you plan to commute you must also reserve lodging through Cerveny Conference Center at Camp Weed. See details on the Lodging page.

Note 3: You may register right up to the start of Camp!

Paying Your Tuition Balance

Once you have paid your tuition deposit and filled out your questionnaire, you are registered for Camp as far as we are concerned. To pay your balance online, however, our sales platform requires the following procedure:

  • Go to the Register Here page to find our registration form. Then register for camp as if you are STARTING FROM SCRATCH, beginning with the tuition and meals package of your choice. You do NOT have to re-do the survey about your interests.
  • After you select the full-tuition amount and click, you will find yourself on a second page that has a box labeled “promo code.” Enter your promo code in that box, and the $100 deposit you’ve already paid will ultimately be deducted from your amount.

Refunds for Cancellation 

Here is our refund policy:

    • There is no penalty for cancellation until Jan. 16,  2023.
    • Jan. 17 -March 1:  students who cancel after Jan. 16 and before March 1 will have $100 deducted from their tuition or deposit refunds.
    • March 1 – March 16. We must commit to a firm meals count by March 1 and have to pay for these meals whether or not a given registrant attends camp; students who cancel after March 1 and before the start of Camp will have $150 deducted from their refunds.
    • Students who cancel on or after the start of Camp on March 16, 2023 (or who simply fail to appear at camp) will have $250 deducted from their tuition refund.

Covid-19 Cancellation Policy

We are extremely optimistic that we’ll be able to hold Suwannee Banjo Camp safely in 2023 at our usual venue in Live Oak, Florida. In the very unlikely event that we need to move the camp online again due to Pandemic concerns, here is our policy.

  • If we need to cancel SBC 2023 – or move the camp online – due to Covid safety concerns, every registrant will be offered a full refund for tuition and meals payments – either by check or through our payment platform.
  • Cerveny Conference Center will also refund all lodging payments and deposits
  • If we move online, registrants will be offered the opportunity to roll over their deposit, or a portion of their full payment to SBC-online tuition.
  • In the event that we need to cancel, registrants will also have the option of leaving their deposits or full payments for tuition and meals in the “system” for 2024,
  • We will make our final decision on moving forward with the in-person camp no later than Jan. 1, 2023. However, if the situation is borderline we might wait a little longer before making the final determination.
  • If at any point our venue, Cerveny Conference Center, preempts us and decides to close down for the season for safety concerns we will immediately inform all registrants and offer to refund all tuition and meals payments.

2023 Registration Information & Fees

SBC Registration

You must register to attend Suwannee Banjo Camp. You may register online or by mail. We also ask you to fill in a questionnaire about your interests and playing background that will help us plan the coming Camp.

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To register, go to the Register Here page. You’ll have the choice of filling out our registration form online (and paying on line via credit card), or filling out a hard copy and paying via Paypal or check.

Lodging Must be Reserved Separately

You must reserve and pay for your lodging directly through our host, Cerveny Conference Center.  See the Lodging page for the procedure involved in reserving housing.

About the Registration Questions

We ask about your interests and playing background on your questionnaire form to help us design our program. Your responses do NOT commit you to take any particular class or pursue any particular level of instruction.

You will also be asked to identify your future lodging preferences, just so we can keep better coordinate with our host re registrant accommodations.

Covid Protocol

Here are our Covid Protocols as of August, 2022 (to be updated according to CDC advisories)

  • In order to attend SBC, you must be fully vaccinated, including recommended boosters, against Covid-19
  • All attendees must submit a copy of of their vaccination records
  • We will adhere to the best of our ability to the latest CDC recommendations re masking and social distancing during Camp

One Price for Tuition and Meals

At SBC, a single price covers tuition and meals, but – as noted above – lodging must be paid for separately through Cerveny Conference Center. There are several lodging options: guest room single occupancy, guest room double occupancy, cabin bunk, RV site, tent site, and commuter. All the lodging options, and how to reserve lodging from Cerveny Conference Center are are all explained in detail on the Lodging Page.

Attendance Options: Full Camp vs. Weekend-Only Options

FULL CAMP. The Full Camp option gives you access to all classes, concerts, jams and all other scheduled activities from Thursday afternoon to Sunday afternoon. March 16-19. All meals included from Thursday dinner through Sunday lunch.

