Initial Ashokan Bluegrass Camp wraps up in New York

Tony Trischka leads a banjo class at the initial Ashoken Bluegrass Camp – photo by Stewart Dean

The Ashokan Center in New York recently hosted their initial bluegrass camp, after successfully holding instructional camps for old time, klezmer, and other forms of traditional music and dance in Saugerties, NY.

Faculty included Tony Trischka teaching banjo, Claire Lynch working with vocalists, Matt Flinner for mandolin, Becky Buller for fiddle, Scott Nygaard for guitar, and Mike Bub for bass. A number of associate instructors were also on hand to assist with the various classes and jams.

Tony Watt, camp organizer, has shared this nice overview of the camp experience.

“The first-ever Ashokan Bluegrass Camp just wrapped up yesterday afternoon, and by all accounts, it was a great success! We had over a hundred campers, which is the largest first-year camp in the nearly 40-year history of music and dance camps at Ashokan. All the credit goes to the amazing line-up of teachers, the wonderful people and facilities at The Ashokan Center, and Jay Ungar and Molly Mason for their vision and efforts to bring a bluegrass camp to Ashokan.

One of the things I am most proud of about the camp was the focus on jamming, with nearly as many scheduled jam periods as class sessions. We also featured an All-Star ‘Behind-the-Scenes’ Jam on Friday night where the teaching staff jammed without any rehearsal, and then discussed various aspects of the songs they played.

There was also a sold-out concert open to the public on Saturday, which can be seen online.

Immediately after the concert, the jamming continued with both campers and those who had attended the concert.

Many wonderful photos taken by Ashokan’s resident photographer, Stewart Dean, are now available 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.