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 our Camps, he will be available to do minor setups and repairs on site and to accept instruments for more extensive work.
Dick Bowden is a well-known northeastern practitioner of the thumb pick (and finger pick) in country and bluegrass lead and rhythm guitar. For 10 years he was the guitar playing half of The Case Brother – Martin & Gibson, an early country guitar/mandolin duet. For 10 more years he played rhythm guitar with The Old Time Bluegrass Singers. He is an exemplar of forceful, run-laden rhythm guitar drawn from the powerful country and bluegrass rhythm guitarists from Mother Maybelle to Del McCoury.
Janet Beazley plays banjo and sings with the California bluegrass band Chris Stuart & Backcountry. She has toured extensively with CS&B throughout the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Europe, and also in the Middle East. Janet has taught bluegrass banjo, harmony singing and music theory at many workshops, including Midwest Banjo Camp, American Banjo Camp, Suwannee Banjo Camp, Banjo Camp North, Augusta Heritage Center Bluegrass Week, Kluane Bluegrass Week in the Yukon, Rivertunes, California Bluegrass Association Bluegrass Week, Munich Banjo Camp, and Sore Fingers Week in the UK. She is also a specialist in early music, and has taught for many years at UC Riverside, UC Irvine, USC, and at early music workshops throughout the West.
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 40 years of experience and a shelf of impressive awards. She has played acoustic music on Emmy Award winning National Geographic specials, platinum shipping Eva Cassidy CD’s and on over 50 recordings and instructional materials created with her partner, Cathy Fink. Marcy is a two-time GRAMMY Award winner and fourteen-time GRAMMY nominee whose 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. She plays a signature Martin guitar, signature National Steel Tenor guitar and signature KALA tenor ukulele. She is a well-loved instructor at many camps including Steve Kaufman’s Acoustic Camp and she teaches online via Truefire, Homespun Tapes and Peghead Nation.
“It is the power of her playing that keeps listeners coming back.” – the alternate route
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. Howie is working on his new solo recording “Spring on the Swamp”.
Raised on a tobacco farm in the Piedmont of North Carolina, Beth Williams Hartness began singing and taught herself to play guitar at the age of twelve, developing her own unique finger-picking style. Beth was first introduced to old-time music in the 1980s while living in Charlotte, North Carolina, where she became a founding member of the Charlotte Folk Music Society, serving as vice president and festival organizer. Beth has been a vital part of numerous award-winning string bands, and she has won ribbons of her own in competitions for back-up guitar. Her playing is featured on many recordings including The Young Fogies II, Uncle Henry’s Favorites, In Good Company, A Tribute to the Appalachian String Band Music Festival, and several Adam Hurt projects including his most recent release, Artifacts.
Janie Rothfield is an award winning clawhammer banjo player and fiddler who has been playing old-time music “forever.” She has toured professionally for over 35 years, during which she has also been a composer, recording artist, band leader, teacher, and event organizer, with fans around the world. Her clawhammer banjo style borrows heavily from both the traditional and inventive aspects of her fiddle style, and is characterized by great power, drive and in-the-pocket rhythm. She has taught all levels of clawhammer banjo at Banjo Camp North, Janie’s Jumpstart, FOAOTMAD (UK old time group) Welsh Music Weekend, Portland Old Time Music Gathering, and weekends in Germany, Holland, and in Australia! Janie performs with numerous old time and dance bands, and currently tours with the innovative Old Time duo, Hen’s Teeth. Her latest solo CD, “Out of Thin Air,” features 15 of her own compositions.
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.
Rich Stillman has taught literally hundreds of students to play banjo, both face-to-face and worldwide through Internet lessons. He played and recorded with New England bands Southern Rail, Adam Dewey and Crazy Creek, The Bogus Family and WayStation, and has memorably (at least for him) played sets with Peter Rowan, James Monroe and even the Arlington High School orchestra. Rich wrote “Bluegrass Banjo from All Sides” for Mel Bay, and one of his BCN workshops was turned into a chapter in the book “Banjo Camp”. He is a two-time New England banjo champion, a one-time New Jersey banjo champion, and a six-time bluegrass banjo winner at the Lowell Banjo and Fiddle contest. Rich teaches banjo at Tufts University, Concord Conservatory of Music and Concord Academy and at The Music Emporium in Lexington.