WEEKEND ONLY OPTION. The Weekend-Only Option gives you access to all classes, concerts, jams and all other scheduled activities from Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon. March 17-19. All meals included from Friday dinner through Sunday lunch.

Note: The Weekend Option does NOT include Friday lunch. However, Weekend-Only registrants can opt into Friday lunch on the SBC registration form (extra cost: $13.50).

Tuition Prices (Including Meals)

  • Full Camp. (from Thursday afternoon to Sunday afternoon, includes meals from Thursday dinner through Sunday lunch): $675
  • Weekend-Only Option.(from Friday afternoon to Sunday afternoon; includes meals from Friday dinner through Sunday lunch): $550

Note: Lodging must be paid for separately, directly to Cerveny Conference Center. For instructions, see below and also the Lodging Page.

Also Note: Friday lunch is NOT included in the Weekend-Only Option. However, you can opt into Friday lunch for  $13.50 by choosing that option on the registration form.

Commuters

Commuter rates for tuition and meals are the same as for resident students; the only difference is that you simply do NOT need to sign up for on-site housing. This said, please be sure to check the “commuter” box on the registration form so we know that in your case lodging is not required.

Non-playing Spouses, Chaperones and Companions

Half Price!! We offer a special arrangement for non-playing spouses, chaperones and companions of registered students. The spouse/companion/chaperone pays half the regular price for tuition and meals. The spouse/chaperone/companion rate entitles them to the full meal plan and access to demonstrations, jams, and concerts. They may not attend classes. Every non-playing spouse/companion/chaperone must fill out a separate registration form.

Lodging Arrangement for Spouse/Companions: We are unable to offer a half-price arrangement re lodging at camp. Spouse companions who stay on site need to pay for lodging at regular rates.

Note: we may need to limit the number of spouses and companions. If we begin to run out of space for additional registrants at Camp, we reserve the right to prioritize the admission of regular students.

Complete Non-Participants Who Reside on Site

If your spouse/companion plans to simply stay in an on-site lodging space, RV, or tent through the weekend without signing up for meals, attending concerts or having any other contact with the camp, they do NOT need to register for camp. You just need to supply us with their names and emergency contact information.

Students Under 18

Minor students may attend SBC if they submit a Permissions Form signed by parent or guardian. Submit the signed document as a scanned attachment or send a hard copy to:

Suwannee Banjo Camp
c/o Ken Perlman
307 Bellevue St.
Boston, MA, 02132

Payments

The Suwannee Banjo Camp payment platform accepts Visa and Mastercard. You may register right up until the start of camp, depending on space. Until midnight on Jan. 16, 2023 you may reserve a place at camp either by advance payment of full tuition, or by paying a deposit of $100. After midnight on Jan. 16, 2023, all new registrations must be accompanied by payment of full tuition. All balances are also due on Jan. 16, 2023.

How to Register Online

Simply click on the link right below this paragraph. . .  Then fill out the registration form, complete your payment and you’re in! You may register right up until the start of camp.

Registering Multiple Attendees

You may register one, two, or even multiple attendees on the same registration form. However, if you wish to register two or more students with different main interests, skill levels, etc., we would appreciate it if you fill out a separate form for each person.

Register Here

Payment via Postal Mail

If you prefer to pay by postal mail, simply fill out a Printable 2023 Online Registration Form. Then send the form with a check or money order (made out to Suwannee Banjo Camp) to this address:

Suwannee Banjo Camp
c/o Ken Perlman
307 Bellevue St.,
Boston, MA, 02132

One Additional Payment Method

Send us a scanned copy of your filled out Printable Online Registration Form, and pay us via Paypal. For more information on sending Paypal payments email us directly.

Special Instructions for Paying Deposits and Balances Online

Paying a Tuition Deposit

**Note: After Jan. 16, 2023, all new registrations must be accompanied by payment of full tuition.**

If you wish to put down a $100 deposit to hold your place at camp, register in full but you just partially register at this time. Fill out the questionnaire in full but select “Deposit Only” at the end, and a charge for $100 will appear in your shopping cart. If you are registering more than one person on your form, you must pay a $100 deposit for each one.

