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2014 Workshops

Wanna Play? Here's your chance!

The workshop schedule for the 2014 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 10:00 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 Tim O'Brien and Darrell Scott, Birds of Chicago, Tina Gugeler, Spencer & Rains, Timothy Hill, 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 Art and Jen Brooks for organizing the vocal workshops.

Workshop Tent 1

10:30 AMABCs of Banjo!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.

11:30 AMTin Whistle (B)Andy Moss

Workshop for whistle beginners. In one hour, play a few tunes. Have lots of fun.

12:30 PMMountain Dulcimer (B)Irma Reeder

Spend some time enjoying this versatile instrument! 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. Come and play along! Some instruments provided. Irma is the 2009 Colorado State and 2011 Texas State mountain dulcimer champion. She is also co-founder and director of the New Mexico Dulcimer Festival.

1:30 PMCall and response / Listening and Standing on the EdgeTim O'Brien and Darrell Scott

Tim and Darrell are known for their spontaneity in performance. They will demonstrate and discuss getting in the zone where anything can and does happen.

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.

3:30 PMUkulele (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 - Loaners available. Hawaiian shirts are optional.

Workshop Tent 2

10:30 AMMandolin (B)Laurie Phillips

Bring your ax and learn which end is right (and don't be left). You don't need to read music ... but we won't hold it against you if you can! We'll discuss the local music scene, point to some things to work on, and practice some basic moves and tactics. And we WILL learn a tune. As always: a handout to take home!

11:30 AMTina Gugeler TBDTina Gugeler

Tina Gugeler first heard a hammered dulcimer in 1986 while living in Ketchikan, Alaska. It quickly became her passion and soon it seemed everyone on the island had heard Tina and her band, BearFoot. She played on the docks for cruise ship tourists, for weddings and dances, and at the Alaska Folk Festival in Juneau.

Since moving to the Denver area in Colorado in 1990, Tina has become a full time musician, performing solo and in small combos with fiddle, guitar or piano, and in several local contra dance bands. Along with her busy performance schedule, she teaches students on the dulcimer and bodhran.

Over the years, Tina has won many local and regional competitions and in the year 2000 she won the U.S. National Hammered Dulcimer Championship.

She appears on recordings by Denver's High Strung and the dance band Contrafusion

12:30 PMHammered Dulcimer (B)Scott Reeder

If you can tap a tune out on a table top, then you can play hammered dulcimer. Come check out this many-stringed instrument, and see how fun it is to play!

1:30 PMApple Mountain Strings & Things Folk ClubApple Mountain String & Things

Albuquerque-based acoustic instrument club where players at all skill levels enjoy well-loved folk tunes with friends. Come and just listen, or bring your instrument and play along.

2:30 PMBodhrán (B)Dain Forsythe

You'll feel the heartbeat of Irish traditional music when you learn the rudiments of how to play Ireland's drum. This is a hands on workshop for everyone.

3:30 PMAlbuquerque Accordion ClubAlbuquerque Accordion Club

The club provides a regular forum where accordion players of all skill levels, beginners to advanced, have a place to play for and with like-minded other people in a supportive, non-competitive atmosphere.

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 AMTan Y Ddraig Welsh ChoirTan y Ddraig Welsh Choir

Traditional songs from Wales sung in Welsh by Tan y Ddraig or Dragon's Breath, a small local acappella mixed voice choir.

12:30 PMBalkan Singing
1:30 PMLearn to SingCliff Johnson

This workshop will incorporate important basic elements of singing such as breathing, posture, the care of the voice, dynamics, and creating resonance.

2:30 PMShape Note Singing

Learn a way of reading music that dates back to 1801. Learn about this unique tradition while singing in four-part harmony. All vocal parts are welcome. No experience is necessary.

3:30 PMCowboy/Country Sing AlongWing & a Prayer

Founded in 2004, Wing & a Prayer's primary purpose is to play free of charge at nursing homes and elder care facilities. However, people of all ages enjoy the repertoire. Come join us in singing and playing the timeless genres of country gospel, cowboy, and old-time fiddle.

4:30 PMCeltic Singers of New MexicoCeltic Singers of New Mexico

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

5:30 PMSong CircleAlbuquerque Folk Song Circle

FIRST FRIDAY OF EVERY MONTH, 8:00 P.M. TO MIDNIGHT Each participant in the circle may lead a song, do a solo, request a song, or pass. Bring enthusiasm, songbooks, instruments, beverages/snacks, kids, and friends. Contact: Rodema Ashby 999-0035 Email:

Workshop 4 Indoors

10:30 AMHarmonic SingingTimothy Hill

Timothy Hill is well known for his talents as a vocal artist. By using his vocal chords in unique ways, he can produce multiple pitches at the same time. Come to this workshop to listen to Mr. Hill and experiment with your own voice.

