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Acoustic Guitar Camp 2024

Monday, July 22 - Friday, July 26

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!

This year’s wonderful staff have been announced: Courtney Hartman, Guy Davis, Jefferson Hamer, Ali Dineen, Valerie & Benedict Turner, and your host Mamie Minch.

“I learned so much! The teachers are incredible, so patient and warm. As a semi-advanced beginner I feel I’m coming away with a new vocabulary and sense of what to work towards. Very inspiring.”

“Aside from the excellent teaching… I loved the ambiance and camaraderie of the camp.”

“Beyond expectations by miles. The teachers were exceptional and incredibly generous.”

“Great food, beautiful setting. I loved the concerts and open mics!” 

 Click here to view LAST YEAR’S schedule

JUST ADDED! –  click here for this year’s class descriptions.

Can't make it to the full camp, drop in for the Wednesday staff concert…

Guitar Summit 2024

July 24, 2024 - July 24, 2024

We invite our community to enjoy a wonderful evening of acoustic guitar players. Don't miss this incredible lineup. 7:30pm

Register

COURTNEY HARTMAN is an acclaimed guitarist, singer and writer from the foothills of Colorado. Acoustic Guitar Magazine recognizes her as a “distinctive guitar stylist... and a songwriter that delights and disturbs” while PopMatters hailed her most recent release as “a delicate light glistening softly in the darkness.” In 2014 she received a GRAMMY nomination for her work with folk quintet, Della Mae, and in 2017 Americana Music Association nominated her for Instrumentalist of the Year. Bill Frisell, Mike Campbell and Buffy St. Marie are a few of the artists Courtney has created with as she continues to collaborate across cultures and disciplines, always seeking to bring voice to the hushed and inexpressible. Over the last decade, Courtney has represented the US State Department in 28 countries through music diplomacy and outreach. Her teaching work includes fifteen years of private instruction experience as well as faculty positions at Rockygrass Academy, Swannanoa Guitar Week Gathering, Miles of Music and Grand Targhee Music Camp.
VALERIE & BENEDICT TURNER Valerie is a native New Yorker with southern roots in Virginia and Georgia. She plays finger style Country Blues guitar and specializes in the Piedmont style of fingerpicking. She has taught at major guitar workshops including the Port Townsend Acoustic Blues Workshop, Augusta Blues Week, and Blues in the Gorge. An inductee into the New York Blues Hall of Fame, and Co-President of the Mississippi John Hurt Foundation, Valerie is also the author of Piedmont Style Country Blues Guitar Basics, an independently published book acquired by the Library of Congress. Her eclectic repertoire is heavily influenced by the years spent studying with John Cephas (a world-renowned Country Blues musician in the Piedmont style) and Woody Mann (a Juilliard trained student of Rev. Gary Davis). Valerie’s guitar playing is reminiscent of traditional blues greats like Mississippi John Hurt, Etta Baker, and Elizabeth Cotten. Valerie and her husband Benedict perform as the Piedmont Blūz Acoustic Duo. We're thrilled they'll be returning and Ben will reprise his well-loved percussion workshop.

GUY DAVIS is a two time, back-to-back Grammy nominatee, 22 time Blues Music Award nominee, and recipient of the Keeping the Blues Alive Award in Theatre. And he has recently added Broadway Composer to his resume. Davis has had his musical storytelling influenced by artists like Blind Willie McTell and Big Bill Broonzy, and his musicality from artists as diverse as Lightnin’ Hopkins and Babatunde Olatunji, and harmonica techniques from most notably, Sonny Terry. His latest album is "Be Ready When I Call You", and like the album before it, “Sonny & Brownie’s Last Train – A Look Back at Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry”, it was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album. Guy has released 15 albums and has appeared on a dozen tribute compilations. His career has included work as a Broadway, film, and television actor, Off Broadway lead, author, music teacher, and of course blues artist.

JEFFERSON HAMER is a guitarist, singer, and songwriter from Brooklyn, New York. He has toured and recorded albums with Anais Mitchell (Child Ballads, winner of a BBC2 Folk Award), Sarah Jarosz (as guitarist and harmony singer on her Grammy-nominated Blue Heron Suite), and Session Americana. The Murphy Beds, his long-running traditional folk duo with Eamon O’Leary, has released two self-produced albums, about which the Huffington Post wrote, “[the album] bears repeated listening from start to finish, with ten beautiful, crystalline songs.” His original songs and lead guitar work are featured on Alameda, an acoustic and electric collaboration with bassist Jeff Picker and drummer John Fatum, featuring special guests from the NYC folk community and beyond. He also works behind the mixing console as an engineer and producer. Jefferson is an enthusiastic teacher, having taught privately for over two decades, and at music camps including the Augusta Irish Week, Miles of Music, Centrum Voiceworks, and The Ashokan Guitar Camp. Jefferson will be teaching Acoustic Guitar for Folk Singers and Right Hand Techniques for Acoustic Guitarists (plectrum-style).
MAMIE MINCH, your host, is a longtime staple of New York’s acoustic blues scene. Listening to her sing and play is like unpacking a time capsule of American music that’s been stored in her 1930’s National steel guitar for decades and filtered with a modern femme sensitivity. Mamie writes and performs songs and ballads that bridge between herstorical record and contemporary city life, and especially loves performing material from women musicians through time. She is also one half of Brooklyn Lutherie, NYC’s only woman owned and run instrument repair shop. Mamie has been teaching blues guitar for 20 years; she is delighted to come back to Ashokan, and to be your host once again for a fabulous and fun learning experience at Acoustic Guitar Camp!

