Our 2018 Instructors (2019 to be announced)

Some of the brightest stars in the American roots music scene

Tashina Clarridge

Celtic-style Fiddle

Tashina Clarridge began studying the violin at the age of two and has pursed music ever since. From a young age, she and her brother, Tristan, were exposed to a variety of music styles, including bluegrass, Celtic, jazz, classical, swing, Appalachian old-time and Indian music.  They credit their attendance to many acoustic music camps with fanning their love for many music genres, with diverse styles woven into the repertoire of music they play with their band, the Bee Eaters.  Tashina holds the title of Grand National Fiddle Champion and has toured internationally with renowned artists such as Mark O’Conner, Tony Trishcka, and Laurie Lewis. She has also performed as part of the Young Arts program for 5-time Mac Arthur Fellow/Grammy-winning bassist Edgar Meyer in Carnegie Hall. These accomplishments led to the cofounding of the Shasta Music Summit, an acclaimed invitational acoustic music camp cofounded with Tristan and now in its 13th year.

JFFC is excited to welcome Tashina for her first teaching at our camp.  Tashina is a master instructor as well as performer, and will focus on the exploration and transmission of Celtic-style fiddling, and lead a variety of special-topic workshops. 

More about Tashina
Henry Barnes

Appalachian Style Old-time Fiddle

An Ohio native now living in Columbus, Henry Barnes started playing the fiddle over twenty years ago. Like many, he started with the Suzuki method, and while enjoying classically-oriented training, family influences warmed him up to those good old-fashioned country sounds. After meeting the West Virginia fiddler, Bobby Taylor, Henry knew his calling and fell in love with Old-time fiddling. Since then, he’s won contests in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Virginia, and has placed in the top 5 at the Clifftop and Galax Contests. Henry now teaches fiddle in central Ohio that explore regional fiddling styles of Ohio, West Virginia, and Kentucky.

2018 will be Henry’s second year instructing at JFFC.  His focus will be the transmission of Appalachian-style old-time fiddling, and helping folks learn how to blend tunes with the old-time banjo.  He will teach a variety of special-interest workshops, with a main class geared for intermediated and advanced players.  Welcome back Henry!

More About Henry
Jesse Maw

Music Theory, Jazz Improv & Ear Training

Jesse Maw is a fiddle phenomenon. With roots in old-time and Texas-style fiddling, Jessie is known these days for jazz-oriented stylings that are as grounded in tradition as they are innovative in expression. Originally from Flathead Valley, Montana, Jesse grew up playing fiddle, winning multiple state and national contests in his early teens. He expanded his musical horizons studying swing, jazz, and improvisation with Mark O’Conner, Billy Contreras, Jimmie Don Bates, Christian Howes, and more. Since then, he’s delved into many other esoteric musical styles. He has taught and performed at workshops and festivals across the U.S., including Shasta Music Summit, the Crown of the continent Guitar Festival, and the Djangofest Northwest. Along with the violin, Jesse plays the mandolin, guitar, tenor guitar, and tenor banjo. He also engages in a bit of singing and, one of his personal favorites, whistling. Jesse recently moved to Salt Lake City, UT – his new base for teaching, studying, and writing.  At JFFC 2018, Jesse will explore topics ranging from ear training and music theory, to jazz and improvisation, helping advance concepts and approaches for musical innovation.

More about Jesse
Matthew Hartz

Texas-style Fiddle & Back up Guitar

We’re extremely excited to welcome Matthew Hartz back for his second year instructing at JFFC!  From the age of 14, Matthew began traveling to Texas to meet and learn from many of the great Texas fiddle legends. He caught on quickly, and in 1988-89 he won “The Big Three,” i.e. the Grand National Fiddle Championships held each year in Weiser, ID, the Grand Master Fiddle Championships held in Nashville, TN, and the World Championships of Fiddling held in Crockett, TX. Matthew went on to win the Grand Master Fiddle Championships twice more in 1993 & 1995 and the Grand National Fiddle Championships again in 1992. In fact, in October of 2016, Matthew again took the title for the World Championship of Fiddling in Crockett, TX. His string of accomplishments is great and he’s particularly proud of wining the 1992 Texas State Championship held in Hallettsville, TX, as he was the first non-native to win that prestigious award.

In addition to being acknowledged by his peers as a great fiddler, Matthew is known as a dedicated and particularly sensitive instructor. He’s in great demand at fiddle camps and workshops across the States. This year, he will be instructing intermediate to advanced Texas-style fiddling, as well as back-up guitarists on the nuances and approaches for playing and accompanying Texas-style tunes.

More about Matthew
Luke Price

Texas-style Fiddle & Back up Guitar

Luke Price is a multi-instrumentalist known for his balance of taste, rhythm, and technical ability. At the age of 7, Luke began competing in fiddle contests, winning the National Title at ages 12 and 17. Since then, he’s won numerous awards, including Fiddlers Frolics and the Grand Masters. In 2014, he became the National Old-Time Fiddling Grand Champion, duplicating this fete in 2015 and again in 2017!. After completing his B.A. in Professional Music at Berklee College of Music, Luke moved to Portland, OR where he records and performs with his band, Dean, and collaborates with a host of other musicians. In addition to being an Instructor of Fiddle and Jazz Violin at Portland’s Lewis and Clark College, Luke gives private lessons from his home studio, and via Skype.

