Some of the brightest stars in the American roots music scene.
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 2018 and invariably leaves a lasting impression. Rather than serving as a primary camp instructor, Luke’s come on board as the 2019 camp’s Program Coordinator. We’re really glad to have Luke help influence the direction, development and coordination of JFFC 2019.
Camp Founder, Producer & Director
Avery Ellisman is the Producer and Director of the Julian Family Fiddle Camp. He was born and raised in Ventura, CA and at 12 was the concert master of a youth orchestra. At thirteen he taught himself guitar and, like many of his generation, got lost in the rock ‘n roll. Avery came to earn a degree in philosophy from UC Santa Barbara, and a graduate degree in Social Work from San Diego State.
His “day-jobs” included the founding of a counseling center in Escondido, CA, managing R&D projects for General Motors in Israel, directing the North American resource development activities for a foreign university, with his avocation of music leading him to play, perform and record with bands locally and abroad. Avery knows first-hand how the ability to play an instrument enables one to find entré to many different cultures and societies, and develop lasting friendships with people of all stations and walks of life. His passion for music and recognition of its unique and important role in his life and that of many others spirited him to produce the Julian Family Fiddle Camp.
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.
2019 will be Henry’s third 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!
Carolyn has been fiddling her way across the United States one tune at a time. Carolyn grew up in Northern California in a family of Texan musicians, who knew from the start she’d be a musical trouble maker. From her early days of Suzuki violin, to marching band, and then to bluegrass and Billie Holiday, Carolyn makes herself musically at home wherever there’s a groove, especially in the world of New Acoustic Music. Now a graduate of Berklee College of Music, and an active part of Berklee’s American Roots program, she is a recipient of the Fletcher Bright Scholarship Award, a 2015 Freshgrass Fiddle Competition finalist, and two-time participant in the Acoustic Music Seminar at the Savannah Music Festival. Most recently, her project The Page Turners has been given the 2016 Freshgrass Best Duo Award. She has performed widely at festivals across the United States such as Grey Fox, the Three Sisters Festival, Berkeley Bluegrass Festival and Newport Folk Festival, as well as endeavors abroad with the Nairobi Symphony. Carolyn has performed with many beloved artists, such as Bruce Molsky, Aoife O’Donovan, Joe Walsh, and Darol Anger. When not touring with The Page Turners, she teaches privately and at fiddle camps across the United States.
Texas Style, Jazz Improv, Theory & 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 2019, Jesse will explore topics ranging from ear training and music theory, to jazz and improvisation, helping advance concepts and approaches for musical innovation.
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 2018, and we’re lucky to have her back again for 2019.
Jake is a very tall guy who plays a very tiny instrument. A two-time Acoustic Music Seminar participant and a graduate of the Berklee College of Music, mandolinist Jake Howard plays and writes music that is galvanized by roots music from around the globe. Music has taken him all over the country, yet he was introduced to acoustic music in his hometown, the greatest bluegrass city of all time, Akron, Ohio. Jake joined his uncle’s bluegrass band (The Blue Ribbon Bluegrass Band) playing mandolin, and spent the next two years refining his craft. In his years with Blue Ribbon Bluegrass Band, Jake recorded two CDs and played countless gigs all over the northeastern United States.
After being urged by his friends and family, Jake applied to the Berklee College of Music, where he now studies Mandolin performance and American Roots Music, mentored by greats such as Joe Walsh, Maeve Gilchrist, David Wallace, and Matt Glaser. You can find Jake playing regularly at festivals such as Grey Fox, Freshgrass and the Three Sisters Festival, with groups such as The Page Turners and Wrong is Right. 2019 will be Jake’s first year at JFFC – another great addition to a stellar group of instructors.
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 & 2018 Camps, and is remarkably patient with—and encouraging of—all students of the mandolin. JFFC is proud to have her back again in 2019 as the lead instructor for beginner-mediate mandolin pickers.
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. 2019 will be John’s second year at JFFC, and we’re proud to have him as part of our stellar group of instructors.
Intermediate-advanced Flatpick Guitar
Jordan Tice was born into a family of bluegrass musicians. He was raised in Maryland, and began playing music at a young age. His early musical encounters were rich, as he spent time learning bluegrass and fiddle tunes with some of the best musicians in the mid-Atlantic bluegrass scene. As with many accomplished musicians, he began exploring many musical genres both independently and in college, becoming an excellent rock, jazz and classical guitarist. He released his first solo recording, “No Place Better,” at the young age of 17 – an album that earned him critical acclaim in the bluegrass world. Two years later he released his second album, “Long Story,” which was followed by “The Secret History.”
