Matthew Hartz
Luke Price
Henry Barnes
John Mailander
Avery Merritt
Jennifer Albrent
Matthew Hartz - Texas-style

Perhaps more than any of his generation, Matthew Hartz is responsible for conveying a passion for Texas-style fiddling and its specialized backup instrumentation.  At the age of 14, Matthew started his first of many "pilgrimages" to Texas where he come to meet and learn from many of the great Texas fiddle legends.  He was a good student and, in 1988-1989, he won the fiddling world's "Big Three,” i.e., the Grand National Fiddle Championship held each year in Weiser, ID, the Grand Master Fiddle Championship held in Nashville, TN, and the World Championships of Fiddling held annually in Crockett, TX. Matthew went on to win the Grand Master Fiddle Championship twice more (1993, 1995), the Grand National Fiddle Championship again in 1992.  To his great "middle age" credit, Matthew won the event in Crockett, TX again in 2016!  In addition to fiddling, Matthew, like his close friend, Anthony Mature, is recognized as one of the top Texas-style 6-string and tenor guitarists around. 

Luke Price - Texas-style 

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. 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 and made a lasting impression on all.   We're once again honored to have him as part of JFFC 2017, knowing that he and his close friends, Matthew Hartz and Anthony Mature, will ignite any and all who aspire to play Texas-style fiddle and guitar.  

Henry Barnes - Appalachian Old-time

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 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 has won contests in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Virginia, and has placed in the top 5 at the Clifftop and Galax contests. Henry teaches lessons and workshops in central Ohio that are focused around personal connections and regional styles in Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky.

John Mailander - Traditional Bluegrass

While he currently lives in Nashville, TN, John Mailander is a native son of San Diego.  He's an accomplished performer, teacher, composer and recording artist known particularly for his soulful voice on the fiddle, mandolin and various other stringed instruments.  His credits include gigs with the Alison Brown Quartet, Victor Wooten, and Christopher Guest, and he can be seen these days performing with various acoustic acts including John Reischman, Tony Trischka, Joe K. Walsh, Molly Tuttle, Darol Anger and others.  In addition to performing, John is an experienced instructor, having taught at the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, Augusta Heritage Bluegrass Week, CBA Music Camp, and the Nimblefingers Bluegrass & Old Time Music Workshop.   

Avery Merritt - Progressive Bluegrass and Jazz

Avery Merritt is a second-year student at Berklee College of Music, and an acclaimed multi-style fiddler.  He began playing classical violin at the age of four, but at the age of eight his interests turned to bluegrass.  His early instructors were Phil Salazar and Richard Greene, with Avery seeking out workshops and lessons with Jeremy Kittel, Matt Glaser, Casy Drissen, Jim "Texas Shorty" Chancellor, and Mark O’Conner.  Interest in jazz lead Avery to study at the Creative Strings Academy, where he studied with Billy Contreras and many other premier jazz violinists.   Avery’s earned many awards, including being named an official California Arts Scholar.   Considered a master of the electric violin, Avery frequently represents NS Design (maker of professional electric string instruments) as a demonstrating artist.   Avery's been a part of JFFC since 2011, and returns in 2017 to help instruct nascent fiddlers, as well as lead workshops in progressive bluegrass and jazz.

Jennifer Albrent - Beginner-mediate 

Jennifer Albrent began playing 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.  Jennifer received her BFA in performance from Boston University.  Two years later she received her MBA in performance from California Institute of the 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 col-led the Beginner-mediate section of JFFC 2015 and returns in 2017 to share this task with Avery Merritt.