Music Workshops backup

Push Me, Pull Me! 
1 – 1:45pm, Band Room 158 

Compare and contrast of Cajun, Slovenian and Irish accordion styles, with Kathy Hlad (Slovenian), Katie Cooper (Irish), and Brad Smedley (Cajun). This will be fun!

Accordion people

Kathy Hlad, Katie Cooper and Brad Smedley

Kathy Hlad has received several awards from the Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame. As a youngster during one of several family vacations to Slovenia, she saw the famed Lojze Slak perform and was fascinated by his button accordion music and style. Reluctantly her father acquiesced to providing button box lessons with Cleveland’s Frank Novak. A traditionalist, her father Rudy “Dutch” Hlad initially felt “girls don’t play that kind of music.”

Katie Cooper is a lifelong Irish songbird and has been playing accordion since her high school days. She can be found in the Irish community playing for feisanna (dance competitions), playing at the Plank Road Tavern, or singing the national anthems for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Katie is the Performing Arts chair at Saint Joseph Academy teaching choir, theory, and accordion. She is also the assistant music director at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Gates Mills.

At the Kent State Folk Festival in 1981, Brad Smedley was inspired by the legendary Balfa Brothers to explore Cajun music. He bought an accordion, learned how to play the music and over the years formed bands such as Stand by You, the Zydeco Dependents and most recently Acadian Driftwood. Smedley is also a founding member of Hot Djang! which performs gypsy-jazz classics and original songs.


Ukulele for All 
1 – 1:45pm, Room 239

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


1 – 1:45pm, Room 231

Caleb Gallant, a musician with our featured artists Ten Strings And A Goat Skin, plays the bodhran, an Irish frame drum which is made with goatskin or a synthetic skin. The bodhrán, which can be heard on Irish music recordings dating back to the 1920s and viewed in pre-Famine paintings, evolved in the mid-19th century from the tambourine.


Beginning Fiddle 
1 – 1:45pm, Room 245

Janice Fields Pohl is on the staff of Campus International School at Cleveland State University. The violinist has performed with Johnny Mathias, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, YoYo Ma, Babyface and many others.



Intermediate/Advanced Fiddle 
2 – 2:45pm, Room 231

This workshop is led by Rowen Gallant, who plays fiddle with our featured performers Ten Strings And A Goat Skin.





Advanced Beginner/Intermediate Hammered Dulcimer 
2 – 2:45pm, Room 258

In this workshop, Tina will teach the tune Wrestling the Wildcat for adv beg/intermediate hammered dulcimer players. The class will learn the tune Wrestling the Wildcat (key of A), and use it as a vehicle to experiment with rhythmic variety in fiddle tunes. If there’s time Tina will also discuss accompaniment.

Tina Bergmann is a self-taught musician and a highly regarded teacher known for her warm and engaging teaching style. Tina began playing music at age eight, learning the mountain dulcimer from her mother. What had begun as simply listening and watching a group of old-timers getting together and playing the music of their youth soon blossomed into a family activity. It wasn’t long before the Bergmann family was embraced by and an active part of the rich community of old-time music and dance in northeast Ohio.


Intermediate/Advanced Ukulele
2 – 2:45pm, Room 239

For this year’s workshop we’ll concentrate on blues and ragtime fingerpicking techniques to help expand your toolbox. Keeping time with your thumb, turnarounds and using “blue” notes to add texture to your repertoire will be explored.

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.


Beginning/Intermediate Old-Time Banjo 
2:30 – 3:45pm, Room 245 

Mark Olitsky has taught clawhammer banjo in Cleveland for the last 25 years and has taught in workshops in Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina and California. He has been featured in The Old-Time Herald, Banjo 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. He has recorded with various string-bands, including jimmyjohnnyjoe, Bad Dog, and Killer Grits.

Watch video


Intermediate/Advanced Guitar  
3 – 3:45pm, Room 231 

Workshop leader Jesse Périard is guitarist with Ten Strings And A Goat Skin, our featured performers in tonight’s concert.






Listening is an Act of Love: Bass Accompaniment   
3 – 3:45pm, Room 258 

Bassist Bryan Thomas is a versatile and nationally well-respected musician. He studied Cuban music in Havana with Carlos Del Puerto, served as Ohio Arts Council guest artist-in-residence and toured as bassist with the Glenn Miller Orchestra. Locally, he is bass player with Hey Mavis and also performs duets with his wife, hammered dulcimer musician Tina Bergman. Bryan currently holds the position of Bass Professor at Kent State University and is a sought-after clinician.


Living Traditions: Bluegrass Past and Present   

3 – 3:45pm, Room 158 

Paul Kovac is a busy working musician in NE Ohio and beyond. In this workshop we will discuss the origins of Bluegrass, what sounds and bands defined the genre, how it’s grown and changed since its inception, and where Bluegrass is headed. Participants are welcome to bring their instruments, as there may be some involvement from the crowd. Questions are welcomed and a source list will be available for people to further their knowledge.


