13 February 2015

Bluegrass Jam Camp in West Cork, 6-8 Nov. 2015

The BIB editor writes:

Something to brighten the prospects after the clocks go back later this year: many thanks to Wendy Connolly and 'Bluegrass in Ireland' (and to Sean McGrath, who drew it to their attention) for the news that a Bluegrass Jam Camp using the Wernick Method, taught by Larry Kernagis (photo), will be held at the Celtic Ross Hotel, Rosscarbery, Co. Cork, on the weekend 6-8 November 2015. Wendy says: 'Oh, man, this link is bluegrass gold', and she's not kidding.

Many of us have already felt the benefit of learning from 'Dr Banjo' himself, Pete Wernick, whose banjo workshops at past Johnny Keenan Banjo Festivals included some of the best instruction I've ever received. His 'Jam Camp' system, focused on the essential skill of playing with others (which can bring about a quantum leap in one's playing), is now spreading into a worldwide network, with registered Wernick Method teachers already active in Europe and further afield. This is the first Wernick Method Jam Camp to be held in Ireland.

Larry Kernagis is a certified Wernick Method teacher for Alabama and Tennessee - two weeks ago, on the weekend 30 Jan.-1 Feb., he led a Jam Camp at Mount Juliet, TN, and this year he'll be doing so in other states. He has thirty years experience of leading jam sessions at his back, as well as teaching at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago (where Greg Cahill and Michael Miles also teach). He plays in the Def Leprechaun band and the Don't Be Brothers duo.

Full details of the Roscarbery Camp are here. The blurb says: 'Closet pickers, this is for you! • All bluegrass instruments welcome • No jamming experience necessary • You will be jamming the first morning!'.
PS: For anyone wanting a starter banjo, there's a valuable feature in the current (Feb. 2015) issue of Banjo NewsLetter: 'Picking out a starter banjo' by Eddie Collins, with an appendix by Dan Levenson on starter banjos for old-time players, all of which can be read online.

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