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Acoustic Guitar Camp 2021

07/26/2021

to

07/30/2021

Swing, Americana, Blues, Jazz, Celtic, Pop, Folk and Country guitar!

2020 “in person” Acoustic Guitar Camp has been rescheduled. Registered participants may cancel before August 31, 2020 for a full refund or remain registered for the 2021 camp. Click below to learn more about Acoustic Guitar Camp Online.

Ashokan Acoustic Guitar Camp offers guitarists of all levels an opportunity for real immersion and growth in a friendly environment where people can sing, jam and share valuable musical knowledge. Choose from a variety of specialized daytime classes, and enjoy evening presentations, hosted jams, and mini-concerts. You’ll come away with new repertoire and techniques, a reinvigorated sense of direction and purpose, and a greater confidence and joy in making music on your guitar!

 

See more information below about the staff, schedule, tuition, work-exchange positions, lodging, and more. Children and teens are welcome to attend with a guardian. Youth discounts and scholarships are available. 

OUR 2020 ACOUSTIC GUITAR CAMP STAFF:

REV. ROBERT JONES

Rev. Robert Jones, Sr. is a native Detroiter and an inspirational storyteller and musician celebrating the history, humor and power of American Roots music. His deep love for traditional African American and American traditional music is shared inlive performances that interweave timeless stories with original and traditional songs.

For more than thirty years Robert has entertained and educated audiences of all ages in schools, colleges, libraries, union halls, prisons, churches and civil rights organizations. At the heart of his message is the belief that our cultural diversity tells a story that should celebrate, not just tolerate. 

Acclaimed photographer James Fraher writes about Robert: “Perhaps the world’s most highly educated blues musician, an ordained minister, a longtime DJ, and a living encyclopedia of blues history, the Reverend Robert Jones is comfortable among juke joint loud talkers, fancy-hatted church ladies, and PhDs alike.”   

Rev. Robert Jones makes his home in Detroit while performing throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. An award-winning multi-instrumentalist, he is accomplished at guitar, harmonica, mandolin, banjo and fiddle. He has recorded six albums of original and tradition songs. Robert is the former host of the award-winning radio programs “Blues from the Lowlands” and “Deep River” broadcast on Detroit Public Radio’s WDET-FM Detroit. And he has taught at music history courses at Wayne State University in Detroit.As an ordained minister and a Baptist pastor, he has an unwavering faith the cultural importance of sacred and traditional American roots music. In addition to his solo performances, he often collaborates musically with his wife, Sister Bernice Jones, singer-songwriter Matt Watroba and poet-performer M.L. Liebler. 

In 2017 Robert and Matt Watroba co-founded “Common Chords”, 501.c3 educational organization designed to create community, cultural and historical connections through music and the arts.   In 2018 Robert received a Kresge Arts Fellowship for Music Composition and Performance.

JEFFERSON HAMER

 Based in Brooklyn, Jefferson Hamer performs original and traditional songs with collaborators from both sides of the Atlantic. He is currently touring with Cambridge, MA roots rock ensemble Session Americana in support of their new album Great Shakes. His Child Ballads album with Anais Mitchell earned a BBC2 Folk Award in the Best Traditional Track category, and was named one of NPR’s top-ten Folk and Americana releases of 2013. His acoustic collaboration with Dublin-born Eamon O’Leary, The Murphy Beds, features ten folk songs sung in harmony duets, decorated with intricate guitar and bouzouki accompaniment. The Huffington Post said it succinctly: “The resulting album bears repeated listening from start to finish, with ten beautiful, crystalline songs.”

“A gifted guitarist and singer, Hamer is able to hit close harmonies… and weave gorgeous instrumental lines.” -Acoustic Guitar

MARY FLOWER

Mary Flower is fluent and masterful in the artistically tricky Piedmont style of acoustic guitar, one that requires a deft touch, intricate picking, and an innate sense of subtle harmonics wrapped in a rousing good time. But the Pacific Northwest guitarist – who relocated from Denver to Portland, Oregon, in 2004 – is equally rooted, schooled and dynamic with Mississippi blues, especially when rendered on a vintage lap-slide. Stir in her love of swing, ragtime, folk and hot jazz, plus a healthy dose of her own song craft, and you have a modern artist with an ear for the traditional who brings an immediate vibrancy and dynamism to any concert hall and stage performance.

