2023 BOTMC workshops
all times are pacific DAYLIGHT time.
Registration for BOTMC workshops has begun!
See the Ticket page or below for Registration links.
Music & crankie workshops take place at the Freight & Salvage, 2020 Addison, Berkeley.
Dance workshops take place at Ashkenaz, 1317 San Pablo Ave Berkeley.
Workshop size is limited, sign up early to be assured of getting a slot!
All material will be taught by ear. Audio and video recordings are encouraged with the caveat that such recordings are made for personal use only, and do not appear on anywhere on the Internet, including social media such as Facebook or YouTube.
Instructional workshops are 75 minutes in length.
FREE with purchase of a 4-day weekend pass
a la carte: $25 per workshop (plus fees).
New this year:
The Weekend Pass includes access to complimentary workshop registration for all BOTMC workshops. Because workshop capacity is limited, advance registration for all workshops is required. On purchase of the Weekend Pass, buyers will be emailed links to all workshops with promo codes to access the Complimentary Workshop ticket.
Thurs Sept 21 3pm-5:30pm - Community Crankie-Making Workshop Day One
FREE to all, no reservation required. Drop-ins welcome to make a group crankie, to be shown and sung at the Friday night concert. Participants can drop in one or both days, for however long you want.
Thurs Sept 21 4:30pm-5:45pm - Banjo with Hubby Jenkins
Jackson will focus on pre-war Texas, Arkansas or Mississippi tunes. For advanced players.
Fri Sept 22 3pm-5:30pm - Community Crankie-Making Workshop Day Two
Free to all, no reservation required. Drop-ins welcome at the second day of this workshop to complete our group crankie, to be shown and sung at the Friday night concert. Participants can drop in one or both days, for however long you want.
The Banjo of Alonzo Janes
David will teach rare tunes that came originally from Alonzo Janes, the enslaved Black fiddler who shared his tunes with Mel Durham.
We are very sorry that Ed Poullard cannot be with us for the BOTMC this year. Instead, the Cajun fiddle workshop will be taught by Steve Riley, leader and founder of the Mamou Playboys. Steve, who is a cousin of Marc Savoy, was born in Mamou, Louisiana and became a protégé of Cajun fiddle legend Dewey Balfa at age 15, touring with the Balfa Brothers playing both fiddle and accordion. Although Steve is known mainly for his virtuoso accordion playing, he’s continued to play the fiddle both with his band the Mamou Playboys and on recordings by the Band Courtbouillon (which won a Grammy in 2013) and Ray Abshire.
This will be a rare chance to learn authentic Cajun fiddle from a true master!
Saturday Sept 23 5pm-5:45pm - Square dance calling workshop with Barbara Bowman (Slate Mountain Ramblers)
AT ASHKENAZ - FREE
Barbara will discuss the way square dances are in their local area. You will learn different calls and how different callers in the area call dances differently.
Saturday Sept 23 7:30pm-8pm - Flatfooting Workshop with Barbara Bowman (Slate Mountain Ramblers)
AT ASHKENAZ. included with admission to square dance party or with all-festival pass
Barbara will teach some basic steps and talk about the difference between flatfooting, clogging and buck dancing.
Barbara Bowman grew up going to dances in nearby Patrick County, VA. Later, while attending dances in Patrick, Carroll and Grayson Counties, VA and Surry and Stokes Counties, NC, she had an opportunity to learn more about flat footing and square dancing in the area. Barbara’s square dance calling is a blend of several callers she met over the years.
Barbara began competing in flat foot/dance competitions at fiddlers conventions in the early 1980’s. Over the years, she has won numerous awards at these conventions. She has also judged some dance competitions.
Sweet sounds from the soul. Learn harmonies for country, bluegrass, and old-time songs. Beginners are welcome!
Beginning Clawhammer Banjo: Ivy will help you get started on your clawhammer banjo journey! Bring your banjo and be ready to have some fun.
A Visit with Richard Bowman
Visiting with Richard will include playing some of the local tunes. He will answer questions and talk about his 50 years of playing the fiddle.
The soft-spoken champion fiddler Richard Bowman, with his band the Slate Mountain Ramblers, has been a prize-winning mainstay of fiddlers’ conventions in North Carolina and Virginia for over three decades. Born into a musical family from Patrick County, Virginia, the first fiddle music Richard remembers hearing (on the radio) was Tommy Jarrell who lived just 12 miles away. Richard began visiting him and other local old-time music icons including Ernest East, Benton Flippen, and Kyle Creed, picking up tunes and style. He has won ribbons at many fiddlers’ conventions including Galax, Mount Airy and Fiddler’s Grove. Richard and his wife, Barbara, live in Mount Airy, North Carolina. Learning from local old-time fiddlers, Richard’s long-bow style is easily recognizable. At fiddler’s conventions, he can be found with fellow musicians in a jam session. Other weekends find Richard and the band playing for square dances where everyone enjoys flat footing or two-stepping to a pile of fiddle tunes. Richard does not travel far from home very often; this is a rare chance to learn from him in person.
A seventh-generation ballad singer, storyteller, and musician, Sheila Kay Adams was born and raised in the Sodom Laurel community of Madison County, North Carolina, an area renowned for its unbroken tradition of unaccompanied ballad singing that dates back to the early Scots/Irish and English settlers in the mid-17th century. Adams learned to sing from her great-aunt Dellie Chandler Norton and other notable singers in the community, such as Dillard Chandler and the Wallin family (including NEA National Heritage Fellow Doug Wallin). In addition to ballad singing, Adams is an accomplished clawhammer-style banjo player and storyteller.
Over the last few years, musician, artist, and collaborator Nokosee Fields has proven himself to be one of the most provocative, significant, and capable voices in the North American traditional music scene. A quest for balance shapes his work, whether he’s reconciling the weight of tradition with his creative impulses; challenging the demands and vacuity of colonialist, capitalist structures and systems with the richness of his experience and upbringing as a member of the Osage, Creek and Cherokee Nations; or simply anchoring the beat in the rhythmic push and pull of the multiple bands in which he works.
The great nephew of celebrated Cherokee fiddler Sam O’Fields, Nokosee carries a longstanding Cherokee fiddling tradition into the present. Through powerful live and recorded performances, he lovingly and playfully reimagines his tradition with immense skills and sensitivity as a performer of traditional fiddle music.
Intro to Three Finger Banjo Backup
Reed’s workshop will explore the world of three finger banjo backup for fiddle tunes: roll patterns, chord shapes, and phrasing. You may learn a fingerpicked tune if there's time. Picks or no-picks, no problem!