Albuquerque Folk Festival Logo

We're working on 2017 information.

We're back at last year's location: The Albuquerque International Ballooon Museum. We're busy planning what should be the best Albuquerque Folk Festival yet, with camping and jamming Friday and Saturday nights, and entertainment, workshops, and dancing all day Saturday, June 3. As soon as we have final information, we'll put it up here. In the meantime, we've left the 2016 information up so you can get a feel for the fun you'll have at the Albuquerque Folk Festival.

2016 Workshops

Wanna Play? Here's your chance!

The workshop schedule for the 2016 Albuquerque Folk Festival is coming together.

All of these workshops are designed for festival goers' participation. Even if you don't have an instrument to play, workshop presenters and/or other participants can often loan you one or share theirs to give you chance for a little hands on. Don't be shy! Come join the fun! And if you do have an instrument at home, don't hesitate to bring it along. We have an instrument check room available from the festival start until 9:00 PM so you don't have to lug that instrument around all day if you don't want to.

One of the great things about the folk festival is that everybody participates. Performers are more than willing to share their expertise with everyone at the festival. This year, you'll find Laurie Lewis and Tom Rozum, Growling Old Men, Ruthy Ungar, and more giving workshops.

Workshops labeled with a (B) are especially targeted to beginners. If a workshop is labeled with an (I), it's for intermediate players.

Thanks to Scott Reeder for organizing the instrumental workshops and Irma Reeder for organizing the vocal workshops.

Workshop Tent 1

10:30 AMRhythm Bones (B)David Wilson

Learn how to play this simple but versatile rhythm instrument. Bones can be played with almost any genre of folk music and fit nicely in your back pocket. A limited supply of bones will be available for use during the workshop. Otherwise, bring your own or buy yourself a pair for an affordable price from our vendors.

11:30 AMTin Whistle (B)Harlow Pinson

The Penny Whistle is a very simple and inexpensive folk musical instrument. With only a little effort, almost anyone can play a tune on it. And it is capable of the most amazing music! We will learn a tune at this workshop and identify some ideas for further learning. All you need to bring is a Penny Whistle in the Key of D, which you may already have, or can acquire from a vendor at the Folk Festival or locally, for a very reasonable price. Local Irish music instructor Harlow Pinson will be teaching this workshop for beginners. No experience necessary! Come have fun and make music! We will learn an Irish tune.

12:30 PMBeginning Guitar (B)Kevin Herig

Kevin Herig, Director of Rock 101 Music Academy, will conduct a beginner guitar workshop for aspiring guitarists of all ages! In this crash course you will learn about proper picking and strumming technique, fretboard navigation, chord formations, and much more. Come learn your first song on guitar and walk away with solid foundation and understanding of this wonderful instrument!

1:30 PMMountain DulcimerIrma Reeder

Come and experience this versatile instrument rich in American history! It's easy and fun to get started. We'll cover some basics for beginners, then enjoy playing songs with parts for all skill levels. Some instruments provided. Irma is a past Colorado State and Texas State mountain dulcimer champion and the 2016 Southern Regional champion. She is also co-founder and director of the New Mexico Dulcimer Festival. Website:

2:30 PMKlezmer MusicBeth Cohen

Klezmer refers to the the dance music of the eastern European Jewish people. Learn to play a klezmer dance tune with Beth Cohen: a long-time ABQ music teacher and folk musician, Community Klezmer band director since 1995, co-producer of KlezmerQuerque & band member of The Rebbe's Orkestra & Goddess of Arno. All levels of musicians and all instruments are welcome. Website:

3:30 PMBlues on the UkuleleRuthy Ungar

With just a handful of chords, you can play dozens of blues numbers from the 30's and 40's, or make up your own. We'll have fun singing and playing a few songs together.

4:30 PMReserved for Band Scramble Practice

Workshop Tent 2

10:30 AMOld-time Up-picking and Down-picking Banjo Styles (I)Wayne Shrubsall

Two- and three-finger older banjo styles as well as clawhammer. Bring your banjo!