Luke instructed at JFFC 2015 & 2017 and made a lasting impression on all. We’re once again honored to have him as part of JFFC 2018 teaching Texas-style fiddling for intermediate to advanced players, as well as backup guitar along with instructor Matthew Hartz. 

More about Luke
Jennifer Albrent

Beginner-mediate Fiddle

Jennifer Albrent began playing the violin at age 5 and a few years later, began competing in fiddle competitions throughout Southern California. As her love for string instruments began to expand, she took up playing the viola at age 12 and has continued to play both instruments since. Jennifer received her BFA in performance from Boston University. Two years later, she received her MBA in performance from the California Institute of Arts. 

Jennifer has toured and performed throughout the United States and Europe with a wide variety of musicians. She has been on the road playing Bluegrass, Classical, Pop, Jazz, Rock, and North Indian music, residing now in Cardiff, CA, and in addition to providing private violin and viola lessons in her home studio, leads the viola section of N. Coast Strings in Carlsbad, CA. Jennifer co-led the beginner to intermediate section of JFFC 2015 and 2017, and we’re lucky to have her back again for 2018.

Corrie Bunnell

Beginner-mediate Fiddle

Corrie Bunnell has been playing the violin since she was two years old along side her four other siblings who all play strings. Brought up in a classical music environment, she participated in the San Diego Young Artist Symphony and later held the position of Concertmistress in the San Diego Youth Symphony and Philharmonia.  She won her first competition at the age of 14 while studying under Michael Tseitlin.  She and her family have toured the country performing her arrangements and original music in places from the National Archives in Washington D.C. to the Anaheim Convention Center in Los Angeles.

Corrie has been teaching the violin for 13 years, studied at San Diego State University, and is Suzuki certified.  She’s credited with having developed a popular violin program at the Jewish Community Center in La Jolla, CA that builds confidence and emphasizes having fun playing music.  She is also a freelance artist, performing and recording in both San Diego and Los Angeles counties. 

Jordan Ramsey

Intermediate-advanced Mandolin

Jordan Ramsey is an award-winning mandolinist and teacher currently residing in Boulder, Colorado. Originally from Tennesee, he attended the Bluegrass Country Music Program at East Tennessee State University. He’s shared the stage with such luminaries as Porter Wagoner, Ralph Stanley, Curley Seckler, Tater Tate, Alison Krauss, Dan Tyminski, and Adam Steffey, and studied with mandolin masters David Grisman, Andy Statman, and Jack Tottle. In 2016, Jordan was crowned the National Mandolin Champion at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, KS, and he was also the 2008 RockyGrass Mandolin Champion. Jordan is adjunct music faculty at the University of Northern Colorado, as well as as mandolin instructor at Denver’s Swallow Hill Music Association. 

He plays in several bluegrass and swing bands in the Front Range of Colorado, and is an in-demand instructor at a variety of acoustic music camps and workshops across the country. JFFC is pleased to welcome him for his first year instructing at our camp.

Nina Weisman

Beginner-mediate Mandolin

Nina Weisman is a fixture in the Central and Northern California bluegrass scene. She’s mentored many young mandolin players over the years, and is a natural-born teacher. She’s won several regional picking contests, and boasts a long list of performance credits with many California-based bluegrass bands. When not picking on her mandolin, you can find Nina sporting a ranger’s hat and leading a group or two around one of our beautiful National Parks. Nina was a great addition to the 2013 & 2017 Camps, and is remarkably patient with—and encouraging of—all students of the mandolin. JFFC is proud to have her back again in 2018 as the lead instructor for beginner-mediate mandolin pickers.

John Herrmann

Appalachian Style Old-time Banjo

John Herrmann learned the Round Peak style of clawhammer banjo from its original masters, i.e., Fred Cockerham, Kyle Creed and Tommy Jarrell. His other early influences were David Winston, Al Tharpe, Blanton Owen, and Steve Slottow. In the mid ‘70s, John was part of the Upstate New York old-time music revival and is responsible for inspiring and popularizing many wide-spread rhythmic innovations. John’s specialty is playing with the fiddle – which he’s done all over the world.  He has performed and recorded with most prominent contemporary old-time fiddle players, including Dirk Powell, Tom Sauber, Rayna Gellert, Rhys Jones, Rafe Stefanini,and Tim O’Brien, and toured widely with traditional fiddlers Ralph Blizard and Art Stamper.  John loves to introduce people to tunes they don’t as yet know, and has honed his a broad repertoire of effective teaching techniques by instructing and performing at most major festivals and music camps across the US.  2018 will be John’s first year at JFFC, and we’re proud to have him as part of our stellar group of instructors.

