Bryan Sutton’s Blue Ridge Guitar Camp can finally be held in 2022

Bryan Sutton’s Blue Ridge Guitar Camp, announced to great fanfare in 2019 for May 2020, will actually be able to take place in 2022 after two years of postponements due to COVID restrictions.

The Camp, hosted at the Brevard Music Center near Asheville, NC, is scheduled for June 1-5 this year. If that name, or the Camp title, sound familiar, it may be because Béla Fleck’s Blue Ridge Banjo Camp is held at the same location. In fact, Sutton’s Camp is structured quite similarly, seeking to enroll serious acoustic guitarists willing to challenge themselves over the course of several days of intense instruction.

Video auditions are required prior to registration, not so much to eliminate players not up to snuff, but to allow the organizers to group students according to similar skills, experience, and interests.

Sutton explained a bit about who will benefit from attending the Blue Ridge Guitar Camp.

“Our definition of bluegrass guitar includes a rhythm and lead focus. Players who’ve spent more time playing rhythm than lead should apply, players who’ve spent more time playing lead than rhythm should apply, folks that play and sing should apply.

My hope is that primarily rhythm players expand their sense of what’s possible with runs, chord voicings, cross-picking, and general song support. I also really want primary lead players to learn more about being stronger rhythm players and song supporters, as they are challenged with next level flat-picking concepts.”

Bryan is bringing in some top notch teachers to assist him, including David Grier, Michael Daves, Courtney Hartman, and Grant Gordy. All are known for their mastery of the flatpicking style, and their ability to reach beyond traditional norms in creating new music. Both classes and full Camp group assemblies are planned for each day, along with discussions and listening sessions.

He says that he is excited to see things in place for this year.

“I was fortunate to grow up in the mountains of Western North Carolina, surrounded by family and friends sharing in rich musical tradition. A big part of this experience was the impactful and lasting instruction I received. I’m thrilled to host the Blue Ridge Guitar Camp in Brevard, NC. I’m passionate about all aspects of bluegrass guitar and love sharing what I’ve learned. It’s a real joy to help people realize their potential. We’ve got a great crew of instructors helping to make this an experience like no other.”

Tuition for this five day experience ranges from $1,100 for a commuter student not staying on site, to $1,550 for a semi-private cabin. There is a special room and meals price of $500 for spouses or friends who might want to join a student in Brevard, but not participate in classes. A limited number of private cabins are also available.

Full details can be found online.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.