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Thursday, September 15, 2011

AMERICAN BANJO CAMP 2011- Four Days in Banjo Heaven

L to R: Instructors Mac Benford, Jere Canote, Tom Auber, and Greg Canote jam on the
grounds of Fort Flagler some free time at the American Banjo Camp
I saw no puffy white clouds and never heard a single harp during my recent four days in heaven. In fact, I saw no clouds at all, only golden autumn sunshine, blue water and blue skies, not to mention seagulls, deer, and a lot of blissfully happy souls wandering through what felt like paradise to those who love bluegrass and old time music. 

This version of a fantasy afterlife was actually the American Banjo Camp, held at the waterfront retreat center at historic Fort Flagler, near Port Townsend, Washington. And although the strings of harps make a lovely sound, nothing could have thrilled and delighted me more than the melodies that surrounded me day and night, set free from the strings of banjos, mandolins, fiddles and guitars. Many of the best instructors from around the country joined about one hundred or so eager attendees for an intense weekend of classes, jam sessions, and entertainment. Classes were held both indoors and out.

Dawn of another day at American Banjo Camp
Organized by Peter Langston and Ken Perlman, with a tremendous amount of help from the onsite coordinator, Janet Peterson, the camp ran from September 8-12, its ninth year. This was my first time there, but as soon as the registration form for 2012 comes online, I'll be signing up again. The ten year anniversary session should be even more special.


The talented faculty FOR 2011 is shown below in alphabetical order.


Janet Beasley                               Mac Benford
Pat Cloud                                     Bob Carlin
Bill Evans                                     Cathy Fink
Gerald Jones                                Tom Sauber
Alan Munde                                  Laura Smith
Mike Stahlman                             Molly Tenenbaum

Paul Elliot
Peter Langston
Chris Luquette


Seattle's own famous twin brothers...

Greg Canote and Jere Canote

Here are a few more photos of the fun.

Professional folk musician and recording artist Barry Luft, from Calgary, Alberta, Canada
 joins a jam session.

Beautiful inlays on the fretboard of Luft's banjo

Rob Danby plays along in clawhammer style.

Instructors Mac Benford (L) and Jere Canote (R) get some accompaniment from
Bill Haglund playing harmonica.

Students listen and jam with instructors in the shade, during the heat of afternoon.
Jere Canote and Molly Tenebaum in foreground.
Here's the grand finale of our Saturday night concert.


Anonymous said...

My mom plays the 5-string banjo. She would love something like this!
She lives in AZ but comes up here in the summer to escape the heat. Do they meet every year? I will have to tell her about it!!!

Candace Brown said...

Hi "Whidbey Woman,"
They do meet every year, or at least I can say that they've met for nine years straight and have every intention of meeting again in 2012. She can get a lot of information from the link I provided. Maybe I will meet her, and you, one of these days!

Thanks for reading Good Life Northwest and commenting.