11:30 AMABCs of Banjo! (B)Pat Neff

Using the I, IV. V chord progressions up the neck. Play some of the songs you already know on upper positions on the banjo neck. A great step to being a better banjoist.

12:30 PMHarmonica (B)Jimmy Abraham

This year we play blues harmonica, the fabled cross-harp. Bring a diatonic harmonica in the key of C. I will have a few harmonicas for those who need one.

1:30 PMHammered Dulcimer (B)Scott Reeder

Weird shaped instrument you get to hit with hammers with as many strings as 4 bluegrass bands. Introduction for beginners or the curious, several instruments will be available. Scott co-founded the New Mexico Dulcimer Festival.

2:30 PMAmericanaClifford Johnson

Come see how to play washboard, gut-bucket bass, and musical saw. Instructor will have instruments available for students which may be purchased if desired at the workshop.

3:30 PMMandolin (B)Laurie Phillips

Maybe you have a mando and aren't quite sure how it works, or maybe you can play a little but want more. Bring it to this workshop and we'll make some music! We'll work out a tune by playing it, learn some chords and how to handle a pick, and point to some things to work on. It's all by ear, so you don't need to read music. And you'll get a handout to take home with chords and good local websites!

4:30 PMReserved for Band Scramble Practice

Workshop Tent 3

10:30 AMWomen's BarbershopRoute 66 Sound

This a capella chorus creates exciting performances that push the envelope of the barbershop art form. Come learn about female barbershop singing and join in the experience.

11:30 AMCowboy/Country/Gospel SingalongWing & a Prayer

Wing and a Prayer enjoys playing music of a bygone era: cowboy music of the silver screen, traditional folk music, and old-time country gospel.  Add to that a few fiddle tunes and Celtic melodies, and the result is a wonderful musical step back in time for people of all ages.  From Amazing Grace to Wildwood Flower - Come sing the past with us!

12:30 PMSinging 101: Learn to SingClifford Johnson

Important basic elements of singing: breathing, posture, care of the voice, dynamics, and resonation.

1:30 PMCeltic Singers of NMCeltic Singers of New Mexico

Enjoy listening to and singing choral and work songs in Scots Gallic, Broad Scots and English.

2:30 PMHarmony SingingJeeZ LaWeeZ

Learn to find your own vocal harmonies to songs you know. Join trio JeeZ LaWeeZ as we all become an instant glee club! Get started singing beyond the melody!

3:30 PMShape Note SingersShape Note Singers of Albuquerque New Mexico

Experience a way of reading music that dates back to colonial times. Learn about this unique tradition while singing in four-part harmony. All vocal parts are welcome. No experience is necessary.

4:30 PMBalkan SingingRumelia

Rumelia is a group of women who are putting a new spin on music from Eastern Europe, a region generally known as the Balkans. The music is unique to the western ear in that it uses odd time signatures (think 7/8, 9/8, and 11/8 for starters), as well as eastern scales (maqam) and tonalities. Rumelia's repertoire is derived from the traditional and popular tunes of Albania, Turkey, Greece, Macedonia, and Bulgaria with a little Sephardic and a lot of Roma (Gypsy) music thrown in for good measure.

5:30 PMAlbuquerque Folk Song CircleAlbuquerque Folk Song Circle

This group is all about enjoying singing and sharing your favorite songs. Each person will get a chance to choose a song and sing it as a solo or with the group. Instruments are welcome too!

Workshop 4 Indoors

10:30 AMUkulele (B)High Desert Sand Fleas Ukulele Club

This workshop is intended to be an introduction to this fun and portable instrument - learn strumming, a few chords and techniques that will get you playing. A limited number of loaners will be available. Hawaiian shirts are optional.

11:30 AMBluegrass Harmony SingingLaurie Lewis and Tom Rozum

Singing harmony is probably the most fun you can have without getting into trouble. This workshop will teach the skills needed to hear and add harmony parts to classic country and bluegrass songs.