Poetry Open Mic and Workshop   
4 – 4:45pm, Room 239 

Open to all poets who wish to share a piece. The Workshop offers a supportive and encouraging platform for anyone who may be new to reading, or for those wishing for tips on how to better read their work at the mic. Dianne Borsenik and John Burroughs will be available to workshop poets through a piece, concentrating on projection of voice, pacing of lines, and eye contact with the audience. Readers are welcome, of course, to share a piece without workshopping.

John and Dianne have been performing their poetry and hosting events for the past ten years. Together, they produced the Lix & Kix Poetry Extravaganza reading series, Snoetry: A Winter Wordfest series, the Punch Through the Envelope workshop, and many other poetry events. They also travel, reading their work and connecting with poets across the United States.


Bluegrass Banjo (All Levels) 
4 – 4:45pm, Room 158

This workshop is for all people interested in the 3-finger style of playing 5-string banjo, players, and those curious alike. It will be a hands-on workshop, though maybe not exactly a structured banjo lesson, so bring your axe. We’ll address getting started, fixing bad habits, and I’ll demonstrate some techniques and styles. Workshop leader Paul Kovac has taught at the Midwest Banjo Camp, Augusta Heritage Center, and The Swannanoa Gathering.  A multi-instrumentalist, he’s performed with Bill Monroe, Hazel Dickens and Roy Clark and has toured internationally with a variety of ensembles.


Twin Fiddling    
4 – 4:45pm, Room 245 

Aaron Jonah Lewis and Lindsay McCaw of Detroit-based Corn Potato String Band partner for this workshop. Aaron  has won awards at the Clifftop Appalachian String Band Festival, including First Place Neotraditional Band in 2008, and at the Galax Old Fiddlers Convention, including First Place Bluegrass Fiddle in 2007, and he has performed at major festivals from the US to the UK and from Italy to Finland. Lindsay has been playing old-time music for 15 years and has won several musical distinctions such as two-time winner of the Minneapolis Jug Band Contest and four-time Grand Prize winner of the Sheffield Field Days Fiddle contest. She is also part of several theater and puppet companies, including her own, called The Dolly Wagglers.

Watch video


Intermediate/Advanced Blues Guitar
4 – 4:45pm, Room 231

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 the Center for Arts-Inspired Learning, performing traditional American music assembly programs for children. A native Clevelander, Bob is also one of the founders of the Cleveland Blues Society for which he has written and directed 12 short film biographies of CBS Hall of Fame members.


Fiddle from Scratch
4:30 – 5:15pm, Room 106

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



Intermediate Mandolin 
5 – 5:45pm, Room 245

Join John Reynolds to take your playing beyond first position and learn techniques for expanding your mandolin repertoire.  In this workshop players will explore the fingerboard and more advanced chords to prepare for playing material like rags, swing and classical music, as well as more advanced fiddle tunes and Irish music. The workshop is for mandolin players who play tunes and are interested in technical tips and demonstrations of some more advanced techniques like double stops, arpeggios and scales pull offs, hammers ons and ornamentation. Material demonstrated will range from Russian Rag,  Duke Ellington and Irish tunes to excerpts from classical repertoire.


Down Home Blues Review  
5 – 5:45pm, Room 158

The Blues Devils draws on traditional blues and country blues, and folk music from the ’20s, ’30s, post-war through the Chicago sound of the ’60s. Their musical influences are Frank Stokes, Gus Cannon, Mississippi John Hurt, Rev. Gary Davis, Bind Boy Fuller, Son House, Tommy Johnson, Memphis Minnie, Tampa Red, Muddy Waters, and Jimmy Reed to name a few.

Jack Di’Alesandro is a master of the finger picking style guitar and has played throughout Ohio and beyond for 30-plus years. Rockin’ Robin Montgomery (keyboard) plays piano ranging styles from rollicking country blues to Merle Haggard and Buck Owens Bakersfield Country as well as Cow Cow Davenport and Pine Top Perkins blues. A walking encyclopedia of musicology, he knows the back story to most any song you can name or ever heard of. Sheela Das is a multi-instumentalist with amazing vocals in the style of Memphis Minnie, Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Alberta Hunter. She is a musical educator with her own company, Creative Concepts in MusicTim Lachina (harmonica) can conjure the spirits of Paul Butterfield, Alan Wilson, and Gus Cannon and Captain Beefheart. As a longtime board member of the Roots of American Music, Tim has collaborated with many fine bluegrass, country, jazz, and rock musicians in northeast Ohio. Tim is an accomplished photographer and graphic designer who has done branding for the Lake Erie Folk Fest since 2016.


Beginning/Intermediate Old-Time Guitar  
5 – 5:45pm, Room 231

Kevin T. Richards specializes in pre-war acoustic blues, country, traditional and jazz music. He has shared the stage with music greats such as Robert Lockwood Jr., Jorma Kaukonen and John Hammond. Kevin fronts the band the Spyder Stompers (Americana) and is a member of Hot Djang (gypsy jazz/swing), as well as being artistic director for Roots of American Music. He is also founder and executive director of The Fairmount School of Music.


African Drumming 
5 – 5:45pm, Room 215/217

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.



Lake Erie Folk Fest logoShore Cultural Centre
291 E. 222nd Street
Euclid, Ohio 44123

(216) 289-8578

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