Promo Code. Once you finish the financial transaction, you will be issued a thank you email. Within a few days, you will receive a follow-up email from Suwannee Banjo Camp with a promo code that credits you for $100 when when you complete your  full registration (see below).

Note: All those who have registered with a deposit must submit the remainder of their tuition by Jan. 16, 2023. Again, all new registrations made after that date must be accompanied by payment of full tuition.

Also Note:  When you place a tuition deposit, unless you plan to commute you must also reserve lodging through Cerveny Conference Center at Camp Weed. See details on the Lodging page.

Paying Your Tuition Balance

Once you have paid your tuition deposit and filled out your questionnaire, you are registered for Camp as far as we are concerned. To pay your balance online, however, our sales platform requires the following procedure:

  • Return to the Register Here page and find our registration form. Then register for camp as if you are STARTING FROM SCRATCH, beginning with the tuition and meals package of your choice.
  • After you select the full-tuition amount and click, you will find yourself on a second page that has a box labeled “promo code.” Enter your promo code in that box, and the $100 deposit you’ve already paid will ultimately be deducted from your amount.

Cancellation Policy

  • There is no penalty for cancellation until midnight, Jan. 16,  2023.
  • Jan. 17 -March 1:  students who cancel after Jan. 16 and before March 1 will have $100 deducted from their tuition or deposit refunds.
  • March 1 – March 16. We must commit to a firm meals count by March 1 and have to pay for these meals whether or not a given registrant attends camp; students who cancel after March 1 and before the start of Camp will have $150 deducted from their refunds.
  • Students who cancel on or after the start of Camp on March 16, 2023 (or who simply fail to appear at camp) will have $250 deducted from their tuition refund.

Covid-19 Cancellation Policy

We are extremely optimistic that we’ll be able to hold Suwannee Banjo Camp safely in 2023 at our usual venue, Cerveny Conference Center in Live Oak, Florida. In the very unlikely event that we need to move the camp online again due to Pandemic concerns, here is our policy.

  • If we need to cancel SBC 2023 – or move the camp online – due to Covid safety concerns, every registrant will be offered a full refund for tuition and meals payments – either by check or through our payment platform.
  • Cerveny Conference Center will also refund all lodging payments and deposits
  • If we move online, registrants will be offered the opportunity to roll over their deposit, or a portion of their full payment to SBC-online tuition.
  • In the event that we need to cancel, registrants will also have the option of leaving their deposits or full payments for tuition and meals in the “system” for 2024
  • If at any point our venue, Cerveny Conference Center, preempts us and decides to close down for the season for safety concerns we will immediately inform all registrants and offer to refund all tuition and meals payments.

2023 Instructors

Old Time BanjoBluegrass BanjoFiddleGuitarGuest Faculty
Riley Baugus

Riley Baugus

Riley Baugus. Born and raised near Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Riley started playing banjo at the age of 11, inspired by the traditional Appalachian music that he discovered during weekends spent with his grandparents in the Blue Ridge Mountains. He learned as a young man from such greats as Tommy Jarrell, Dix Freeman and Robert Sykes. Riley has played with numerous old-time string bands, including The Red Hots, Polecat Creek, and the Old Hollow String Band. He has frequently toured the US and Europe, both as a soloist and with such notables as Dirk Powell, Tim O’Brien and Ira Bernstein. He built the banjos that appear in the Academy Award winning film “Cold Mountain,” and his singing was featured on the soundtrack. He has taught banjo at the Augusta Heritage Festival, Mars Hill, the Alaska Fiddle Camp, Pinewoods, and Wheatland; his solo CD is called Life of Riley

Hilarie Burhans

Hilarie Burhans

Hilarie Burhans has been playing and teaching clawhammer banjo for more than 45 years. She lives in the Appalachian foothills of Athens, Ohio and is a much in-demand player at old-time music festivals thanks to her intensely rhythmic, driving banjo style. Hilarie co-founded the Hotpoint Stringband, a nationally-touring contradance band with whom she has recorded five albums. HBO used a song she recorded on the critically acclaimed show Deadwood, and she has collaborated on too many other musical projects to count! More than 5,000 subscribers enjoy her banjo YouTube channel, and her instructional videos on the Patreon platform have many devoted subscribers who praise her clear, relaxed teaching style.

