July 23-27, 2018
Acoustic Guitar Camp

Photos by Stewart Dean
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Acoustic Guitar Camp

Monday, July 23–Friday, July 27, 2018

Swing, Bluegrass, Blues, Jazz, Celtic, Pop, Folk and Country—plus practical music theory, mini-concerts, jam sessions and song swaps. World class guitar instruction featuring a variety of levels and styles including flatpicking, fingerpicking and more!

Ashokan Acoustic Guitar Camp offers guitarists of all levels an opportunity for real immersion and growth on the instrument in a friendly environment where people can sing, jam and share valuable musical information.

You’ll come away with new repertoire and techniques, a reinvigorated sense of direction and purpose, and a greater confidence and joy in creating music.

There’ll be classes in blues, country, finger-picking, flat-picking, Bluegrass, blues and jazz/swing melody and accompaniment. Levels from beginner to advanced will allow you to hone your existing skills or try something new.

Each instructor will offer two classes a day. There are four 90 minute class periods each day with four classes each period. You’ll have the opportunity to study with more than one instructor and take as many as four classes a day. While it’s best to stick with a class for all three days, you are free to switch if you find a class doesn’t suit your needs.

Evenings will include hosted jams, mini-concerts and presentations, where instructors will talk about and demonstrate their musical influences, share their iPods and answer questions.

Here’s what our campers had to say:

“I feel that I’ve propelled my playing in just a few days.” —Wendy

“Beautiful setting, excellent facilities, great food, helpful staff. Best of all… the interaction between campers of same and different abilities.” —Frank

“Exceptional.” —Marybeth

“It made me realize how much there is to learn.” —Charlie

“Teachers were all fabulous, patient, and fully available to work one-on-one when I had questions.” —Wendy

staff | schedule | tuition and lodging | stay in the loop

Instructors for 2018

Our instructors are among the top in their craft. Each has a wealth of performing and teaching experience and is eager to connect with students of all abilities by being open and accessible. Our staff has also been selected to be musically simpatico. We hope that you are as enticed by the prospect of exciting musical collaborations – planned and impromptu – as we are. We look forward to a week rich in stylistic cross-pollination, discovery and musical fun!

Meet the instructors on the first day of camp, then decide what workshops you want to take.

Jefferson Hamer headshotJefferson Hamer

Guitar Styles for Songwriters

Beppe Gambetta headshotBeppe Gambetta

Flatpicking and Bluegrass

Happy Traum headshotHappy Traum

Folk and Fingerpicking Styles


Mary Flower headshotMary Flower

Blues and Slide

Larry Baione headshotLarry Baione

Jazz and Swing

Flynn Cohen headshotFlynn Cohen



Sylvia Herold

Swing Accompaniment

Pat Wictor headshotPat Wictor

Blues and Improv

Peter Davis headshotPeter Davis

Everything Beginner

Photo by Amy Helfand

Jefferson Hamer (New York)
Murphy Beds, Anais Mitchell, Session Americana, Beppe Gambetta

Jefferson will be teaching guitar for songwriters—Classes To Be Announced

About Jefferson Hamer…

“A gifted guitarist and singer, Hamer is able to hit close harmonies… and weave gorgeous instrumental lines.” -Acoustic Guitar

Based in Brooklyn, NY, Jefferson Hamer performs original and traditional songs with collaborators from both sides of the Atlantic. He is currently touring with Cambridge, MA roots rock ensemble Session Americana in support of their new album Great Shakes. His Child Ballads album with Anais Mitchell earned a BBC2 Folk Award in the Best Traditional Track category, and was named one of NPR’s top-ten Folk and Americana releases of 2013. His acoustic collaboration with Dublin-born Eamon O’Leary, The Murphy Beds, features ten folk songs sung in harmony duets, decorated with intricate guitar and bouzouki accompaniment.

The Huffington Post said it succinctly: “The resulting album bears repeated listening from start to finish, with ten beautiful, crystalline songs.”