“A world class finger-style guitarist and lap slide player.” – Downbeat Magazine

“There are few musicians in the genre bringing as much creative spark and low-key mojo to this century-old music…” – Acoustic Guitar Magazine

“Marries acoustic blues with touches of ragtime, folk, and jazz…the interplay is always interesting, often provocative, and sometimes breathtaking.” – Living Blues

JEFFREY PEPPER RODGERS

 Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers is a grand prize winner of the John Lennon Songwriting Contest and the founding editor of Acoustic Guitar magazine. He plays kinetic folk rock with “wickedly good, subtle, understated guitar playing” (Minor 7th), and has been a Falcon Ridge Folk Festival Emerging Artist and finalist (with Pepper and Sassafras) for Best Duo at FreshGrass.

A “renowned guitar teacher” (Boston Globe), Rodgers is author of The Complete Singer-Songwriter, the Homespun video series Learn Grateful Dead Classics for Acoustic Guitar, and the new book/video Beyond Strumming, which Chris Eldridge of Punch Brothers calls “a great resource for people looking to play songs in new ways.” Rodgers has led guitar and songwriting workshops at venues and events including Passim School of Music, Berklee College of Music, Lamb’s Retreat for Songwriters, and the Woodstock Invitational Luthiers Showcase, and he teaches courses on songwriting and creative nonfiction writing in the Honors program at Syracuse University.

“Jeffrey is a great guitar player. Sensitive and strong, and makes it look deceptively easy.” —Dan Bern

“Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers’ songs ring true and new. Spot-on work from an American wordsmith.” —Patty Larkin

“As a two-year guitar player at the beginner’s level, I found Jeffrey’s workshop to be most helpful. Jeffrey’s excellence in both teaching and performance made the method clear, comprehensible, and playable.” —Dave Bollinger

HAPPY TRAUM

 Happy Traum was smitten by American folk music as a teenager and began playing guitar and 5-string banjo. He was an active participant of the legendary Washington Square/Greenwich Village folk scene of the 1950s and ‘60s, and studied guitar with the famed blues master, Brownie McGhee. Over the past five decades he has performed extensively throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia, and Japan, both as a soloist and as a member of various groups. His avid interest in traditional and contemporary music has brought him recognition as a performer, writer, editor, session musician, folklorist, teacher and recording artist.

“Traum is still infinitely listenable, musically creative and about as good an acoustic folk guitarist as there is….”—Noah Fleisher, Pulse

“Laid-back and bluesy, like an autumn hike down a Bearsville back road, Happy’s distinctive fingerpicking and warm, welcoming “c’mon in” vocals give a vibrant new step to the standard stepping stones through folk…..” —Chronogram Magazine

“Happy has impeccable taste in choosing a program of great traditional folk and blues songs or contemporary songs written in the tradition and even better taste in the way he arranges them with both reverence for his sources and the originality of his always creative fingerpicking guitar and warm singing.” —Folk Roots and Folk Branches

LARRY BAIONE

Larry Baione has been a Berklee faculty member since 1974, and has been chair since 1990. He has studied with Lenzy Wallace, Mick Goodrick, Bill Harris, William Leavitt, Bucky Pizzarelli, and Jim Hall. He received his bachelor’s degree from Berklee and his master’s from New England Conservatory.

After graduating from Berklee, Baione was principal guitarist in the Army Band, stationed in Washington D.C. He performed in the White House and throughout the United States with the Army Blues. In 1996, Baione toured South America for the state department as one of the inaugural Jazz Amabassadors.

Larry is the author of the Berklee Practice Method for Guitar. He performs in numerous jazz, concert, and recording ensembles, settings that range from solo guitar to big band. He continues to perform and give clinics throughout the world. His recent recording Playing Time consists of original compositions and standards in a trio setting.