John Herrmann

John Herrmann (Old-Time Banjo) learned the Round Peak style of clawhammer from its original masters: Fred Cockerham, Kyle Creed, and Tommy Jarrell. He was also influenced early on by the playing of such contemporary old-time pickers as David Winston, Al Tharpe, Blanton Owen, and Steve Slottow.  He was part of the Upstate New York old-time avant guard of the mid 70s, and is responsible for many, now widespread, rhythmic innovations inspired by that style. John’s specialty is playing with the fiddle. He has played all over the world – and in fact is known in Japan as the Father of Old-Time Music in that country. He has performed and recorded with most prominent contemporary old-time fiddle players, including Dirk Powell, Tom Sauber, Rayna Gellert, Rhys Jones, Rafe Stefanini, and Tim O’Brien; he also toured widely with traditional fiddlers Ralph Blizard and Art Stamper. John has played and taught at most major festivals and music camps in the US. As a teacher, he specializes in getting people to play tunes they don’t know, has developed many innovative teaching techniques, and is often credited for having both invented and created a name for “the slow jam.”

Michael Miles

Michael J. Miles is one of America’s most innovative clawhammer banjo players. His musical background is steeped in the folk & blues of Chicago, in Bach and Motown, rock ‘n’ roll, and the American Songbook hits that his blue collar father sang in the car. With expansive unpredictable repertoire and high-reaching musicality, his work is described by Banjo Newsletter as: “a brilliant tour-de force that effectively obliterates the limits of what was thought possible on clawhammer banjo.” Hailed by the Chicago’s legendary WXRT as “Genius,” the Chicago Sun- Times simply says, “Give the banjo to Michael J. Miles you’ll hear a mighty soul stirring sound.” When Pete Seeger heard Michael’s very first recording his response was, “This is enough to make me want to learn the banjo all over again.” Michael has published more than a dozen books with such companies as Hal Leonard and Mel Bay; he has recorded six CD’s with great collaborators including Bela Fleck, Darol Anger and some of Chicago finest musicians. His websites are MilesMusic.org and ExistentialBanjo.com.

Ken Perlman

kenbnj02Perhaps the best-known exponent of the “melodic” clawhammer style, Ken Perlman 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 since the early 1980s; he has written several books on clawhammer instruction including Melodic Clawhammer Banjo and Clawhammer Style Banjo, he has recorded several series on audio and video banjo instruction, and he has taught at well over a dozen music camps including Augusta Folk Heritage, Common Ground on the Hill, the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, Rocky Mountain Fiddle Camp, the Swannanoa Gathering, and the Tennessee Banjo Institute; he has also been music or co-director of several banjo camps including American Banjo Camp, Banjo Camp North, the Bath International Banjo Festival,  Maryland Banjo Academy, and Midwest Banjo Camp. Ken toured for nearly fifteen years with renowned Appalachian-style fiddler Alan Jabbour (1942-2017), and recorded two CDs with him: Southern Summits and  You Can’t Beat the Classics. His most recent solo recording is Frails & Frolics, and his most recent banjo book is Appalachian Fiddle Tunes for Clawhammer Banjo. In the summer of 2017, Ken was invited to offer a Master’s Showcases at the Appalachian String Band Festival, popularly known as “Clifftop.” According to organizer Bobby Taylor, these Masters’ events are set up to “showcase the legends who have dedicated their lives to the preservation and presentation of old-time music.” kenperlman.com

Maggie Shar

Maggie Shar

Maggie Shar. Born and raised in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and now living in western Massachusetts, Maggie teaches private and group banjo classes to people of all ages from all over the world. She won 1st place at the 2018 Northeast Fiddler’s Convention Banjo Contest and the 2018 Oldtone Roots Festival Banjo Contest; and received an honorable mention in the 2020 Online Oldtime Banjo Competition. Nowadays, Maggie plays banjo in two bands: The Moon Shells and The Ephemeral Stringband; she is also co-creator of Little Roots, an early childhood music program. All three of these ventures have issued multiple CDs (see her website maggieshar.com for listings).