Read more about Jefferson at his website: www.jeffersonhamer.com

Beppe Gambetta
Composer, teacher, and researcher of traditional music and instruments,
a flatpicking master… a “virtual United Nations of musical influences.”  

Beppe will be teaching Flatpicking and Bluegrass—Classes To Be Announced

About Beppe Gambetta

From his unique background as an Italian musician in love with both American roots music as well as the music of his native country, Beppe has travelled the world and even crossed the “Iron Curtain” to dazzle and charm music enthusiasts everywhere. After eleven CDs, DVDs, teaching books and collaborations with many other top-flight musicians, Gambetta is increasingly known as one of the true live master innovators of the acoustic guitar.

While Beppe still lives in his native Genova, he travels to North America at least three times each year. His reputation in the U.S. and Canada is reinforced by his participation in prestigious festivals like the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas, Merlefest in North Carolina, the Four Corners Festival in Colorado and Canadian Folk Festivals in Winnipeg and Edmonton, as well as events like the radio shows “All Things Considered” and “E-Town”. Beppe has performed in prestigious rooms like the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. In his career he has performed with some great heroes of the folk scene like David Grisman, Gene Parsons, Doc Watson, Norman Blake and with the band Men Of Steel: an international guitar summit (Dan Crary, Tony McManus and Don Ross) of different guitar schools with complex musical interactions. In a world dominated by the trends and logic of the market Gambetta’s playing and singing stand out for their intimate emotions, communication, research in tone, sobriety and humour. An inspired music that modestly avoids relying solely on his high level of technical excellence, but also reveals the innermost feelings of a brilliant, playful mind that is always exploring and innovating while staying firmly routed in tradition.

Read more about Beppe at his website: beppegambetta.com

Photo of Happy Traum resting his arms on a guitar

Happy Traum (Woodstock, NY)

Happy will be teaching Folk and Fingerpicking—Classes To Be Announced

About Happy Traum…

“Traum is still infinitely listenable, musically creative and about as good an acoustic folk guitarist as there is….”—Noah Fleisher, Pulse
“Laid-back and bluesy, like an autumn hike down a Bearsville back road, Happy’s distinctive fingerpicking and warm, welcoming “c’mon in” vocals give a vibrant new step to the standard stepping stones through folk…..” —Chronogram Magazine
“Happy has impeccable taste in choosing a program of great traditional folk and blues songs or contemporary songs written in the tradition and even better taste in the way he arranges them with both reverence for his sources and the originality of his always creative fingerpicking guitar and warm singing.” —Folk Roots and Folk Branches

Happy Traum was smitten by American folk music as a teenager and began playing guitar and 5-string banjo. He was an active participant of the legendary Washington Square/Greenwich Village folk scene of the 1950s and ‘60s, and studied guitar with the famed blues master, Brownie McGhee. Over the past five decades he has performed extensively throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia, and Japan, both as a soloist and as a member of various groups. His avid interest in traditional and contemporary music has brought him recognition as a performer, writer, editor, session musician, folklorist, teacher and recording artist.

Learn more about Happy on his website happytraum.com

photo of Mary Flower with her hand on her guitar and her chin on her hand

Mary Flower (Portland, OR)

Mary will be teaching Blues and Slide—Classes To Be Announced

About Mary Flower…

Mary Flower’s immense finger picking guitar and lap-slide prowess is soulful and meter-perfect, a deft blend of the inventive, the dexterous and the mesmerizing. Her supple honey-and-whiskey voice provides the perfect melodic accompaniment to each song’s story.

An internationally known and award-winning picker, singer/songwriter and teacher, the Midwest native relocated from Denver to the vibrant Portland, Oregon music scene in in 2004. She continues to please crowds and critics at folk festivals, teaching seminars and concert stages domestically and abroad,  that include Merlefest, Kerrville, King Biscuit, Prairie Home Companion and the Vancouver Folk Festival, among many.

A finalist in 2000 and 2002 at the National Finger Picking Guitar Championship, a nominee in 2008, 2012 and 2016 for a Blues Foundation Blues Music Award, and many times a Cascade Blues Assn. Muddy Award winner, Flower embodies a luscious and lusty mix of rootsy, acoustic-blues guitar and vocal styles that span a number of idioms – from Piedmont to the Mississippi Delta, with stops in ragtime, swing, folk and hot jazz.