Ben Krakauer

Bluegrass Banjo

JFFC is happy to welcome Ben Krakauer as an instructor for our 2018 camp.  As a musician, Ben’s known for a unique voice on the 5-string banjo — his instrument of choice for blues, stomps, jazz improvisations, bluegrass and Appalachian breakdowns, Bengali folk tunes, and progressive bluegrass. His performing and recording credits are impressive.  He was a founding member of Old School Freight Train, a touring musician with mandolin maestro David Grisman, and is credited with over twenty professional recordings with the who’s who of today’s bluegrass scene. Not only is he a picker, Ben is also a scholar.  He holds a PhD in ethnomusicology from University of Texas, Austin, and is an Adjunct Professor of music at Boyer College of Music.  Ben balances his academic responsibilities while performing with a variety of bands.  His knowledge, wit, and encouraging demeanor make him one of the most in-demand music instructors around. For JFFC 2018, Ben will be helping intermediate/advanced bluegrass banjo players increase their skill level and broaden their repertoires. 

More about Ben
Cello & Bass
Tristan Clarridge

Intermediate-advanced Cello

Much like his sister Tashina, Tristan Clarridge began playing instruments at a very early age. Indeed, he spent the last two and a half decades immersed in a variety of genres and instruments and quickly became one of the most talented fiddle players in the country. He is one of the few that holds the title of 5-time Grand National Fiddle Champion, and is considered one of the top folk cellists in the country.  Along with being an active member of the Bee Eaters, Tristan is a band member of the popular bluegrass band, Crooked Still, has toured worldwide, and is presently involved in collaborations with a number of high-profile acoustic artists, including Sean Watkins.

Tristan is a regular instructor at a variety of music camps, and has led workshops and many notable universities and schools of music.  While he could easily instruct in fiddle, guitar and/or tenor guitar, we’ve brought him on especially to help introduce and advance the playing of cello in folk ensembles. If you’re an intermediate/advanced cellist wishing to enjoy more opportunities to play your instrument, then this is your opportunity.  Tristan’s truly one of the best, and JFFC 2018 is the place. Welcome Tristan – AND WELCOME CELLISTS!

More about Tristan
Simon Chrisman

Upright Bass

Multi-instrumentalist and in-demand bassist, Simon Chrisman, tours frequently with the Bee Eaters, and is seen often playing bass for the top players at regional and national fiddle contests.  Simon’s credentials include playing with the Jeremy Kittel band, Laurie Lewis, Molly Tuttle, Darol Anger, Mike Marshall and Chris Eldridge.  He’s known for his impeccable timing, creative note selection and superb technique.  2018 is Simon’s first year instructing at JFFC, and he’ll address the interests and needs of the beginner-mediate to advanced bass players.  

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Tyler Grant

Intermediate-advanced Flatpick Guitar

JFFC is pleased to welcome back Tyler Grant after a short hiatus from our camp.  Tyler is one busy guy, and one who’s involved with an impressive number of independent ventures. Tyler graduated from the California Institute of the Arts in 2000 with a Bachelors Degree in guitar performance. Shortly after, he began his bluegrass career in Nashville, Tennessee.  He is a National Flatpicking Champion, and an internationally recognized guitar virtuoso, songwriter and vocalist. In addition to performing with a number of groups, Tyler is the main force behind Grant Farm – an increasingly popular country western-style band.  He has appeared at most major US bluegrass festivals and taught at all the major acoustic guitar camps in the U.S. His credits include first place honors at the Rockygrass guitar contest in 2003, the Wayne Henderson festival contest in 2005, the 2008 New England Flatpicking Championship, the 2009 Doc Watson Guitar Championship at Merlefest, and being crowned the National Flatpicking Champion for placing first at Winfield in 2008. Tyler balances an active life in Lions, Colorado where he teaches and produces material with and for Grant Records (his own record label).  He performs regularly and is an involved member of the community. Tyler will be teaching intermediate/advanced flatpick guitar at our 2018 camp.

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Esther Haynes

Rhythm Guitar & Vocals

Esther Haynes is an early jazz and American roots singer and rhythm guitarist based in the Washington, DC area. Since the start of her musical career, she has released three albums, garnering multiple Washington Area Music Award (Wammie) nominations, receiving much acclaim for her work. Her focus is 20’s & 30’s jazz and blues, as well as big band/swing jazz vocals. Esther has a wonderful voice and is an excellent guitarist.   She studied professional music and voice at Berklee College of Music, graduating summa cum laude in 1989. Among her vocal instructors have been Mili Bermejo, Maggie Scott, Bob Stoloff, Sharon Brown and the late jazz singer Pam Bricker.

Esther teaches young vocalists the art of folk, bluegrass, blues, swing, bossa nova, and jazz guitar and vocals, while balancing weekly acts with a roots band. JFFC is excited to welcome Esther to the 2018 camp for her first year as an instructor.  She will be teaching specialized vocal workshops and leading the rhythm guitar section for beginner-mediate guitarists. 

More about Esther