12:30 PMMulticultural Harmony SingArana Kalwaic

African songs, world music, spirituals, rounds.  ALL VOICES WELCOME! No experience necessary.  Learn by ear in 4 part harmony.  Sponsored by Albuquerque's unique Frabjous Day Choir Community--an Ubuntu choir where "singing is our birthright."  

1:30 PMTherapeutic Benefits of SingingNizhoni Music Therapy

Want to boost your health? Since ancient times, song has been used to promote well being. The best part is that you don't have to be a professional singer to reap the rewards! Join in and sing along to learn about and experience the benefits for yourself! Offered by Antoinette Neff, MT-BC, President, Southwestern Region of the American Music Therapy Association, and  Jacquelyn Claxton, M.Ed., MT-BC, Ysleta Independent School District, El Paso TX.

2:30 PMCowboy SongsSteve Cormier

Steve Cormier did ranch and farm work for nine years as well as touring the US and Canada singing cowboy songs and telling stories, some of which were true. He also spent 22 years teaching college history, most of which was true. He now tours the US and Canada again singing cowboy songs and telling stories, most of which are true. He holds a Ph.D. in American Studies with a dissertation on New Mexico ranching, all of which is true. Steve will open it up to a round robin sing, so bring a musical instrument and your favorite working cowboy song!

3:30 PMHarmonic Magic for SongwritersDavid Bashwiner

Led by David Bashwiner-UNM professor of music theory by day, Cactus Tractor front-person by night-this workshop is designed to throw open the doors of harmonic perception for songwriters at all levels. 

4:30 PMReserved for Band Scramble Practice

Workshop 5 Indoors

10:30 AMCajun Double Fiddle StyleBayou Seco Duo

Ken and Jeanie of Bayou Seco will give a workshop on the double fiddle style that is common in Cajun Music. One person plays the melody, and the other plays rhythm and chords on the bass strings. We will teach several tunes by ear showing the melody, the chords, and and how to put them together to make the tune rock.

11:30 AMPercussion/VocalsMala Maña

Members of Mala Maña will give a little background and teach a traditional rhythm called "Bunde," from the people of the Afro-Colombian Pacific coast region. We will teach vocals to the song "Maria Que Iba," plus their traditional marimba, stick drum, hand drum, guasa (shaker) and we add another part on marimbula, a big box kalimba found in many parts of African Latin-America.

12:30 PMIrish Fiddle (B)Gary Papenhagen

Irish Fiddle is distinguished by its ornaments and rhythms. I'll introduce the ornaments; the cut, the turn, and the bowed treble, and the bowing patterns of the hornpipe, jig, and reel. Excerpts of several tunes will be used to demonstrate the various patterns.

1:30 PMJaw Harp (B)Kenneth Dean

Symphony musician Ken Dean will go over basic techniques for this ancient mouth-resonated instrument. Feel free to bring your own instruments. There will be a limited number of instruments available for $6.00 each at the workshop.

2:30 PMMaking Music as a DuoGrowling Old Men

John Lowell and Ben Winship travel the globe as Growling Old Men. This workshop will focus on how two instruments and voices have a unique sound, very unlike a larger band. Typically singing around one microphone, they will speak about song selection, arranging and performing as a duo. Lowell is a master guitarist and Winship plays both the mandolin and mandocello. Their skill has landed them at some of the top festivals in the US and as instructors such as the Sorefingers Bluegrass Camp in the UK, the Grand Targhee Bluegrass Camp, the Elkins camp in West Virginia and the Montana Fiddle Camp, among many others. There will be music, tips, and time for questions.

3:30 PMGuitarrón SyncopationLone Piñon

In this workshop we will discuss counterpoint syncopation , keeping time, and listening to your band mates while holding down the rhythm when playing without a drummer.

4:30 PMReserved for Band Scramble Practice