Flower’s 11 recordings, including her  four for Memphis’ famed Yellow Dog Records — Bywater DanceInstrumental BreakdownBridges and Misery Loves Company — show a deep command of and love for folk and blues string music. For Flower, it’s never about re-creation. Her dedication to the art form is a vital contribution to America’s music.

“A world class finger-style guitarist and lap slide player.” – Downbeat Magazine

“There are few musicians in the genre bringing as much creative spark and low-key mojo to this century-old music…” – Acoustic Guitar Magazine

“Marries acoustic blues with touches of ragtime, folk, and jazz…the interplay is always interesting, often provocative, and sometimes breathtaking.” – Living Blues

Learn more about Mary on her website maryflower.com


photo of Larry Baione playing guitar on stage

Larry Baione (Massachusetts)
Chair of Guitar Dept, Berklee School of Music

Larry will be teaching Jazz and Swing—Classes To Be Announced

About Larry Baione…

Larry Baione has been a faculty member since 1974, and has been chair since 1990. He has studied with Lenzy Wallace, Mick Goodrick, Bill Harris, William Leavitt, Bucky Pizzarelli, and Jim Hall. He received his bachelor’s degree from Berklee and his master’s from New England Conservatory.

After graduating from Berklee, Baione was principal guitarist in the Army Band, stationed in Washington D.C. He performed in the White House and throughout the United States with the Army Blues. In 1996, Baione toured South America for the state department as one of the inaugural Jazz Amabassadors.

He is author of the Berklee Practice Method for Guitar. He performs in numerous jazz, concert, and recording ensembles, settings that range from solo guitar to big band. He continues to perform and give clinics throughout the world. His recent recording Playing Time consists of original compositions and standards in a trio setting.

“I learn from the students, just as the students learn from me. I enjoy their individual talents, and I also enjoy the passion that the students have to learn the instrument and perform. Having a lot of experience as a performer, I’m able to relate my experiences to the students, and know what they’re going through. The more I perform, the more I learn—it gives me more material to work on with the students. Every time I perform, I learn something. And I’m able to talk about it firsthand.”

Read more about Larry at https://www.berklee.edu/people/larry-baione

photo of Flynn Cohen playing guitar and wearing a hat.

Photo by Andy Cambria

Flynn Cohen (New Hampshire)
Low Lily,  Keene St. College Instructor

Flynn will be teaching Celtic—Classes To Be Announced

About Flynn Cohen…

Flynn presently teaches select classes in Music theory, history, and performance at Keene State College. He can also be found teaching guitar and mandolin lessons at The Music Emporium in Lexington, MA. His teaching resume also includes Visiting Lecturer at Bridgewater State College (now “University”) and Northern Essex Community College; guitar instructor at Augusta Heritage Center (WV), Swannanoa Gathering (NC), Brian Wicklunds Fiddle Pal Camp (MN, WI, MA) and major bluegrass and folk music festivals in the Northeastern US.

Flynn is a former student of John Renbourn, Davey Graham, Scott Nygaard, and Bill Titley (steel-string guitar); Stephen Gordon and Paul Binkley (classical guitar); and Agustín Fernandez, Frank Denyer, Alvin Curran, Pauline Oliveros, and Allaudin Mathieu (composition).

Private lessons also available in western MA and southern VT: general acoustic guitar and mandolin, folk, bluegrass, Irish traditional music, beginning classical guitar, composition and theory.

Read more about Flynn on his website flynncohen.net

Photo by Saul Bromberger and Sandra Hoover

Sylvia Herold (California)
Euphonia, Cats & Jammers,  Hot Club of San Francisco

Sylvia will be teaching Swing Accompaniment—Classes to be announced

About Sylvia Herold…

 “…a mesmerizing voice.” —San Francisco Examiner

Sylvia Herold is a singer’s singer. At home in folk, swing, pop and Celtic genres, her passion is discovering and sharing the tale a song can tell. Her gift is in presenting songs with a clarity that is both honest and uplifting and yet remains refreshingly unvarnished. Her hard work in researching, performing and recording compelling songs for more than 25 years has earned her accolades from fans and press alike.

