Women in the Blues Workshop, with Gaye Adegbalola

Gaye Adegbolola

Gaye Adegbolola

In this workshop, Gaye Adegbalola traces the history of blues women from the 1920s to today. She’ll share video and/or audio clips from Bessie Smith to Billie Holiday, from Rosetta Tharpe to Big Mama Thornton, from Etta Baker to Etta James and many others. She’ll illuminate how the history of working class black women is documented in blues lyrics. Musically, she’ll highlight the many vocal techniques (wails, syncopation, phrasing, growls, etc.) that are used that give drama and immediacy to the performances of blues women.

Harmonica Workshop (Intermediate), with David Witzany

For this intermediate workshop, Dave will teach some simple effects and give an introduction to the blues. If you attended the beginning workshop, you are welcome to stay for this session too. If you have a C diatonic, you can bring your own harmonica  to the lesson. For those who don’t have one, there will be a limited number of free harmonicas available. We encourage you to come out to the workshops and try out this soulful instrument that you can carry in your pocket!

Dave has been a fan of local music since he came to the U of I in the early 80′s and has a long involvement with WEFT community radio. Mainly an audience member, he’s occasionally played harmonica with local bands like the Prairie Jam Band and the Prairie Dogs.

Harmonica Workshop (Beginner), with Dave Witzany

It’s easy to begin to learn to play harmonica!  Dave will lead the group using key of C diatonic 10 hole harmonicas to help you learn about the instrument and to begin playing melodies and blues. If you have a C diatonic, you can bring your own harmonica  to the lesson. For those who don’t have one, there will be a limited number of free harmonicas available. We encourage you to come out to the workshop and try out this soulful instrument that you can carry in your pocket!

Dave has been a fan of local music since he came to the U of I in the early 80′s and has a long involvement with WEFT community radio. Mainly an audience member, he’s occasionally played harmonica with local bands like the Prairie Jam Band and the Prairie Dogs.

Klezmer Workshop, with Frances Harris

Frances HarrisTime to get your D minor on! Dip into this folk tradition brought to the United States by Jews from Eastern Europe. We’ll listen to some recordings, learn a tune, find out how to give it that distinct klezmer sound, and be all set for a Yiddish culture style wedding. Emphasis will be on fiddle styling, but all instruments welcome. Or come with just yourself – no instrument required. 

Frances is a veteran of twelve KlezKamps and three KlezKanadas, and played fiddle with local klezmer band, Don’t Ask.

Banjo Workshop, with Dan Gellert

Dan Gellert

Dan Gellert

Learn the basics of the old time claw hammer banjo style from one of the masters of the art. Dan will explore the basic bum ditty, the drop thumb, and various tunings on the banjo. Participants should have some familiarity with the banjo, bring their banjo, and are encouraged to bring a recording device.

Fiddle Workshop, with Dan Gellert

Dan Gellert

Dan Gellert

In this hands on fiddle workshop Dan will delve into the Appalachian fiddle style, teaching bowing, rhythm, phrasing, and a couple of basic tunes. The participants should have some knowledge of playing the fiddle, bring their fiddle, and are encouraged to bring a recording device.