Instructors

Scott Napier

A native of southeastern Kentucky, Scott Napier picked up a mandolin as a teenager and has hardly set it down since. Scott began his professional career in 1996 as mandolinist with bluegrass legend Larry Sparks. There were many highlights in his ten years as a Lonesome Rambler, including a tour of Japan, The 4th of July Celebration at the Washington Monument, a Prairie Home Companion taping, “Alison Krauss and Friends” special on G.A.C. TV, a mandolin endorsement from Gibson, several album recordings, and many performance appearances on The Grand Ole Opry. After leaving the Lonesome Ramblers, Scott spent a year touring with International Bluegrass Music Association award-winning female vocalist Dale Ann Bradley and appeared on her 2006 release “Catch Tomorrow.” Around the same time, Scott was also a member of the house band for many episodes of the PBS series Woodsongs Old-Time Radio Hour in Lexington, KY. Scott was then recruited by Grammy award-winning artist Marty Raybon to tour the country as part of Marty’s band, “Full Circle.” Scott appeared with Marty for his album “This, That, and the Other” in 2009. Following the death of The Lost and Found band’s mandolinist, Dempsey Young, Scott received a phone call from bandleader Allen Mills asking if Scott would fill in Dempsey’s absence in the group. Scott was honored to take on the role of helping The Lost and Found complete their 2009 album, “Love, Lost and Found,” on which Dempsey had recorded half of the material, and Scott finished the rest. Scott continues to play with The Lost and Found today, as traveling allows.

In 2010, Scott recorded and released his first full-length solo album, “All Out Front,” showcasing twelve tracks, ten of which are Napier originals. “All Out Front” was well-received and featured a stellar back-up band of Michael Cleveland, Kent Blanton, Clay Hess, and Josh McMurray, with special guests Bobby Osborne, Dale Ann Bradley, Marty Raybon, Don Rigsby, and others. In 2012, bandleader Mike Scott of Mike Scott and The Nashville Band as Scott to join them for a twelve-day tour playing bluegrass music in Israel; Scott notes this as a highlight moment of his career, and it remains one of his favorite travel experiences thus far. In 2014, Scott accepted a full-time teaching position at Hazard Community and Technical College’s Kentucky School of Bluegrass and Traditional Music (KSBTM) in Hyden, KY, where he is still employed today as Associate Professor. At the KSBTM, Scott teaches classes in bluegrass music history, songwriting, and ensemble directing, as well as private lessons on both mandolin and guitar. Working closely with Bobby Osborne through the KSBTM, Scott started the Bobby Osborne Mandolin Roundup in 2017, an annual one-day mandolin camp bringing two-dozen students of all ages from around the country to Hyden for the opportunity to learn personally from Bobby, Scott, and other guest instructors.

In 2018 and 2020 Scott was nominated by the International Bluegrass Music Association for their Mentor of the Year award. In addition to his busy teaching schedule, Scott continues to freelance as a player, filling in with various bands for both in-person appearances and recording projects. He also offers private lessons and continues to write songs almost daily. Scott is endorsed by Gibson mandolins, Weber mandolins, GHS Strings, and BlueChip Picks.

Dave Polston

Dave was fascinated by banjo but didn’t start playing til later in life.  As a self-taught multi-instrumentalist, he now plays and teaches banjo, guitar, and dobro.  
His love of music leads him to volunteer to teach Tucson’s Desert Bluegrass Association’s weekly, free workshops on bluegrass jamming techniques.  As president of the Association, he works tirelessly to make their Bluegrass Festival (held in Marana) better each year.
Dave is a founding member of the 7 year old 2 Lazy 2 Ranch Band.  The band currently has 3 CDs out, the latest of which is “Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch”.