11:30 AMFiddle Chording or How to Play Tunes You've Never HeardSpencer & Rains

Tricia Spencer will teach her technique for chording fiddle tunes, an ideal method for learning tunes on the fly. Fiddle chording also allows a fiddler to focus on bowing rather than those pesky notes and opens up a new way to play old time music in jam settings. Howard Rains will provide guitar accompaniment and humorous commentary.

12:30 PMCowboy Ranch Work Songs and Not So Cowboy Work SongsSteve Cormier

The workshop will cover traditional open range and ranch songs from the late l9th and mid 20th century and also a Hollywood tune or two to show the difference between the work songs (19th and mid 20th) and play songs (Hollywood).

1:30 PMHarmonica (B)
2:30 PMArranging Songs for a Full BandBirds of Chicago

Birds of Chicago is a collective based around singer/songwriters JT Nero (of the Chicago rock and soul band, JT and the Clouds) and Allison Russell (of the Canadian urban folk band, Po' Girl).

JT Nero is a strange and distinct songwriter - he lists Mark Twain and Sam Cooke among his biggest influences. He is a poet of the everyday and the absurd, the lonely, the hopeful and the semi-hopeful. He's got a fractured?country soul croon, full of doo-wop ghosts and old time religion. With the Clouds he's a rock n' roll preacher -- with Birds of Chicago he digs deeper into darker, often fantastical nuances of his work.

There's not much Allison Russell can't sing, which is no surprise to many loyal Po' Girl fans. She's got a bit of the speakeasy chanteuse in her, a bit of old R&B, but with a delicacy and clarity of phrasing that Ma Carter or Loretta Lynn would surely approve of. She plays banjo, ukulele, guitar, and clarinet. She's also a top shelf whistler. She writes gorgeous, unpredictable songs, and makes other people's tunes - often Nero's - her own with startling ease.

The JT Nero/Allison Russell combination first struck gold on the JT Nero solo release, Mountains/Forests (No. 2 on the American UK Critic's List for 2011.) Realizing their chemistry, JT and Allison formed Birds of Chicago as a vehicle for their shared musical vision, and have since toured virtually non-stop. Recent festival appearances include Delfest, Kerrville, Strawberry, High Sierra, Joshua Tree Roots Festival, and more. Radio sessions include KUTX in Austin, Daytrotter, Audiotree Live, and more. The eponymous CD Birds of Chicago enjoyed over 10 weeks in the CMJ Top 200, peaking at #95. Experience what critics are calling "two of the most compelling new voices on the Americana music scene." (Chicago Sun-Times)

3:30 PMRoundsMarj Mullany

Workshop 5 Indoors

10:30 AMFiddle Tunes in Calico TuningCanote Brothers

Greg and Jere Canote are identical twins whose music is all about having a good time. They do, you will. It's steeped in vintage Americana -- forgotten fiddle tunes, swing classics, and quirky novelty songs -- but with their own twists (and a few of their brilliant original takes on the world around us). They're fabulous musicians, moving effortlessly among fiddle, guitar, banjo, ukulele, and various hybrids, and their genetically-matched voices recall brother duets from the Blue Sky Boys to the Everlys.

NPR listeners will remember the Canote Brothers as the affable side-kicks on "Sandy Bradley's Potluck" for 13 years. The brothers have recorded a number of albums, including "Thinga Ma Jig," an album of novelty tunes and other fun songs that Canote says is akin to their greatest hits record. In performance, the brothers play up the full effect of their sounding and looking alike, with little tricks like passing a guitar pick back and forth between their identically creased foreheads. And though the pair doesn't really tell jokes on stage, the Canote Brothers' concerts are known for their humor.

11:30 AMIrish Fiddle (I)Gary Papenhagen

I fiddle for dances (Irish Set, Contra, English Country, & Scottish) and teach fiddle. Playing for dances is great fun, teaching fiddle is very satisfying. Started violin in '63, Irish and American fiddling in '79, and it's all been snowballing ever since.

12:30 PMBluegrass HarmoniesHigher Ground

Workshop will cover some basics of singing as well as illustrating basic harmonies. May include some audience participation.

1:30 PMRhythm 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.

2:30 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.

3:30 PMFingerpicking HardwareBruce Davis