Pete Kelly has played and taught bluegrass and acoustic music for three decades. As an alumnus of The Dale Ann Bradley Band and Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper, his recording credits include the IBMA’s 2006 Instrumental Album of the Year, Michael Cleveland’s Let ‘Er Go, Boys! and Bluegrass Now magazine’s 2006 Album of the Year, Dale Ann Bradley’s Catch Tomorrow. His column for Banjo NewsLetter called “Jimmy Martin Banjo,” explored the playing of many of the great banjo pickers who have been part of Jimmy Martin’s band, theSunny Mountain Boys. In addition to private lessons, Pete has led workshops at festivals throughout the U.S. and U.K.
Bennett Hammond started playing guitar in 1957 and began teaching in 1960, debuted as a virtuoso soloist in 1980 on the In-Bound platform, Harvard Square Station, and has played above ground, at home and abroad ever since. Bennett picked up banjo at BCN ten years ago. Early influences include an EP side of folk and cowboy songs with guitar accompaniment his sister Lucy made in 1951, recordings of Etta Baker, Mike Seeger and Duane Eddy, and of course the Three B’s – Bach, Bluegrass, and Bo Diddly.
Lorraine Hammond’s numerous credits as a traditional singer, songwriter, teacher, performer and instrumentalist include a Homespun Appalachian dulcimer instruction series and two elegant dulcimer books with Yellow Moon Press. Lorraine plays, performs on and teaches dulcimer, banjo, mandolin and harp. Her extensive mandolin teaching experience includes the John C. Campbell Folk School, WUMB-FM Acoustic music weeks and weekends, and nearly a decade at Mandolin Camp North. She is a lecturer in folk music at Lasell College in Newton, MA, and Music Director of WUMB-FM’s Summer Acoustic Music Week. Lorraine performs and records with her husband Bennett Hammond.
Raised on a tobacco farm in Caswell County, North Carolina, Beth Williams Hartness taught herself to play the guitar at age twelve to accompany her singing. She eventually developed her own unique finger-picking style. Beth was a founding member of the Charlotte, NC Folk Music Society. She has been a member of numerous prize-winning bands at Clifftop and other fiddlers’ conventions. Her playing is featured on various recordings of old-time music, including The Young Fogies II. For the last decade, Beth has been performing with Adam Hurt throughout the United States as well as in Australia and the United Kingdom.
Wendy Cody plays upright bass with Maine-based bluegrass/folk ensemble The Gather Rounders, and has previously performed throughout the northeast as part of the venerable New England Bluegrass Band. She has recorded with musical luminaries such as Darol Anger, Heather Masse, Rushad Eggleston, Roland White, Jesse Brock, Mike Block, Grant Gordy and Alex Hargreaves. Wendy also tours with singer/songwriter Caroline Cotter as an accompanist.
Ron Cody is a 5-string banjoist, recording artist, producer, and author of multiple articles on banjo playing and technique. His accomplishments in banjo technique traverse traditional bluegrass, traditional Irish and jazz music. Ron’s recordings have been aired on NPRs All Things Considered, “The Thistle and the Shamrock,”and Sirius Radio Bluegrass. Ron plays with “The Gather Rounders” and teaches privately and at camps and festivals. He is a regular columnist for The Banjo Newsletter for melodic style banjo. His CDs include The Talking Rake, Sprung a Spring, and Balance. As music pioneer Pat Cloud writes, “Ron’s feeling and tone is string artistry at it’s finest.” www.roncody.com
Howie Bursen is best known for his gravity-defying, triplet-filled, fiddle-tune variations and is certainly one of today’s foremost practitioners of clawhammer banjo style. He has taught clawhammer at the Maryland Banjo Academy, Common Ground and the California Traditional Solstice Festival, and his eclectic recordings contain quite a number of stellar clawhammer solos. Speaking of eclectic, Howie is also an excellent singer, song-writer and guitarist, and he makes his living as manager and head wine-maker for a Connecticut vineyard. His new album is titled Banjo Manikin.
Bob Altschuler has played banjo for 45 years and performs and records with multiple bands. An in-demand teacher since the 1970s, Bob has been on the BCN faculty since 2003. He teaches at Pete Wernick’s Bluegrass Camp, has led 11 Wernick Method jam classes, offers workshops and has many private students. He has written more than 100 online banjo instruction articles, has been published in Banjo Newsletter, and was showcased in the May 2011 issue. Gene Senyak’s 2008 book, Banjo Camp! Includes a chapter about one of Bob’s workshops. His playing has been heard on National Public Radio and radio and TV commercials. Bob is a 2012 graduate of the International Bluegrass Music Association Leadership Bluegrass Class in Nashville.
Marcy Marxer is a multi-instrumentalist, studio musician, performer, songwriter and producer with 30 years of experience and a shelf of impressive awards. Marcy’s guitar playing spans a variety of styles- swing rhythm and lead, bluegrass, old time, celtic fingerpicking, folk fingerpicking and some of the most tasteful backup you can hear. The C.F. Martin Co. has honored Marcy with her very own signature model guitar, the MC3H which she helped design. Flatpick Guitar Magazine called Marcy “one of the country’s top Western style guitar players”. She also plays mandolin, bouzouki, hammered dulcimer, Latin percussion, banjos, pennywhistle and flutes and of course, the beloved ukulele
Michael J. Miles is regarded as one of America’s most inventive clawhammer banjo players. The Chicago Tribune’s critic Howard Reich said that, “Everything Miles plays is worth savoring.” Pete Seeger described his playing as “the most beautiful I’ve heard…this is enough to make me want to learn the banjo all over again.” In 2016, Hal Leonard Publications release Miles’ newest books, Bob Dylan for Clawhammer Banjo and The First 50 Songs You Should Play on the Banjo (co-written with Greg Cahill). In 2015 Miles premiered The Camerado Suite for banjo, chamber orchestra and jazz choir (text by Walt Whitman). www.MilesMusic.org