Jimmy Heffernan

Jimmy Heffernan is a highly respected Nashville session player, sideman, and producer. He’s a versatile multi-instrumentalist, and one of the true masters of the resonator guitar. Jimmy also happens to be an outstanding music instructor who loves to teach, and has a real gift for it. Over the years Jimmy has played with Bill Keith,  Red Allen, Bill Grant and Dehlia Bell. In 1980 Jimmy joined Larry Sparks and the Lonesome Ramblers which he toured with for two years. 1988 was a momentous year for Jimmy, he played electric guitar for Doug Kershaw for a year, and then joined Joe Diffie’s band, where he stayed for nine years. Jimmy reflects fondly on this time: “We toured every major venue and appeared as a members of the Grand Ole Opry. We played lots of television, including The grand Ole Opry Live, Regis and Kathy Lee, The Tonight Show, Good Morning America, and Hee Haw, to name but a few. Joe sold over eight million records during this time. Upon leaving Joe Diffie’s employment, Jimmy stayed in Nashville, producing albums and working with new artists before finally joining Brad Paisley’s band in 1999. He toured with Brad for two years as well as playing Dobro on Brad’s second ARISTA album, Grammy nominated “Part Two”. Since leaving Brad Paisley’s band, Jimmy has been playing with Mark Cosgrove (The Jerry Douglas Band) and producing records for new artist. During this time he has also toured with the Charlie Louvin and Lucinda Williams. These days, Jimmy Heffernan is shifting gears (getting too old to play on the road), devoting more time to one of the things he loves best, teaching up-and-coming players. Jimmy has conducted his highly popular Dobro Workshops here in the USA and also at “Sore Fingers” in England and in Munich.  www.jimmyheffernan.com

Beth Mead

Beth is a Banjo player and teacher currently based in the Philadelphia Area. She studied and taught Banjo and Bluegrass Music at South Plains College, and continues to host jams and teach private lessons on banjo, guitar and ukulele. She is also Kitty Starr, Kitty Starr and the Whereabouts, a band born at Camp Bluegrass! She performs throughout the US and has recorded with Alan Munde, Anne Luna, Chris Sanders, Dede Wyland and her east coast band, Tookany Creek featuring Ray Duffy, John Catterall and Larry Cohen. As a writer and vocalist, she has just finished a collaboration with Alan Munde on a volume of American Popular Songs arranged for the 5 string banjo.

Jim Hurst

ACOUSTIC GUITAR / SINGER-SONGWRITER

Jim Hurst’s unique picking style and mastery of bluegrass guitar wows audiences and is revered by both novice guitar players and his musical peers. His eclectic career has made him a remarkable performer, an experienced instructor and a highly sought after session musician. His affability and gregariousness make him one of the most approachable musicians of his caliber.

  Garnering numerous nominations, Jim received IBMA’s prestigious “Guitar Player of the Year” awards for 2001 and 2002. This award is voted on by IBMA members including his peers and contemporaries revealing their appreciation of Jim’s abilities.

  After recording and touring with several Country and Bluegrass artists, Jim decided in 2010 to embark on a solo career to focus mostly on his own musical expression and art. As a musician, vocalist, songwriter, arranger and producer, Jim has recorded 7 CDs including: Open Window, Second Son, A Box of Chocolates, Intrepid, Looking Glass, JHT-1, and Atlantic Crossing. Jim’s virtuosity shines as he consistently sways audiences with his deft finger work and smooth vocals.

  Jim performs his show full time and teaches at guitar workshops and music camps in North America and Europe. While he occasionally collaborates with other bluegrass greats, his solo and Jim Hurst Trio performance are what keeps audiences mesmerized.