In her considerable tenure on the San Francisco Bay Area music scene, she has played and toured with several bands, including Cats & Jammers, The Hot Club of San Francisco, Wake the Dead, Euphonia and the Pop Top Trio. She is also an accomplished recording artist, having released four solo CDs: The Old Jawbone (2009), Lovely Nancy (2005), A Mockingbird Sings in California (2001) and A Bowl of Crystal Tears (1997)—all on the Tuxedo Records label—and has appeared on more than 25 albums alongside artists such as Kathy Kallick, Tom Rozum and Laurie Lewis.

Traditional Irish/British music was Herold’s first love. In the hotbed of San Francisco’s music scene, she met and found work playing with many talented Irish musicians. Her most consistent companion on the Irish music scene has been mandolinist and singer Marla Fibish; the well-partnered duo performed at the landmark Plough and Stars pub for 13 years.

Currently, Herold plays with Wake the Dead, the self-described “Celtic All-Star Grateful Dead Jam Band.” The group has won acclaim for its high level of musicianship and its inventive and fun intermingling of the Celtic world with Grateful Dead favorites. Herold appears on all three of the group’s albums, Blue Light Cheap Hotel, Buckdancers Choice and Wake the Dead.

She also records and performs regularly with Euphonia, a café-style acoustic combo featuring harmony vocals and sophisticated musicianship. The group’s two albums—The Old Jawbone and Lovely Nancy—blend modern and traditional folk songs and dance tunes from the Americas, the British Isles and across Europe.

The Pop Top Trio is yet another active ensemble that Herold performs regularly with. The trio creates unique, lush three-part harmony arrangements of jazz and pop gems from Gershwin to the Bee Gees, from the Rascals to Marvin Gaye, and also Brazilian-tinged originals from musical collaborator Ed Johnson.

Herold has performed at numerous festivals, including the Strawberry Music Festival, the San Francisco Jazz Festival, Centrum Hot Jazz, the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival and the Sugar Bowl Music Festival. She is a frequent instructor at prestigious adult music camps such as Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, the California Coast Music Camp and Lark in the Morning Music Celebration.

Read more about Sylvia at her website www.sylviaherold.com

Pat Wictor in sepia tone, posing with his guitar

Pat Wictor (New York)

Pat will be teaching Blues and Improv—Classes To Be Announced

About Pat Wictor…

Pat Wictor first burst on the folk and acoustic scene as an innovative slide guitarist known for fresh and memorable interpretations of traditional and contemporary songs. He has since made his mark as a singer-songwriter penning lean and poetic songs that incorporate – and subvert – rural blues and gospel traditions. For the past five years he’s been touring nationally as one third of Brother Sun, the powerful harmonizing trio with Joe Jencks and Greg Greenway, garnering critical acclaim, a #1 CD on the Folk DJ charts, and a continent-spanning tour schedule.

An American by birth, Pat’s early years were spent in Venezuela, Holland, Norway, England, and East Texas. Pat took a convoluted path to folk music, winding his way through rock, heavy metal, and jazz. He started with guitar, shifted to bass, moved to saxophone, and then quit music entirely before a return in 1993, a time when he also began writing songs. An adept improviser and accompanist, he is sought after as a collaborator, sideman and session musician, with dozens of recording credits to date. His monthly e-mail column, “A Few Choice Words,” is read by thousands of subscribers. He is a music educator of note, teaching workshops on improvisation, writing, interpreting, and rearranging songs, on slide guitar and other guitar techniques, and various topics of music history.

Recognition and honors have followed Pat for years for his solo work and collaboration with debut band, Brother Sun: he won the Falcon Ridge Emerging Artist Showcase, was nominated for Emerging Artist of the Year by the Folk Alliance, was nominated for Gospel Song of the Year by the Independent Music Awards, and was a finalist in the Kerrville New Folk songwriting contest. His CD “Sunset Waltz” reached #2 on the Folk-DJ charts, and “Heaven is so High” and “Waiting for the Water” both reached #4.