Scott Anderson

Scott AndersonNative Floridian Scott Anderson has been performing in professional bluegrass bands since the late 1980s; his first groups were Tom Henderson’s Bluegrass Parlor Band and a band he co-founded called Endless Highway. He has since toured in the US and abroad as banjoist and vocalist with the Jim Hurst Band and Keith Sewell; and he has performed or recorded with such well-known bluegrass figures as Claire Lynch, Vassar Clements, Larry Rice, Byron Berline, Adam Steffey, Clay Hess, Newtown, Chubby Wise, Allen Shadd, and Chief Jim Billie. He has also played banjo with the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra. Scott has been a featured artist in Banjo Newsletter, for which he also writes features and conducts interviews. He now fronts Medicine Springs and The Scott Anderson Band and teaches private banjo and guitar lessons from his home in Gainesville. His recordings include Endless Highway, Rivers, Another Day (with his daughter Amanda), and his most recent, Tales from the Swamp.

BB Bowness
BB Bowness

Catherine “BB” Bowness. Born in the small town of Marton, New Zealand,”BB” Bowness spent her early years working and living in her family’s Fish-and-Chip shop. A world away from the heart of bluegrass, BB spent much of her childhood teaching herself banjo, and through dedication and tenacity became New Zealand School of Music’s first banjo student. After heading to America in 2012 she co-founded her current group, Mile Twelve, which has won numerous IBMA awards, including 2020 New Artists of the Year and 2017 Momentum Band of the Year. Immersing herself in the traditions of bluegrass and having studied jazz performance at university, BB’s banjo playing is an exciting synthesis of new and old ideas. Say Tony Trischka: “She demonstrates a command of the instrument, and plays with great rhythmic clarity both in the traditional and progressive realms. J.D. Crowe co-mingles with the future.” In 2020, BB was a winner of the Steve Martin Banjo Prize.

Greg Cahill

Greg Cahill formed the Special Consensus in the Chicago area and began touring nationally (and internationally) in 1975. Greg has appeared on all 20 of the Special Consensus recordings and has released three solo recordings (two with internationally renowned mandolinist Don Stiernberg, one with mandolin maestro Jethro Burns), and one European bluegrass music recording (with renowned Czech guitarist Slavek Hanzlik). He has also released four banjo instructional videos/DVDs (Musician’s Workshop), one banjo lessons book and one banjo tablature book (both co-authored with Michael Miles, Hal Leonard publishing). Greg has appeared on numerous recordings by other artists and on countless national television and radio commercials (jingles) and conducts workshops and master classes at bluegrass camps and festivals worldwide. His teaching credits include Nashcamp, the Maryland Banjo Academy, Banjo Camp North, Midwest Banjo Camp, Suwannee Banjo Camp, Nashville Banjo Camp, Augusta Heritage Bluegrass Week, Steve Kaufman’s Acoustic Kamp, the British Columbia Bluegrass Workshops, the Sore Fingers Summer School (UK), and Bluegrass Camp Germany. Greg has taught at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago for over 40 years and became the first adjunct professor teaching banjo for the Columbia College (Chicago) Strings Department in 2011. Greg is a regular contributor to Banjo Newsletter, received the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Distinguished Achievement Award in 2011 and was inducted into the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America (SPBGMA) Hall of Greats in 2019.

Ryan Cavanaugh

Ryan Cavanaugh

Ryan Cavanaugh may well have taken the art of playing jazz on 5-string farther than any other living player. He grew up in North Carolina playing traditional bluegrass and took first place at the Merlefest, Rockygrass, and Renofest banjo contests. He began studying jazz in high school, and soon began adapting it to banjo, developing in the process a method for playing rapid runs by in effect performing forward rolls on single strings. Discovered by guitar legend John McLaughlin in 2006, Ryan spent several years touring the international jazz scene with acclaimed saxophonist Bill Evans. Ryan’s first solo CD, “Songs For the New Frontier” was released in 2007. Cavanaugh has recorded and shared the stage with greats from all genres, including Sam Bush, Béla Fleck, Victor Wooten, Dennis Chambers, Warren Haynes and Robben Ford.