Over the past ten years Jordan has acquired recognition as one of the most versatile guitarist and composers in today’s acoustic music industry. His recent release, “Horse County,” includes collaborations with Dominick Leslie (Deadly Gentlemen), Mike Witcher (Peter Rowan), Brittany Haas (Crooked Still), Noam Pikelny, Paul Kower and Chris Eldridge (Punch Brothers). Jordan’s experience and interests represent a wealth of knowledge not just about playing the guitar, but about playing music thoughtfully as both lead and backup instrumentalist. He’s an very busy and sought-after session and performing musician, and we’re extremely lucky to have him as part of JFFC 2019’s instructional staff.
Martin (Marty) Varner has grown up in the California bluegrass scene. He has played guitar since the age of five, and from an early age had the privilege of collaborating and performing with such artists as Frank Wakefield, Marty Raybon, and the Infamous Stringdusters. As a youth, Marty joined forces with Bay Area bassist Max Schwartz, mandolinist Nate Schwartz, and fiddle player and vocalist AJ Lee, forming the band known as “OMGG” (Obviously Minor Guys and a Girl). As a young adult, Marty began to focus on the instrumental side of music, expanding repertoire and style as accompanist to contest fiddlers, and as a member of the band, Them Boys.
Marty broadened his interest to include the academic side of music. In 2018 he graduated from Clark University in Worcester, MA with a BA in musicology, delving into such disparate ideas as Hindustani Indian Music and John Cage’s aleatory compositions. Today, Marty is working on his Masters degree from the University of California Irvine and will complete his degree in 2020. Those who’ve followed him know he’s gone from young jammer and hot stage picker to one who is intent on attaining a doctorate in musicology. With a foot firmly planted in music theory and pedagogy, Marty knows first-hand the value and inspiration he acquired from attending acoustic music camps in his youth, and relishes the opportunity to pass on the tools, techniques and insights that fanned his interest. 2019 is Marty’s first year teaching at JFFC, and we’re both lucky and honored to have him aboard.
Intermediate-advanced Folk Cello
As a cellist Daniel Plane is regarded as a pioneer and skillful improviser. Classically trained at Interlochen Arts Academy and The Longy School of Music, he also attended the Berklee School of music where exposure to Bluegrass, Klezmer, and Jazz fanned his passion for roots music. Since graduating from Longy his principal focus has been the study and performance of folk and fiddle music traditions across various stringed instruments and styles. His abilities as a multi-instrumentalist have helped him develop new approaches and concepts on the cello similar to colleagues such as Haas, Block, Clarridge, and Eggleston. He performs his own arrangements of American folk music and blues as well as with his wife Tatiana in their folk duo Viatsa. Daniel is a former member of Taarka, and has performed and recorded with artists such as Elephant Revival, The Sun Parade, Maeve Gilchrist, Darol Anger, Bill Nershi, and Jeff Austin.
Max Schwartz grew up in the California Bay Area playing bass and banjo in a family band. He studied orchestral bass and jazz in high school, performing with groups appearing at the 2015 and 2016 Grammy Awards, the Monterey Jazz Festival, and with the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra. He’s taught at the California Bluegrass Association’s Youth Academy, has been on faculty at the annual Fiddlekids Camp for many years, as well as served as faculty at the annual bass workshop at the Berkeley Bluegrass Festival. Today, Max teaches bass and guitar at Manning Music Studios in Berkeley, CA, performs frequently with Laurie Lewis and the Right Hands as well as with the Page Turners. 2019 marks Max’s second year instructing bass at JFFC. Welcome back Max!
Rachael grew up in a musical environment in Portland, OR. At an early age Rachael began taking voice lessons and singing in local choirs and discovered that she wanted to sing professionally. She attended Berklee College of Music on scholarship as a vocalist. Rachael graduated with a degree in Professional Music with an emphasis in Songwriting from Berklee in 2010. She and her husband, Luke Price, are currently working on their second studio album of soul – pop music in Portland, Oregon. Rachael frequently performs her own music as well as being a background vocalist for other bands.
In teaching, Rachael loves working with students of all levels helping them to find their best voice. She enjoys showing students techniques that allow them to sing more freely!
Appalachian Flatfoot Dance
Los Angeles based and Tennessee raised, Appalachian flatfoot dance instructor Rebecca Stout began clogging as a child. She has spent over thirty years developing and fine-tuning her own unique style of flatfoot dance and buck dance inspired by friends, relations, masters and mentors throughout Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia and North Carolina. She has taught at numerous music camps and festivals throughout the United States, and kicked-off her California-based instruction at JFFC 2013. Rebecca’s is multi-talented, with work featured in the Bluegrass Music Museum and Hall of Fame. Those who’ve met her know of her effervescent personality and commitment to helping folks have unadulterated fun. As in the past, Rebecca’s dance workshops will be open to any/all camp attendees, i.e., chaperones, family members and/or students. We were proud to introduce Rebecca to the local musical community six years ago, and all-the-more excited to have her back again!
© 2017, Julian Family Fiddle Camp