He is an in-demand session musician, providing his distinctive slide guitar and vocals on dozens of recordings, including releases by Sloan Wainwright, Jon Vezner, Joe Crookston, and a forthcoming CD by David LaMotte.

“He manages to infuse an almost playful, yet tasteful, improvisation while maintaining a beautiful sense of melody……..While he can fingerpick like the best of them, he is an absolute madman on the lapsteel. Unquestionably, anyone who has ever heard a Wictor show will permanently place him in the company of the best in the genre- Harry Manx, Kelly Joe Phelps and Ed Gerhard.”
—Frank Matheis, TheCountryBlues.com

Read more about Pat at patwictor.com

Peter Davis (New York), Camp Organizer
Annie & the Hedonists, Reggie’s Red Hot Feetwarmers, Whippersnappers  

Peter’s Classes for Beginners To Be Announced

About Peter Davis…

Peter’s multi instrumentalism includes clarinet, alto sax, 5-string & tenor banjo, piano, guitar, mandolin and whistle as well as an intuitive approach to a variety of musical genres including traditional folk, blues, vintage pop and jazz forms.

Peter Davis’s parents told him that when he was one year old,  he was scat singing arias from Rigoletto.  When he was five, Peter took piano lessons with an acclaimed teacher, but after six months he was fired as a student because he was playing by ear instead of reading notes. At eight, Peter finally connected with his private clarinet teacher, and continued five years of lessons, culminating in playing the Mozart clarinet concerto. It was then that he was handed a saxophone in 8th grade band class and was introduced to the 12 bar blues progression and Elvis Presley. In 9th grade, Peter was playing  rock and roll music with older kids in bars around Babylon, Long Island.  His dad bought him a Selmer saxophone and a Gibson guitar and sent him to a local teacher who taught him chord/melody stylings of standards. For 10th-12th grade, Peter was sent to Quaker boarding school where he was exposed to political activism and folk music and listened a lot to Bach, Thelonius Monk, Mississippi John Hurt and Earl Scruggs. At SUNY Binghamton Peter minored in music –  played in a jug and bluegrass band,  had one of his music theory classes taught by John Cage – acted in plays, sang in a doo wop and madrigal groups and played reeds in pit bands for musicals. Peter spent three years in Malawi, Central Africa where he directed his school’s a capella group and jammed South African zulu jive with some of his students.

Peter’s current projects include Annie and the Hedonists,  Whippersnappers, an eclectic string band; Reggie’s Red Hot Feetwarmers, a dixieland jazz band, which is the house band at Saratoga Racecourse each summer as well as Peter, Paul, and George, a group that does elementary school residencies in traditional music and dancing; Lindy Hop Heaven, Peter’s own swing dance band; and The Clayfoot Strutters, a rocked-out contradance band from Vermont.  He loves playing music with Jay and Molly and Swingology…