James McKinney

James McKinneyJames McKinney is both a Scruggs and Reno style expert, one of the foremost jazz players of the bluegrass banjo world, and one of the most technically precise banjoists around. He won the Southern U.S. Banjo Championship at age 15. Before long he had won dozens of state and regional championships, including the National Banjo Championship at Winfield, Kansas. He made the first of several appearances on the Grand Ole Opry at age 19 and worked for a time at Opryland theme park as a banjoist and musical arranger. James moved to Nashville for good in 1990 to play full time in the James and Angela McKinney Band. He has taught countless workshops, and he has been on the staff at a number of major banjo camps, including the Midwest Banjo Camp, Smokey Mountain Banjo Academy, and the SPBGMA workshop. He has performed and/or recorded with Vassar Clements, Porter Wagoner, Barbara Mandrell, John Hartford, and Johnny Cash. His latest CD is called Mind Over Banjo.

Alan Munde

Alan Munde needs no introduction to long-time Bluegrass fans. From his early creative work with Sam Bush in Poor Richard’s Almanac to his traditional bluegrass apprenticeship with Jimmy Martin and the Sunny Mountain Boys to his 21-year stint anchoring the landmark Country Gazette, Alan has blazed a trail as one of the most innovative and influential banjo players of all time. Along the way, Alan has recorded and contributed to numerous instrumental recordings, including the 2001 IBMA Instrumental Album of the Year — Knee Deep in Bluegrass. Alan has supplemented his recorded work with several instructional publications for the banjo; from 1986-2006 he taught Bluegrass and Country Music at South Plains College in Levelland, Texas.

Pete Vigour

Pete Vigour has enjoyed playing old-time music since his childhood in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, and has won first place ribbons in both fiddle and clawhammer banjo at numerous fiddlers’ conventions in Virginia and West Virginia. A highly experienced and inspirational music teacher, Pete has been on staff at Augusta Folk Heritage, Pinewoods Music Camp, Sierra Swing, and Blue Ridge Old-Time Music Week; he is also director of Front Porch String Band Camp, an event held near his home in Charlottesville. Nowadays he plays with the old-time string band, Uncle Henry’s Favorites (which also includes his wife Ellen), with the Lovell Coleman Band and also with Zuzu’s Hot 5. For more on Pete go to VigourMusic.com and UncleHenrysFavorites.com

Other Fiddle Instructors

Fiddle classes will also be taught by John Herrmann & and others TBA. Check out the 2023 SBC Online Schedule when it comes out, for their class topics.

Jim Hurst

Jim Hurst Jim Hurst’s mastery of bluegrass guitar is revered by guitar students and widely respected by his musical peers. His eclectic career has made him a remarkable performer, an experienced instructor and a highly sought after session musician. His affability and gregariousness make him one of the most approachable musicians of his caliber. The product of a musical family, Jim was also influenced by the likes of Tony Rice, Clarence White and Jerry Reed. He got national exposure with Holly Dunn’s Rio Band, and had several high profile television and radio appearances while touring with Trisha Yearwood Jim also performed with Travis Tritt and Sara Evans, and then joined Grammy-nominated Claire Lynch and her Front Porch String Band in 1995. Later he formed a duet with bassist Missy Raines; in 2001 and 2002 they earned IBMA Guitar and Bass Player of the Year, respectively. Jim left the Claire Lynch Band in 2010 to embark on a solo career, and has five solo CD’s to his credit: Open Window, Second Son, A Box of Chocolates, Intrepid and his newest: Looking Glass. He performs his show full time and teaches at guitar workshops and music camps throughout North America and Europe. While he occasionally collaborates with other bluegrass notables, he is best known as a soloist.

Ellen Vigour

Ellen Vigour has been playing fiddle and mandolin since the 1970’s, and has taught at many camps and workshops including Augusta and Blue Ridge Old Time Music Week. She and her husband Pete are the organizers of the summertime Front Porch String Band Camp. Ellen plays regularly around Charlottesville, VA, with her bands: Uncle Henry’s Favorites and the Lovell Coleman String Band. She loves teaching fiddle and mandolin, jamming with her students and calling dances. Recently retired from her career as a Special-Ed teacher, Ellen is now happy to have more time for music-making.

Other Guest Instructors

Additional guest instructors are TBA.