“I learn from the students, just as the students learn from me. I enjoy their individual talents, and I also enjoy the passion that the students have to learn the instrument and perform. Having a lot of experience as a performer, I’m able to relate my experiences to the students, and know what they’re going through. The more I perform, the more I learn—it gives me more material to work on with the students. Every time I perform, I learn something. And I’m able to talk about it firsthand.”

SYLVIA HEROLD

Sylvia Herold is a singer’s singer. At home in folk, swing, pop and Celtic genres, her passion is discovering and sharing the tale a song can tell. Her gift is in presenting songs with a clarity that is both honest and uplifting and yet remains refreshingly unvarnished. Her hard work in researching, performing and recording compelling songs for more than 25 years has earned her accolades from fans and press alike.


In her considerable tenure on the San Francisco Bay Area music scene, she has played and toured with several bands, including Cats & Jammers, The Hot Club of San Francisco, Wake the Dead, Euphonia and the Pop Top Trio. She is also an accomplished recording artist, having released four solo CDs: The Old Jawbone (2009), Lovely Nancy (2005), A Mockingbird Sings in California (2001) and A Bowl of Crystal Tears (1997)—all on the Tuxedo Records label—and has appeared on more than 25 albums alongside artists such as Kathy Kallick, Tom Rozum and Laurie Lewis.


Traditional Irish/British music was Herold’s first love. In the hotbed of San Francisco’s music scene, she met and found work playing with many talented Irish musicians. Her most consistent companion on the Irish music scene has been mandolinist and singer Marla Fibish; the well-partnered duo performed at the landmark Plough and Stars pub for 13 years.


Herold has performed at numerous festivals, including the Strawberry Music Festival, the San Francisco Jazz Festival, Centrum Hot Jazz, the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival and the Sugar Bowl Music Festival. She is a frequent instructor at prestigious adult music camps such as Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, the California Coast Music Camp and Lark in the Morning Music Celebration.


“…a mesmerizing voice.” —San Francisco Examiner

MOLLY MASON

 He was a Bronx kid. She grew up in Washington State. He was raised on pop music of the 1940s and ’50s. She had a fondness for traditional fiddle music and ’30s and ’40s popular tunes. He hung out in Greenwich Village coffeehouses and roamed North Carolina and Tennessee in search of traditional players. She played clubs and colleges on the West Coast and took a liking to the jazzy sound of the Swing Era. Since joining forces—both artistically and romantically (the two would marry in 1991)—Jay Ungar and Molly Mason have become one of the most celebrated duos on the American acoustic music scene.
 
It started with a chance meeting in the late 1970s. Jay and Molly were each performing at the Towne Crier, a rural New York club. They hit it off musically and played together from time to time until Molly headed off to Minnesota to work in the house band of a new radio show: Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion. Meanwhile, back in New York, Jay put together a band with fellow fiddlers Evan Stover and Matt Glaser and guitarist Russ Barenberg. When Fiddle Fever, as the collaboration was called, needed a bassist, Molly signed on. The group recorded two classic LPs, now available on CD as The Best of Fiddle Fever (Flying Fish Records).
 
The early ’80s also saw the beginning of Jay’s Ashokan Fiddle & Dance Camps, a world-renowned destination for enthusiasts of American music and dance traditions. Several years later, Molly became a full partner in designing and running these programs, which are still going strong.
 
1984 found Fiddle Fever band members Matt Glaser and Russ Barenberg working with a young filmmaker on a documentary called The Brooklyn Bridge. They gave Ken Burns a copy of Fiddle Fever’s second LP, Waltz of the Wind, which included Jay’s Ashokan Farewell. Burns was so taken with the evocative and haunting melody, he used it in his next film, Huey, about Louisiana Governor Huey Long, and he wound up inviting Jay and Molly to provide music for many of his projects. The high point to date of this long relationship was the selection of Ashokan Farewell as the main theme of Burns’ landmark PBS documentary The Civil War. The result: an Emmy nomination for Jay and a Grammy for the soundtrack album. And the tune seems to have taken on a life of its own. Now considered an American “folk” classic, it is played by fiddlers and classical musicians worldwide. In the British Isles, a recording of Ashokan Farewell by Her Majesty’s Royal Marines has remained high on the classical charts for several years. It has been performed by major orchestras, and has been recorded by artists from Mark O’Connor to Pinchas Zuckerman, James Galway to Charlie Byrd, Jerry Garcia, David Grisman and The Osborne Brothers to Polka King Jimmy Sturr.
 