Additional Info:

Payment/Cancellation/Refund Policy

You may pay in full or hold your place with a deposit of 25% per person if registering 4 or more weeks before camp. Full payment is due 4 weeks before camp begins. To cancel your camp registration, email events@ashokancenter.org

• We retain $50 per person for cancellations requested up to 4 weeks before camp begins, and for COVID-related cancellations made at any date.

• We retain your 25% deposit between 4 and 2 weeks before camp.

• We retain the full registration amount within 2 weeks of camp.

Schedule Overview

MONDAY

  • 3pm: CAMPER ARRIVAL.
  • 4:30pm: SITE WALK
  • 5pm: MEET THE TEACHERS
  • 6pm: DINNER
  • 7:30pm: JAMS & ACTIVITIES

TUESDAY-THURSDAY

  • 8:30-9:30am: BREAKFAST
  • 9:30-12:30pm: CLASSES & WORKSHOPS
  • 12:30-2pm: LUNCH
  • 2-5pm: CLASSES & WORKSHOPS
  • 5-6pm: OPEN MIC (Esopus Courtyard)
  • 6-7pm: DINNER
  • 7:30-10pm: CONCERTS & JAMS
  • 10pm: SNACK & INFORMAL JAMMING

FRIDAY

  • 8:30-9:30am: BREAKFAST
  • 10am: FAREWELL GATHERING
Pricing & What's Included!

You may choose to pay up front or pay a deposit and balance. Balance payment is due 4 weeks before the event.

Registration includes all activities and meals. Lodging is optional and camping is free.

Children under 5 attend for free (under 3 for Family Camp). Campers under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Food & Drink

All meals are included. You may indicate your dietary restrictions when registering. 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.

Lodging

LONGHOUSE BUNKS: Rooms hold up to 24 people and are designated women, men, or all 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 bathrooms and outdoor showers. Please park by your campsite only if you plan to leave your car in place for the duration of the camp.

What To Bring

If you’re lodging with us please remember to bring a blanket and linens (or sleeping bag), towel, toiletries, soap, flashlight, earplugs (for light sleepers). There are light quilts in each private room and we have a small number of light blankets for bunkhouse residents who can’t bring one of their own. Let us know well in advance if you’ll need one.

Flashlight, recording device, camera (or maybe those are all your phone!)

Comfortable informal clothing for wet and dry weather. Some may also bring dressy, wild or fun clothing as well but that is up to you! There’s no laundry on site so bring enough clothes for the camp.

What Not To Bring
Please, no pets or drop-in guests.
Mail/Phone/WiFi

Incoming mail

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

Outgoing mail leaves each weekday at 4pm.

Music & Dance Camp Phone (845) 657-8333 x 3

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.

Directions & Transportation

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.

Covid Safety Policy

We recommend but no longer require everyone test for COVID-19 in the 24 hours before arrival. 

All refund requests due to a positive test, COVID exposure, or COVID-related concerns will be honored (less a $50 administrative fee).

We will provide onsite rapid testing upon request.

Additional FAQ's
CAMP WAITLIST & PRIVATE LODGING WAITLIST (only join if ADD CAMPER button at top of page is disabled or your preferred lodging choice is greyed out in that form.)

If there are no camp spots or private rooms available above, you may add your name to this waitlist. If space opens up we will contact you.

The Ashokan Center builds community through shared experiences in nature, history, music and art. We have hosted traditional Music & Dance Camps at our 385 acre nature preserve for over 40 years. In 2020 we learned how to host them online and in 2021 we began to reimagine how to gather in person once again.

Come join the Ashokan family to celebrate, learn, connect, deepen your music, make new friends, and brighten your day. Our events are open to all folks, all ages and all orientations.

M&D Need-Based “Pay it Forward” SCHOLARSHIPS We are holding 5 deeply discounted spots (includes tuition, meals & bunk) to provide a learning opportunity to gigging musicians and music, vocal, and dance teachers who will be sharing out their newly learned skills with a wider community. We prioritize new applicants each year and notify all applicants within 1 month before camp begins.

NEED HELP?

EMAIL: events@ashokancenter.org
CALL 845-657-8333 x3

Click here for answers to Frequently Asked Questions about camp!

Thank you to the Martin Foundation for supporting Ashokan Music & Dance Camps.