Music Workshops

Instrument Petting Zoo
1:30-3:45, Room #106

If you’ve ever wanted to try a string instrument, but didn’t have the opportunity, here’s your chance. Studio Strings, “a violin store you can trust,” will have a variety of violins, violas, cellos and basses on hand for you to try out.  Located in Medina, Studio Strings provides guidance in buying, renting and repairing string instruments.


All About the Bass
1:00-1:45, Room #111

In this workshop, different techniques and concepts will be discussed for the low-end in music. Also, we will talk about the similarities and differences amongst different genres for bass playing.  Andrew Bonnis, originally from NE Ohio, has been a professional musician for 12 years. As a multi-instrumentalist, he has played with many bands spanning multiple genres including Long Road Home from Boulder, CO featuring Pete Wernick on banjo (Hot Rize).


Beginning Clawhammer Banjo1:00-1:45
Intermediate Clawhammer Banjo2:00-2:45
Room #241

These instructional workshops will address the personal banjo needs of those attending – touching on the basics of clawhammer banjo for new players (with initial right and left hand techniques) and more focus on style, repertoire and/or tunings for those who are somewhat comfortable with basic banjo techniques and would like to take their playing to another level. Observers are welcome.

Mark Olitsky

Mark Olitsky has taught clawhammer banjo in Cleveland for the last 25 years and has participated in workshops in Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina and California. He has been featured in The Old-Time HeraldBanjo Newsletter and Bluegrass Unlimited and represented old-time banjo in the 2009 First Voice film project showcasing Ohio roots musicians. He also won the 2012 Cuyahoga County Seth Rosenberg prize for performing arts.

You’ve Got Chops! How to Play Fiddle Accompaniment
2:00-2:45, Room #111

“The fiddle is a melody instrument – how could I ever play back up parts?!” Sound familiar? Thanks to the expertise of players like Darol Anger and Casey Driessen, the world of chopping is accessible to us all. In this workshop, learn the basics of chopping and chords, and learn how to jam with other fiddles. Christine King, originally from Denver, CO, began playing the violin at a young age through the Suzuki method. Later, she would turn her focus to Texas style fiddle and compete in national competitions. In Colorado, she was a member of the progressive bluegrass band The Railsplitters, toured extensively, and completed the album “The Faster It Goes” with them.


Bluegrass Banjo
3:00-3:45, Room #111

Bluegrass Jam with Paul Kovac

Paul Kovac has taught at many music camps, recently including Midwest Banjo Camp and Swannanoa Gathering. He coordinated Bluegrass Week at the Augusta Heritage Center for a decade, performed with Bill Monroe, Chubby Wise and Mac Wiseman among others, and sings and plays most of the bluegrass instruments. A Chardon native, he is active in recording and producing music, has played on countless albums, and considers himself a working folk musician.


Ukulele for All
3:00-3:45, Room #241

Ukulele workshopBring your ukulele or borrow one of Sheela’s to learn basic ukulele chords and jam with others. All Ages Welcomed! Sheela Das directs Creative Concepts in Music and is the member of an Ohio Arts Council Touring band and has created numerous commissioned performances and workshops for festivals and Cleveland based arts organizations serving senior citizens, youth and disabled adults since 2007.


Intermediate Ukulele
4:00-4:45, Room #241

Mark Laskey’s first experience with the ‘ukulele was watching his cousin from Maui dance hula when he was a young boy.  Later she played the ‘ukulele and sang songs in Hawaiian for the family.  Thus started a life-long love of the ‘ukulele, Hawaiian music and dance. Mark’s workshop will be geared for players at the intermediate level and feature tips and techniques to help add variety to their playing including finger-picking, the triplet stroke and chord inversions.


Fiddle from Scratch
4:00-4:45, Room #106

Join Bruce and Jennifer Tackett of Studio Strings to try your hand at playing the fiddle.  Absolutely no experience is necessary!


Barbershop Harmonies with the Suburbanaires
4:00-4:45, Room #257

The Cleveland East Suburbanaires are a chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society chartered in 1951 in Euclid Ohio.  The society perpetuates and celebrates harmony in the barbershop style.  This lecture/demo is for aspiring singers and interested persons who are looking for singing techniques and tips.  Pitch and harmony will be demonstrated.  The songs are entertaining and fun.


Blues Guitar
4:00-4:45, Room #111

Bob Frank

Bob Frank is a solo artist and blues guitarist with Blue Lunch. He spent 18 years as the leader of the Hotfoot Quartet, touring throughout North America and recording several albums. As a sideman he has worked with Robert Lockwood, Wallace Coleman, fiddler Howard Armstrong, the Falls City Ramblers, and British bluesman Long John Baldry. During the day Bob works through Young Audiences, performing traditional American music assembly programs for children. A native Clevelander, Bob is also one of the founders of the Cleveland Blues Society. For the CBS he has written and directed 12 short film biographies of CBS Hall of Fame members.


Tuvan Throat Singing
4:00-4:45, Room #158

World-renowned members of the Tuvan throat singing group Alash will share a technique that allows vocalists to sing multiple pitches at one time. They will also perform on the evening concert.


Luthier Workshop
5:00-5:45, Room #106

Pat Podpadec

Pat Podpadec, owner of Liam Guitars, builds guitars and other stringed instruments at his shop in Madison, Ohio.  He has been repairing stringed instruments since 1982, when he apprenticed with Luthier Rod Fitts. At his shop Pat custom handcrafts guitars, ukuleles, harp guitars and more in addition to providing instrument repair and repair lessons.


NEO Folk Connections: Where to Listen, Learn & Jam
5:00-5:45, Room #111

Northeast Ohio has a warm, welcoming music community that is rich with talented and experienced musicians.  Join members of Folknet, NEOMHA, ROAM, producers of local music events, as well as music teachers for a discussion on how you can continue learning about traditional music in Northeast Ohio.


African Drumming Workshop
5:00-5:45, Room #241

Papa Assane Mbaye

Enjoy basic West African rhythms with a Master Drummer in a West African Drum Circle playing Djembe and Dun Dun. All levels are welcome. Drums supplied or bring your own.  Papa Assane M’baye, founder of Tam Tam Magic and Master Drummer Extraordinaire from Senegal West Africa, has over 25 years of experience in professional drumming, performance and instruction. He comes from a long line of Griot musicians and storytellers. Papa Assane has mastered playing sabar, djembe, tama, dundun, kutiro, bougarabou and the congas. Having traveled around the world, teaching and performing traditional and arranged rhythms from Senegal, Gambia, Mali and Guinea, Papa Assane Mbaye is a special blessing to the Greater Cleveland cultural arts community.

Your Donation is Welcome

Help support this first-time event and bring great folk music to new audiences