Additional “pop-up” clinics may include things such as…

  • Practicing Scales
    Practicing scales helps the guitarist physically play the instrument better, helps in seeing the notes and key areas all over the neck, helps with getting a good sound and awareness of time. Presented will be 5 common major scale fingerings and practicing strategies.
  • Tools for improvisation
    Presented will be an overview of tools for soloing on tunes. Included will be melody, scales , chord tones, arpeggios and guide-tones.
  • Strumming Patterns For Guitar  Get your right hand grooving in this hands-on workshop. We’ll tackle several essential strumming patterns and apply them to songs we’ll sing and play.
  • Beyond I, IV, V
    Focus on developing strumming patterns (with a flatpick) while  learning some of the beautiful things you can do using open strings.
  • Fiddle Tune Backup
  • Singalong:  American Pop Music from Stephen Foster to Patsy Cline
  • The 3 Most Important Practice Techniques Ever (Intermediate/Advanced)
    With these “Three Most Important Practice Techniques Ever” you will be able to become the fully-realized musician you’ve always dreamed of being… motivation to practice also required. This class is for all levels and includes a set of three techniques for beginners and three techniques for intermediate/advanced musicians, but everybody will benefit from hearing about all six techniques.
  • Ear Training for Beginners (All Levels)
    Ear training includes a set of skillsthat you can learn and practice just like learning chords or leads.This class will focus on the basics of ear training including hearing chord changes and finding simple melodies. Time permitting, we will also discuss some of the finer points of ear training including hearing intervals and learning solos note for note (a.k.a. transcribing) by slowing down recordings.
  • Playing Guitar in an Irish Session (All Levels)
    Common keys, basic strumming patterns, ear training, session ethics (use Common Keys in Trad Music diagram)
  • Intro open-G Tuning (Intermediate and Up)
    Paul Brady: Mary & the Soldier, Arthur Macbride
  • Fingerbusters
    A set of horrible-sounding finger exercises that will annoy you and improve your strength and flexibility if you add them to your practice routine.
  • Moving Seventh Chords
    Get these four seventh shapes under your fingers and your fingers will start making connections your brain doesn’t even have to worry about.

A note about class levels: Ashokan classes are both practical and conceptual. Most contain some combination of technique, theory and repertoire. Although classes do have ability guidelines, one can attend any class to glean some chestnuts, even if a bit above or below one’s skill level. Audio recording and note taking are welcomed, so that if an instructor’s pace is beyond someone’s ability level, one can always return to the material. Most classes will include handouts. Video recording is not permitted.


2018 daily camp schedule is in development. View information and photos from last year’s Acoustic Guitar camp.

Tuition & Meals

Tuition includes all classes, dances, workshops, and meals. Lodging is additional. Work exchange and youth scholarships are available.

Adults:  $635
Youth (ages 13-25):  $530
Children (ages 5-12):  $425
Parent/Guardian*  $385
Children under 5:  FREE

*Camp attendees under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. We offer a special Parent/Guardian rate which includes meals, dance and concert, but no classes.

You may select omnivore, no red meat, vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free meals. We make every effort to include a range of allergen-free dishes and to inform diners of meal ingredients.


Enjoy the full Ashokan experience and choose comfortable onsite lodging as part of the registration process. More information and costs here.

Payment/Cancellation/Refund Policy

You may hold your place with a deposit of $150. Full payment is due no later than six weeks before camp begins.

Partial refunds are available until two weeks before camp begins. To cancel, please log into the account you created when registering on Regonline and select the option to cancel. Cancellation fees apply.

Please refer to our official payment/cancellation/refund policy for important deadlines and dates for this workshop.

What to Bring, When to Arrive and Transportation

  • If you are staying onsite: Sleeping bag or sheets, blankets, pillowcases, towels, soap, toiletries. Pillows are available. There are light quilts in each private room and a small number of light blankets for those bunkhouse residents who are unable to bring one of their own. If you will need us to provide one, please let us know well in advance and we’ll do our best.
  • Flashlight, camera.
  • Clothes and shoes for both wet and dry weather.

See the Important Information about Acoustic Guitar Camp for details about what to bring, when to arrive, directions to Ashokan and more.

Youth Pricing and Scholarship Fund

We’re excited about the growing interest in traditional music and dancing among young people–the future is in their hands. To help young people take part in Ashokan Music & Dance Camps, we offer major discounts for children and young adults and have established a Youth Scholarship Fund. Anyone age 25 or younger can apply by filling out our Youth Scholarship Application.

Work Exchange

A limited number of work exchange positions are available to partially defray the cost of the camp. A list of work exchange positions can be found here.

Indicate your first three choices of positions during online registration and make a deposit of $150 or more to hold your registration.

Contact us by phone (845) 246-2121, or email office@ashokan.org for details.


Registration will once again be available online. Watch for our announcements on facebook (see below).

Please do not call to register or send in payment before registering online.

If you prefer to pay by check, or with a credit card by phone, you may select that option when you register.

You may hold your registration with a deposit of $150 for each attendee until six weeks before camp begins, when full payment is due.


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