Chris Sanders

Hard Road Trio - Christine Sanders (guitar), Anne Luna (bass) and Steve Smith (mandolin)

Music and music education have been the focus of Chris’ life and work. With the advantages of excellent public school music programs and a musical home as a foundation, Chris received her BA in music education from Concordia College, Moorhead. She toured nationally and internationally with the Concordia Choir. She also holds a MA in vocal performance from Cal State East Bay. He diverse career has included teaching music at the junior high level, directing church choirs, playing keyboards in casual band and delivering singing telegrams. She co-founded the Actor’s Training Project in Oakland, CA, a program integrating voice, acting and movement. Initially working a s piano accompanist at New Mexico State University, she went on to become a vocal professor there. Chris also taught commercial music at the University of Texas at El Paso, acting as director of vocal jazz ensembles at both universities. She has truly come into her own as a performer and songwriter since turning 50. Singing and playing guitar with the Hard Road ensembles (duo, trio and full band), she has traveled the country performing at top acoustic venues and festivals. Her songs have won three New Mexico Music Awards and she collaborated in writing a fully staged musical We Are Enron produced by Emmy award winner Mark Medoff. She has acted as clinician and judge for solo and choral competitions and taught at acoustic music camp including Hill Country Acoustic Music Camp.

 

Bill Evans

Bill Evans

Bill Evans is an internationally recognized five-string banjo life force. As a performer, teacher, writer and composer, he brings a deep knowledge, intense virtuosity and contagious passion to all things banjo, with thousands of music fans and banjo students from all over the world in a music career that now spans over thirty-five years. Bill’s banjo artistry is best experienced in live performance and on his recordings Fine Times at Fletcher’s House with Fletcher Bright (2013), In Good Company (2012), let’s do something with Megan Lynch (2009), Bill Evans Plays Banjo (2001), and Native and Fine (1995). Bill successfully bridges traditional and contemporary sounds and playing techniques, creating a new music that is firmly within the bluegrass tradition but draws upon a broad knowledge of classical, jazz and world music, drawing upon his experiences as a graduate student in Music at the University of California, Berkeley and as the associate director of the International Bluegrass Music Museum. In the last two years, Bill has toured throughout the Untied States, Canada, England, and Germany and toured Russia for the U.S. State Department. Recent appearances include A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor and performances with the San Francisco Symphony. From festival to folk society stages, to universities and performing arts centers, The Banjo in America has earned standing with a dazzling display of banjo artistry of unparalleled historical depth geared towards entertaining general audiences. At any one time in his home near Richmond, California, Bill teaches between forty and sixty students, in addition to maintaining a steady international touring schedule. In addition, Bill teaches the most popular bluegrass ensemble classes in the San Francisco Bay Area at the Freight and Salvage Coffeehouse and he is on the faculty of the California Jazz Conservatory.

Tim May

Tim May

Camp Bluegrass favorite, Flatpicker Tim May, has been working in the Nashville area for over 20 years as a sideman, session player, band member and performer. Higher profile projects have included touring with Patty loveless and John Cowan, and working as a regular on the Grand Ole Opry with Mike Snider. Tim was the solo guitarist on Charlie Daniels’ recording of I’ll Fly Away, which was nominated for the Best country Instrumental Performance Grammy in 2005, the same year he was session leader on the critically acclaimed Moody Bluegrass album (he later played on Moody Bluegrass II as well). The Nashville Scene selected Tim the Best Instrumentalist category in their 2012 Reader’s Choice Poll. Tim is co-author of the eight volume course ‘Flatpicking Essentials’, The Guitar Player’s Practical Guide to Scales and Arpeggios, The Flatpicker’s Guide to Old Time Music, and The Flatpicker’s Guide to Irish Music. He has taught regularly at Camp Bluegrass, Kaufman Kamp, Colorado Roots Music Camp, Nashcamp, and the Swannanoa Gathering. He and his wife Gretchen are owners of the Musical Heritage Center of Middle Tennessee.

Alan Munde

Alan-MundeAlan Munde – World class banjo stylist featured in the banjo bible, SPC instructor and excellent teacher. Many years teaching experience give Alan special insight into the problems faced by players of all levels. His time tested techniques really work! www.AlanMundeGazette.com

Gerald Jones

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gerald Jones – Certified banjo weirdo, who also plays guitar, mandolin and fiddle, you are more likely to see him at 3 a.m. in the dorm teaching and picking, than in class at 8:30 a.m. His special topics sessions are camp favorites.TheGeraldJones.com