After signing with Angel Records in 1991, Jay and Molly—in collaboration with baritone Thomas Hampson and pianist David Alpher—released American Dreamer, a collection of the songs of Stephen Foster. They followed with Waltzing with You, an elaboration on their score for the film Brother’s Keeper, a Sundance Film Festival prizewinner. Perhaps the duo’s best-known composition is the title track of The Lovers’ Waltz, an album of romantic fiddle music from Appalachian, Scandinavian, Celtic, Klezmer and Swing traditions. The CD also features a medley of melodies written by composer James Horner—ones that Jay had previously performed with the London Symphony in Horner’s score for the Sony Tristar filmLegends of the Fall. Harvest Home, Jay and Molly’s 1999 release on Angel Records, culminates in their 20-minute orchestral work, The Harvest Home Suite, in which they are joined by the Nashville Chamber Orchestra. In 2002, Jay and Molly produced, arranged and performed on A Song of Home, a collaborative recording for RCA, with flutist Sir James Galway, mandolinist Peter Ostroushko and bassist Steve Rust. Now, with Relax Your Mind (Angel Records), Jay and Molly, with their band Swingology, take a slightly different direction: American dance music with a focus on country blues and swing. Included are more of the beautiful waltzes that have become their signature pieces.
 
On radio and television, Jay and Molly have appeared on CBS Good Morning, The Rosie O’Donnel Show, All Things Considered, A Prairie Home Companion, and the BBC’s Transatlantic Sessions. And they have no shortage of future musical projects.
 
Quite the odyssey for the West Coast girl and the kid from the Bronx.

Camp Organizer

PETER DAVIS

 2020 Acoustic Guitar Camp Camp Coordinator

Peter’s multi instrumentalism includes clarinet, alto sax, 5-string & tenor banjo, piano, guitar, mandolin and whistle as well as an intuitive approach to a variety of musical genres including traditional folk, blues, vintage pop and jazz forms.

Peter Davis’s parents told him that when he was one year old,  he was scat singing arias from Rigoletto.  When he was five, Peter took piano lessons with an acclaimed teacher, but after six months he was fired as a student because he was playing by ear instead of reading notes. At eight, Peter finally connected with his private clarinet teacher, and continued five years of lessons, culminating in playing the Mozart clarinet concerto. It was then that he was handed a saxophone in 8th grade band class and was introduced to the 12 bar blues progression and Elvis Presley. In 9th grade, Peter was playing  rock and roll music with older kids in bars around Babylon, Long Island.  His dad bought him a Selmer saxophone and a Gibson guitar and sent him to a local teacher who taught him chord/melody stylings of standards. For 10th-12th grade, Peter was sent to Quaker boarding school where he was exposed to political activism and folk music and listened a lot to Bach, Thelonius Monk, Mississippi John Hurt and Earl Scruggs. At SUNY Binghamton Peter minored in music –  played in a jug and bluegrass band,  had one of his music theory classes taught by John Cage – acted in plays, sang in a doo wop and madrigal groups and played reeds in pit bands for musicals. Peter spent three years in Malawi, Central Africa where he directed his school’s a capella group and jammed South African zulu jive with some of his students.

Peter’s current projects include Annie and the Hedonists,  Whippersnappers, an eclectic string band; Reggie’s Red Hot Feetwarmers, a dixieland jazz band, which is the house band at Saratoga Racecourse each summer as well as Peter, Paul, and George, a group that does elementary school residencies in traditional music and dancing; Lindy Hop Heaven, Peter’s own swing dance band; and The Clayfoot Strutters, a rocked-out contradance band from Vermont.  He loves playing music with Jay and Molly and Swingology.

