Albuquerque Folk Festival Logo

2015 Workshops

Wanna Play? Here's your chance!

The workshop schedule for the 2015 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 Notorious, Run Boy Run, Cathy Barton, 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 Jenn Brooks 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)Andy Moss

Workshop for whistle beginners. In one hour, play a few tunes. Have lots of fun. Bring a whistle in 'D', or buy one from a festival vendor.

12:30 PMMandolin (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!

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 the 2009 Colorado State and 2011 Texas State mountain dulcimer champion. She is also co-founder and director of the New Mexico Dulcimer Festival.

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 PMGuitar (B)Pat Neff

A folk festival can be much more fun if you're playing. Beginning guitar workshop for people who are just learning to play. We'll touch on some chords, strums and a few songs to work on.

4:30 PMReserved for Band Scramble Practice

Workshop Tent 2

10:30 AMScruggs Style Banjo (B)Wayne Shrubsall

Bring your banjo and/or questions about the popular Scruggs banjo style.

11:30 AMHow to Grow a BandRun Boy Run

How do you grow your band from a locally performing group to a nationally touring act? Hear about Run Boy Run's experience as they grew from a Tucson-based band playing in and around the southwest to appearing on NPR's A Prairie Home Companion, releasing 3 albums nationally, and performing across the country at major music festivals and fine arts theaters. In addition to performing songs from their newest release, Something to Someone, Run Boy Run will answer questions about their approach to song-writing and arranging; developing a management, booking, and publicity team; and their experiences touring the country full-time.

12:30 PMHarmonica (B)Jimmy Abraham

Harmonica is an easy instrument to play. You can stay really basic with it, or become a virtuoso with practice! Jimmy Abraham of the Adobe Brothers will get you started in this workshop. Bring a harmonica in the key of C or buy an inexpensive one from one of our festival vendors before the workshop. We'll have a limited number of free harmonicas at the workshop on a first-come, first-served basis.

1:30 PMHammered Dulcimer (B)Scott Reeder

More strings than a dozen guitars, and you get to strike them with hammers! Come learn to play the wondrous hammered dulcimer (several instruments will be available). Scott co-founded the New Mexico Dulcimer Festival.

2:30 PMClawhammer Banjo (B)Cathy Barton

This is a class for those players with just a bit of familiarity with the clawhammer (or frailing) style of banjo. Emphasis here will be on repertoire, featuring dance tunes from the West and from the Missouri Ozarks --- we will do lots of playing!

3:30 PMMusical Saw Demo and WorkshopBeverly Gray

Demonstration of the musical saw, a short history of its past, and a "How To" workshop that has some teeth to it! Opportunity for some hands on learning and lots of fun.

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 AMBluegrass HarmonyHigher Ground

Ability level is rated "A" for "all." We'll cover some basics that apply equally to both solo and harmony vocals, do some demonstration and audience participation, and provide a suggested discography for those interested in "advanced/independent" post-festival study. Hard-copy notes will be available at the workshop and posted on-line following AFF2015.

12:30 PMLearn to SingCliff Johnson

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

1:30 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.

2:30 PMShape Note SingersShape Note Singers of Albuquerque New Mexico

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 and a Prayer's primary purpose is to play free of charge for elder care facilities, focusing on music of a bygone era: cowboy music of the silver screen, traditional folk music, and old-time country gospel.  Add to that fiddle tunes and Celtic melodies, and the result is a wonderful musical step back in time for people of all ages.  Come sing the past with us!

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 AMCeltic Vocal OrnamentationKaran Casey (Solas)

Learn singing from Irish traditional and folk singer Karan Casey, one of the most innovative, provocative and imitated voices in Irish traditional and folk music. In addition to being a singer with "Solas", Karan Casey has 6 solo albums and numerous awards.

11:30 AMFiddle ChordingSpencer & 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 PMHarmonic 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.

1:30 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.

2:30 PMMulticultural Harmony SingArana Kalwaic

African songs, world music, spirituals, rounds. All voices welcome. No experience necessary, learn by ear. Led by Arana Kalwaic, Ubuntu choir director of ABQ's unique Frabjous Day Choir Community where "Singing is everyone's birthright."

Frabjous Day Choir Community, located in Albuquerque, NM, is a Ubuntu choir, part of a world wide network of community choirs with the philosophy that singing is our birthright. We focus on diversity through singing world music, community within the choir, and community service. The translation for the zulu word ubuntu is "I am because we are."

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. A limited number of loaners will be available. Hawaiian shirts are optional.

4:30 PMReserved for Band Scramble Practice

Workshop 5 Indoors

10:30 AMTune WritingNotorious

Everyone can write tunes! We begin this workshop by briefly taking you through our tune-writing process, then we write new tunes as a group on the spot. All instruments and voices are welcome - no prior experience necessary.

11:30 AMThe Accordion is Not a PianoAlbuquerque Accordion Club

We'll explore how the accordion actually produces sound, and why understanding that is crucial to how we make music with it. The Albuquerque Accordion 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.

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 HarpKenneth 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 PMCajun and Creole ConnectionsEd Poullard and Blake Miller

Ed and Blake guide you down the parallel and intersecting roads of Cajun and Creole music and culture. They will explore the similarities and differences of multiple styles of accordion and fiddle, as well as tune repertoires of the region that stretches across Southwest Louisiana and Southeast Texas known as Acadiana. They will help unlock the mystery of Cajun and Creole music.

3:30 PMLeaf MusicDave Para

Leaf playing has been documented around the world. Once you learn to make the sound between your upper lip and the leaf curled up against your lips, playing a tune is done like whistling one. Rather than scour the festival grounds for an appropriately rounded and thick natural leaf, Dave will supply ones made of vinyl.

4:30 PMReserved for Band Scramble Practice