Jimmy Heffernan is a multi-instrumentalist, specializing in resonator “dobro” guitar. In bluegrass and country music for over 40 years, he has performed and recorded with top names such as Larry Sparks, Red Allen, Brad Paisley, Charlie Louvin, Doug Kershaw, and many more. Starting performing in the 70s, playing concerts and festivals up and down the east coast, he has played major music venues from the Tonight show to the Grand Ole Opry. These days with the tour bus parked, Jimmy focuses on teaching, sharing his experience in music through workshops and videos.
Stacy Phillips is a Grammy award winning dobro and violin player. He has performed with many of the world’s greatest acoustic musicians.
Along with his performance career, Stacy is also the author of over twenty widely acclaimed instructional books and dvd’s for both his chosen instruments. They are seen in the music rooms of the world’s best string players. He has been teaching dobro workshops for 35 years.
Visit his web site at: http://www.stacyphillips.com
Award-winning guitarist and mandolinist Tony Watt has performed throughout the United States, Europe and on the Grand Ole Opry. Tony is a visiting faculty member at the Berklee College of Music, and teaches courses in guitar, mandolin, harmony singing, bluegrass jamming and more. He has served on the IBMA’s Education Committee, and is currently a Board Member and Education Co-Director of the BBU. Tony founded The Bluegrass University, which offers classes at Grey Fox, Jenny Brook, Pemi Valley, and Podunk. Tony teaches in Albany, Hartford, throughout the Boston area, points in-between, and anywhere in the world via on-line Skype videoconferencing.
Kelly Stockwell started on banjo and soon realized two banjos in one house was two banjos too many; in 2006 she switched to doghouse bass and never looked back. She learned through the school of hard knocks and dirty looks from guitar players, joining in at jams and parties and as the staff bassist for Banjo Camp North and Mandolin Camp North. For five years she has played with Hot Mustard, a double banjo band that includes her husband, Bruce Stockwell; since Hot Mustard’s end rather than the logical evolution to form a three banjo band she has instead joined the Stockwell Brothers. Kelly’s favorite banjo tuning is open D.
Bruce Stockwell has been playing bluegrass banjo since 1968 and teaching since the 70’s. By age 16 he had won banjo contests, recorded his first album, and opened for Earl Scruggs, Doc Watson, John Hartford, and many others. In the late 70’s he worked with Phil Rosenthal and Mike Auldridge as Old Dog producing two albums on Flying Fish. Since the 1980’s, Bruce has performed with his two brothers (and now wife Kelly) in various acoustic/electric formats. In 2005 he won the Merlefest Banjo Contest, and in 2008 a NH Arts Grant led to the formation of Hot Mustard, a double-banjo bluegrass band.
Neil Rossi was introduced to bluegrass in 1960. He learned bluegrass banjo, then guitar, mandolin, and fiddle. In the late 1960s he founded The Spark Gap Wonder Boys, which won the Old-Time band contest at the Union Grove in 1970. Through college and graduate school he played with several high-profile bands, including the David Bromberg Band. In New York City he played fiddle with The Yankee Rebels and Diamonds In The Rough. After moving to Vermont, he played with Bob Yellin, and with Big Spike Bluegrass. Neil continues to teach, write and play music. His recent instruction book, “Learning To Fiddle, Bluegrass Style” received a rave review in Bluegrass Unlimited.
Beginning his mandolin career in the Carolinas and making his way up to New England via Washington DC, Ben Pearce has played bluegrass mandolin all over the East Coast. Currently playing with multiple regional bands, Ben is also the sole proprietor of the Outlier Workshop (www.outlierworkshop.com), where he toils day and night to create some of the best mandolins and flattop guitars available today. Don’t let his youthful appearance fool you! He knows a huge variety of tunes, songs and mandolin styles as a result of his careful study of many contemporary players as well as first- and second-generation mandolin giants.
Laura Orshaw, fiddler and vocalist, “has firmly established [herself] as a significant emerging artist in the arena of traditional American music,” according to Bluegrass Unlimited magazine. Laura learned to play and sing from grandmother and regional Old Time musician, Betty Orshaw. She has 10 years of experience performing, teaching private lessons, and conducting educational programs and workshops throughout the Northeast. Laura hosts teen ensembles, kids academies and bluegrass instruction for adults at bluegrass festivals, among them Joe Val, Jenny Brook, Pemi Valley, Podunk, and Thomas Point Beach Bluegrass Festival. Laura works at Lesley University as the coordinator for their music and art therapy program.
Glenn Nelson, resident instrument specialist, has been building, restoring and repairing instruments for 20 years. Glenn and his wife Barbara own Mockingbird Music in Berlin, Massachusetts where they build custom stringed instruments and specialize in the repair and restoration of vintage instruments. Glenn teaches five string banjo and performs with Wide Open Spaces and Acoustic Planet, encompassing world music, folk, jazz and bluegrass. At BCN he will be available to do minor setups and repairs on site and to accept instruments for more extensive work.
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.