Joe Deetz grew up around the Boston bluegrass scene. He moved to the west coast where he played with Frank Wakefield for several years. After his time with Frank, he moved to Woodstock, NY, to play with the John Herald Band. During this time Joe did some studio work, appearing on projects with Carole King and Sesame Street, among others. He then moved to the Boston area to play with Joe Val and while playing with Joe appeared on a variety of televised shows in the U.S. and abroad. After Joe Val’s passing, Joe played in various bands and recorded on Brian Wilson’s solo album, where both his banjo and vocals were blended with Brian Wilson and the Beach boys. Joe has taught banjo on and off through his career and enjoys coaching new players and helping intermediate and advanced players improve their playing. Joe currently performs with the Rhode Island bluegrass band Rock Hearts.
Growing up in a musical family, Cathy Day began performing at age 10 with her parents and sister in the Rose City Bluegrass Band, which played numerous shows throughout the Northeast U.S. during the 1980s. As a teen, she arranged and taught the harmonies to her band, taught fiddle, bass, and Dobro, and won numerous contests on fiddle, mandolin, and guitar. While she could be found playing any instrument, her fiddling was and still is most often sought after for performances and studio work throughout New England. She was a member of the award winning all-girl band SassyGrass, and the New Hampshire-based band Marcy Hill. She is currently in the Bill Thibodeau Band, Cashel Rock (an Irish Band), The Cicadas (a contradance band) and often freelances with the Cornfed Dogs. She has a passion for passing on bluegrass music and gets the word out as a bluegrass DJ on WHUS 91.7FM in Storrs, CT, demonstrates to kids in the schools, plus still finds time teach in her spare time.
As a recording engineer and producer, Mike Rivers has recorded albums of various artists for Folkways, Folk Legacy, Rounder, Troubador, Flying Fish, among others. In addition to “doing the sound” at Music Camps North since 2003, he has run concert sound for the Smithsonian, National, and Lowell Folklife Festivals. Mike has played old time music
since 1960. He performed with the Greasy Run Toad Trompers, one of the first of the 1970s eclectic string bands, playing a mixed bag of Southern, Northern, Western, swing, ragtime, and Celtic music on string band instruments. At Camp, Mike teaches classes in sound production and recording.
Julian Berman is a musician based in the Hudson Valley of New York state. He uses guitar and mandolin to express music in a wide variety of styles, and performs with a variety of local bands. Julian teaches music professionally to kids and adults at various music camps, workshops, and also privately. He has taught alongside notable professionals such as Jay Ungar and Molly Mason, Larry Baione (Berklee College of Music), and Jefferson Hamer.
Matt Shipman is a performer and teacher of acoustic and traditional music. Matt and his wife Erica Brown have been music educators for over 12 years and recently opened a teaching studio in their Portland, Maine, home called Darlin’ Corey Studios where they give lessons to people of all ages and abilities. Matt performs with Erica in a duo Darlin’ Corey, as well as with Erica Brown & The Bluegrass Connection, High Range, and Boghat, a traditional Irish band. Although guitar and mandolin were his first loves, he also plays bouzouki and clawhammwer banjo. He received his degree from Vermont College, a self designed major of Traditional Music Studies. Matt has put out recordings with High Range and Erica Brown and has also released two recordings of his own; most recently ‘When Evening Falls’ with Darlin’ Corey. Matt currently resides in Portland. Matt’s websites: darlincorystudios.com, shippymusic.com
Award-winning musician Tony Watt has performed throughout the United States, Europe, and on the Grand Ole Opry. He has been featured in Bluegrass Unlimited, Bluegrass Now, and Flatpicking Guitar Magazine, and toured with Rounder Recording artists Alecia Nugent and Leigh Gibson of The Gibson Brothers. He is a graduate of Leadership Bluegrass 2012, has served on the IBMA’s Education and Board Selection Committees, and is currently a Board Member and Education Co-Director of the BBU. Tony is a visiting artist at Berklee College of Music, and also the director of the first-ever Ashokan Bluegrass Camp in 2018. Tony is also the director of The Bluegrass University, which has offered classes at Grey Fox (NY), Jenny Brook (VT), Pemi Valley (NH), Podunk (CT), and Thomas Point Beach (ME). Tony teaches lessons, classes, workshops, and jam sessions throughout the Boston area, and anywhere in the world via Skype video conferencing.
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.
Kelly Stockwell took up the banjo in 2001, learning from local teacher Bruce. After a few years playing Scruggs style she switched to clawhammer and dragged Bruce to their first Banjo Camp North in 2002. Eventually realizing two banjos in one house was too much, in 2006 she switched to the doghouse bass and has never looked back.
She learned how to play bass 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 played with “Hot Mustard”, a double banjo band. She now plays with her husband Bruce in “The Stockwell Brothers Band”. Kelly has been attending all iterations of Music Camps North (Banjo, Old-time, Mandolin, Guitar) since 2002. Her favorite banjo tuning is open D.
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