 

ALEX WANG

My name is Yiqi Wang. I use the name Alex since I’m aware that my original name is hard to pronounce! I was raised in Shanghai, China and moved with family to Toronto Canada when I was 16. 

When I first started out playing guitar, I was into popular music like everyone else until one day I heard Eric Clapton’s cover of “Hey Hey.” From that time, I started being completely gravitated by country blues artists like Robert Johnson, Big Bill Broonzy, Blind Lemon Jefferson, and others. Now I can say the guitar style of Mississippi John Hurt and Blind Blake particularly spoke to me and are probably my favorite.

While I’m still in college these days, I view playing guitar as a hobby, and at the same time, I try my best to share my work with the world through Facebook and YouTube. I truly appreciate getting to meet and know some of my heroes through internet and in real life, especially at Ashokan Guitar Camp last year. I hope this journey will continue because so far it’s been so good!

Watch Alex perform and teach “I Get the Blues When it Rains” by Big Bill Broonzy

Full schedule for Acoustic Guitar Camp 2020 is TBA.

Monday

  • 1pm: Staff Meeting (Only Staff)
  • 2-3:30pm: Arrival and check in.
  • Follow signs to check-in. Please unload and then return your car to the main lot immediately. If you need your car nearby for disability or health reasons, please request a special parking permit.
  • 3:30-5:15pm: Meet the Instructors & Class Presentations
  • 5:30-6:30pm: Dinner
  • 6:30-7:45pm: After Dinner Jams & Song Swaps
  • 8-10pm: Evening Concerts
  • 10:15pm: Snack

Tues-Thurs

  • 8-9am: Breakfast
  • 9am-11:45pm: Morning Classes
  • 12pm: Lunch
  • 1-5:15pm: Afternoon Classes
  • 5:30-6:30pm: Dinner
  • 6:30-8pm:  After Dinner Jams & Song Swaps
  • 8-10pm: Evening Staff Presentations
  • 10:15pm: Snack

Friday

  • 8-9am: Breakfast
  • 9:15-10:15am-noon: Pack Up
  • 10:15am-12pm: Campwide Fun Jam 

Tuition includes all classes and activities, dances, concerts, and meals. Lodging is additional, see below. Work exchange and youth scholarships are available.

Adult: $675
Youth 13-25: $545
Child 5-12: $435

Children under 5 attend for free. Campers under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. We offer a limited number of Parent/Spouse registrations (for those accompanying a full participant) at a rate of $435 which includes meals, and evening dances/concerts, but no classes. 

We recommend online registration. If someone else registered you and paid for you, only that person may view and edit your registration. If you prefer to pay by check or with a credit card by phone, please call (845) 246-2121 to register.

You may pay in full, or hold your place with a tuition deposit of $150 per person when you register. If making a deposit, full payment is due no later than Monday, Jun 28, 2021 (4 weeks before camp begins). A $25 charge will be added to any remaining balance after this date to cover additional administrative costs, and full payment, rather than a deposit, will be required for any new registrations after this date.

Partial refunds are available until 2 weeks before camp begins. We retain $50 per person for cancellations up to Monday, Jun 28, 2021 (4 weeks before camp begins). We retain $150 per person for cancellations made between Monday, Jun 28, 2021 and Monday, Jul 12, 2021. We retain the full registration amount for cancellations after Monday, Jul 12, 2021 (2 weeks before camp begins).

All meals are included in the camp price. You may select omnivore, no red meat, vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free meals. We make every effort to include a range of allergen-free dishes and to inform diners of meal ingredients.

The Ashokan Center is licensed to serve beer and wine in Esopus Lodge (the main building). The bar is generally open from late afternoon to early evening. Sorry, by law, guests are prohibited from bringing their own alcoholic beverages into this licensed building.

Enjoy the full Ashokan experience and choose comfortable onsite lodging during registration. 

