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.
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.
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
Riley Baugus first came to music through his family in the Blue Ridge mountains of North Carolina. Riley started playing banjo at 10 years old, on an instrument that he and his father built from some scrap wood. He spent most of his early years honing his skills as a musician, singer and storyteller by spending time with many traditional players from the Blue Ridge Mountains. The core or Riley’s style is the Round Peak tradition of Surry County, NC. His teaching focus is mostly on learning many of the possibilities of the banjo, rather than just learning tunes.
Some of Riley’s projects include the award-winning film, “Cold Mountain”, “Raising Sand”, the multi Grammy winning recording by Alison Krauss and Robert Plant, and Willie Nelson’s “Country Music”. Riley spends most of his time either performing, teaching or building his sought after old-time open back five-string banjos.
As banjo player for the award winning Becky Buller Band, one half of the duo Nedski & Mojo, and host of Sirius XM Bluegrass Junction’s Derailed and More Banjo Sunday, Ned Luberecki is known not only for his banjo prowess, but for his wit and humor. Respected as both a traditional and progressive player, Ned toured extensively in the United States and Europe as a member of Chris Jones and the Night Drivers for over a decade before joining the Becky Buller Band. He’s also been a member of Paul Adkins and the Borderline Band, the Rarely Herd, and Larry Cordle & Lonesome Standard Time, and has appeared with such artists as Jim Lauderdale, Tony Trischka, and Ray Stevens.
When not performing and broadcasting, Ned teaches private lessons in Nashville and at music camps and workshops around the world. Additionally, he is the author of Alfred Music Publishing’s Complete Banjo Method.
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.
Dave Dick is a multi-instrumentalist, writer, singer, and producer who also owns D String Guitar Repair where he is repairman and luthier. Dave’s music career spans more than 35 years, playing in several prominent bluegrass groups in the Northeast including Southern Rail, Salamander Crossing, Northern Lights, and Blackstone Valley Bluegrass. Dave has traveled the U.S. extensively and been featured on many recordings. Although most known as a superb five-string banjo player, Dave also is a versatile guitarist. Formerly a producer for CMH Records “Pickin’ On” series, Dave produced tribute albums of The Eagles, Dwight Yoakam, Brad Paisley and The Red Hot Chili Peppers. In 2016 Dave opened D String Guitar Repair, located in Sturbridge, MA, where he provides repairs and restorations for fretted instruments of all types. Dave released his first solo album, entitled “Greenwood” in 2017. The album is a collection of original music written for acoustic guitar.