Music Workshops


Intermediate Ukulele – Learning to Finger Pick, with Mark Laskey
1:30 – 2:15pm, Room 229

Learning to finger pick provides you with the skills necessary to play melodies and rhythms simultaneously, and Mississippi John Hurt’s classic, My Creole Belle, provides and excellent and accessible example of how to make this happen. To make the most of the workshop check out the link provided above to familiarize yourself with the song. It’s a lot of fun and I look forward to our time together.

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 Swing Guitar – Kevin Richards 
1:30 – 2:15pm, Room 254

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 is a member of Hot Djang (gypsy jazz/swing) and he is Roots of American Music‘s artistic director.

Beginning/Intermediate Swing Fiddle – Reed Simon with Brad Smedley  
1:30 – 2:15pm, Room 255

Reed Simon has worked with many of Cleveland’s top jazz musicians and national artists including guitarist Tony Mattolla, vibraphonist Gary Burton and as a special guest on a Duke Ellington program at Severance Hall.


Brad Smedley has played music most of his life, starting with piano at age five years and moving to saxophone in junior high. After discovering Bob Dylan, he took up the guitar and focused on folk, bluegrass and country music.


Special Performance, with Euclid High School Drumline
2:45 – 3:15pm, Gym Center

All workshops and other programs  take a breather and we gather in the gym to watch the Euclid High School Drumline rock the Lake Erie Folk Fest in a special performance 2:45-3:15pm. DON’T MISS ‘EM!!

Watch video


Uke to the Future – Sheela Das
3:15 – 4pm, Room 241-242

Indie & Pop on the Uke! Let performing artist Sheela Das take you on a journey to the future where you learn indie and popular music on the ukulele! Bring or borrow a ukulele at the workshop.


Intermediate Blues, Jazz & Fiddle Tunes for Mandolin – John Reynolds  
3:15 – 4pm, Room 229

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.

Beginning/Intermediate Old-Time Fiddle – Riley Calcagno with Susie Goehring, Guitar 
3:15 – 4pm, Room 254 

Riley Calcagno is a multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter from Seattle, Washington. Riley has performed and worked closely with Elvis Costello, the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Rhiannon Giddens, and Bruce Molsky. He also plays  with The Onlies and with Vivian Leva.


Over the years, Susie Goehring has taught classes on old-time backup guitar, Carter-style guitar, old-time fiddle, and string band music at various camps in the US, including the Swannanoa Gathering, Southern Week at Ashokan, Augusta Heritage Center, and Pinewoods.

Susie has been playing old-time fiddle and guitar, and singing Appalachian ballads and early country songs since the late 1970s when she first joined forces with musicians Jeff and Rick Goehring. The trio formed the core of the Red Mules, an old-time string band, that actively performed throughout the 1980s and ’90s. Since then she has performed and recorded old-time music with fiddler Rayna Gellert (Starch and Iron, 2007) and the string band, Big Foot (I’ve Got a Bulldog, 2012). She has been a member of four different bands who won first place in the Traditional String Band contest at the Appalachian Stringband Festival in Clifftop, WV: the Red Mule Trio (1992), Breakin’ Winders (1998), Big Foot (2010), and the Buckin’ Mules (2012).

Susie is also a trustee and administrator of the Field Recorders’ Collective, a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and distribution of non-commercial recordings of traditional American music.


Beginning/Intermediate Old-Time Banjo – Mark Olitsky with Christina Tanczos, Fiddle
3:15 – 4pm, Room 255 

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

Photo by Maribeth Joeright, News-Herald

Christina Tanczos is a fiddler living in Parma, Ohio. Throughout the year, she can frequently be found jamming at old-time music festivals all over the country. Back in her hometown, she works as a veterinary assistant.

Being brought up around traditional music through her parents, she learned to play from observing the musicians who were frequently in her life. She has a passion for old-time music and especially tunes from Kentucky.

Five Things Every Guitar Player Should Know – Paul Kovac   
4:45 – 5:30pm, Room 241-242 

There’s no shortage of things every guitarist should know, and everyone wants to get better. Paul Kovac will share five things he feels are important. Bring your guitar and see for yourself.


Upright Bass Techniques – Andrew Bonnis
4:45 – 5:30pm, Room 229

Learn about and how to play different genres on the upright bass. Many techniques will be discussed! Basic knowledge of the bass is advised. Andrew Bonnis is a seasoned musician who has played all over the US and abroad. He is a multi-instrumentalist who plays with several groups in the NEO area.

Fiddle from Scratch
4:45 – 5:30pm, Room 254

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

Beginning Old-Time Guitar  – Dave Rice
4:45 – 5:30pm, Room 255

Dave Rice has been playing guitar, harmonica and fiddle in several area contra dance bands for over 30 years.  The LEFF Old-Time Guitar workshop will be a hands on workshop for beginner and intermediate players.  We will talk about how to accompany Old-Time songs and tunes on guitar and we will practice accompanying some live fiddle music. Bring a guitar that’s in tune and a capo if you have one.





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

(216) 289-8578

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