LONGHOUSE BUNKS: Rooms hold up to 24 people and are designated women, men, or mixed gender. Place your belongings on a top or bottom bunk after you check in to claim it. Pillows are available, please bring your own blankets, sheets, pillowcases, and towels. There are a small number of light blankets for those bunkhouse residents who are unable to bring one of their own. If you will need us to provide one, please let us know well in advance.

PRIVATE ROOMS: There are a limited number of private rooms that must be reserved in advance at extra charge. Pillows are available, please bring your own sheets, pillowcases, and towelsThere are light quilts in each private room.

CAMPSITES: Camping is available with access to Longhouse bathrooms and showers. Please park by your campsite only if you plan to leave your car in place for the duration of the camp.

A limited number of work exchange positions are available to partially defray the cost of the camp. A list of work exchange positions are coming soon. 

Indicate your top 3 choices of work exchange positions during registration. If registering before the full payment deadline, make a deposit of $150 to hold your registration. If you receive a work exchange position, your balance will be adjusted before your final payment is due. When registering after the full payment deadline, pay in full at checkout and your award will be in the form of a refund. Contact us by phone (845) 246-2121, or email camps@ashokancenter.org for details.

No entries match your request.

We believe in fostering a love for traditional music and dancing among young people. The future is in their hands! In addition to our child and youth pricing, anyone 25 or younger may also apply for a Youth Scholarship. Please apply during registration. 

PERSONAL ITEMS: Sleeping bag or blanket and linens, towel, soap, flashlight, earplugs (for light sleepers). There are light quilts in each private room and a small number of light blankets for those bunkhouse residents who are unable to bring one of their own. If you will need us to provide one, please let us know well in advance and we’ll do our best. Hand-held recorders are welcome. We don’t supply musical instruments but some can be borrowed.

CLOTHING: Prepare for wet and dry weather. Most people wear comfortable, informal clothing. You are encouraged to bring dressy, wild or fun clothing for dances and dinner, but that is up to you! Soft-soled shoes are best for most dancing. Hard smooth-soled shoes are best for clogging and step-dancing. There’s no laundry on site so bring enough clothes for the week.

Please, no pets or drop-in guests.

Incoming mail

Your Name c/o Ashokan Music & Dance
477 Beaverkill Rd, 
Olivebridge, NY 12461

Outgoing mail leaves each weekday at 4pm.

Music & Dance (845) 246-2121 Wed & Thurs noon-8pm
Ashokan Center (845) 657-8333 standard business hours

Cell phone reception is available but spotty. Calls may be dropped but texts are reliably received.

High speed Wi-Fi is available in all buildings.

Physical Address:
Ashokan Center, 477 Beaverkill Rd, Olivebridge, NY 12461

DRIVING DIRECTIONS  
Take NY State Thruway (1-87) to Kingston exit #19.
From traffic circle take Route 28 West (toward Pine Hill).
In 12 miles (shortly after Mobil & Citgo) turn left onto Reservoir Rd.
Cross the Ashokan Reservoir, turn left at the Tee.
Head down the hill, pass the first left (Rt 28A East) and merge onto 28A West.
Take next left onto Beaverkill Rd.
Follow Beaverkill for about one mile, then turn right into the Ashokan Center driveway and follow the signs.

AIRPORT  Albany, NY (ALB) is the closest major airport (about 1.5 hours away). Public transportation is available from the airport to the Kingston bus station, where you can take a taxi to Ashokan. Or contact us at least one month before your program begins for a list of people driving from the Albany area who may be able to give you a ride.

BUS  Trailways (800)858-8555 runs buses from Port Authority terminal in Manhattan to Kingston, NY (2 hours).

TAXI  We provide one taxi pick up at the Kingston bus station at 2:40pm on the first day of camp. Contact us at least three weeks in advance for a seat in the taxi (if still available). If you arrive at a different time, or do not reserve in time you’ll need to hire your own cab. We recommend Kingston Kabs 845-331-8200. (About $45.)

RIDES AND CARPOOLING 
 If you’d like to carpool, or offer a ride, please contact our office at least one month before the program begins and we’ll help coordinate a ride.

< Join the Ashokan Guitar Camp Facebook Group to connect with people plan to attend and share photos and memories afterwards!

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