2014 Bluegrass Banjo Camp at Weiser, May 2-4, 2014

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May 2-4, 2014                        Bill Evans, Jason Homey and Gary Eller, Instructors

            Are you just starting out on bluegrass banjo? Are you an intermediate player who has gotten stuck? Are you a more advanced player who wants to firm up chops. If so, this camp might be for you. Our 2012 and 2013 camps at Pickles Butte were well received so we’re doing it again with some notable changes. This time we are adding internationally reknowned banjoist, educator, composer and author Bill Evans as an instructor and expanding the camp to three camping nights and two and a half days of instruction. We will conduct the 2014 camp in two parallel sessions, one for novices and one for intermediate players with Ned and Jason alternating as primary instructors and Gary helping where needed. And we have moved the camp from Pickles Butte to the Slocum Hall campus at Weiser, Idaho - home of the legendary National Old Time Fiddle Contest held every full third week of June. Historic Slocum Hall’s spacious lawn under huge trees and inside classrooms are ideal for the camp. The camp will be a great opportunity to meet and jam with other banjo players, as well as to learn from highly experienced banjo instructors.
             Camp opens Thursday afternoon with registration and an informal evening session. Classes will occur all day Friday, Saturday and half of Sunday. And of course, there will be jamming every night – as long as you can stay awake! As is the case for the classes, parallel jam sessions for novices and intermediate players will be conducted. On Saturday night we will have a concert in the wonderful old time auditorium in historic Hooker Hall next door to Slocum Hall. Sets will be played by popular Idaho bands Possum Livin’ (Jason’s band) and Chicken Dinner Road (Gary’s band) followed by Bill Evan's critically acclaimed solo program The Banjo in America.

We urge students to camp on the lawn at Slocum hall. Rates are $20 per night for RVs or campers with electrical hookup and $10 per night for non-hookup campers, payable to the National Old Time Fiddle Contest.  Camping fees include access to restrooms and showers on the grounds. Motels are located nearby for those who choose not to camp. For camping details, go to www.fiddlecontest.com or director@fiddlecontest.com .


Student enrollment will be limited to twenty for each level (novice and intermediate) on a first come, first served basis. Tuition is $200. Fifty dollars will hold your space. You’ll get the equivalent of many lessons at camp – enough to work on for a long time. Please register soon as we expect the student slots to fill rapidly.  If you have questions or want to register, please contact Jason Homey (banjomaster1@yahoo.com 208-585-1637) or Gary Eller pgaryeller@aol.com 208-442-8844.

For information on the National Old Time Fiddle Contest see http://www.fiddlecontest.org .  



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 all over the world, the product of a music career that spans more than 35 years. As heard in his live performances and recordings, Bill successfully bridges traditional and contemporary sounds and playing techniques, creating music firmly within the bluegrass tradition while drawing on a broad knowledge of classical, jazz, and world music.

Since the 1980s, Bill has been in the center of the progressive bluegrass/new acoustic music movement, beginning with his Virginia-based band Cloud Valley featuring Missy Raines and Steve Smith. Over three decades, Bill has appeared with David Grisman, David Bromberg, Peter Rowan, Tony Trischka, Dry Branch Fire Squad, Mike Seeger, Hazel Dickens and Alice Gerrard, Laurie Lewis, Jody Stecher, the DePue Brothers, the Contribution (featuring members of String Cheese Incident and Railroad Earth), Jim Hurst, and Lynn Morris, to name just a few. Bill also assembles first-rate progressive acoustic ensembles to perform his own music in the Bill Evans String Summit, which has included Scott Nygaard, Todd Phillips, Josh Williams, Don Rigsby, Matt Flinner, Chad Manning, Joe Walsh, Tashina and Tristan Clarridge, Mike Witcher, and Sharon Gilchrist.

Bill is also an expert player of mid-19th century minstrel and late-19th and early-20th century classic banjo styles, authentically performing these styles on historical instruments in his solo performance concert The Banjo in America.
Bill has a master’s degree in music from the University of California, Berkeley, with a specialization in American music history and he has been a scholar/artist in residence at many universities across the United States. He has served as a consultant to the National Endowment for the Arts and is the former associate director of the International Bluegrass Music Museum in Owensboro, Kentucky.

Bill is the author of Banjo for Dummies, the most popular banjo book in the world; has produced six critically acclaimed instructional DVDs for AcuTab Publications, Homespun Tapes and the Murphy Method; and is the co-author of Parking Lot Picker’s Songbook: Banjo Edition from Mel Bay. Bill has been a mainstay at many of the most important banjo and bluegrass music camps around the world for the last decade, including Steve Kaufman’s Acoustic Kamp (Tennessee), Sore Fingers Bluegrass Week (England), Midwest Banjo Camp (Michigan), and the California Bluegrass Association Music Camps. Bill hosts his own annual California Banjo Extravaganza and the NashCamp Sonny Osborne Banjo Camp.
Bill learned one-on-one from an impressive list of banjo gurus: Tony Trischka, Alan Munde, Bill Keith, Ben Eldridge, Sonny Osborne and J. D. Crowe. In turn, he has probably taught more one-on-one banjo lessons than anyone else in the world. His list of former students is impressive: Chris Pandolfi (Infamous Stringdusters), Greg Liszt (Crooked Still), Wes Corbett (Joy Kills Sorrow), and many others. But Bill is just as adept at instructing old and young learners who just want to have fun in a jam session or local band.

In 2012, Bill appeared in concert with the San Francisco Symphony and in 2013 he appeared on a special almost-all-banjo edition of A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor. He routinely tours and teaches throughout the United States, the United Kingdom and Europe.


Jason Homey. I have been playing 5-string banjo since 1989. I am a two-time first place winner of the Western Canadian Bluegrass Banjo Championships and a long-term member of the Bluegrass/Celtic/Rock-band 'The Clumsy Lovers'. Since moving to Boise in the Fall of 2011, I have kept myself busy with an increasingly full schedule of banjo, mandolin and guitar students. I also play shows regularly with the two Boise based bluegrass bands "Possum Livin" and "Reilly Coyote."  I have many years of experience teaching at Bluegrass Workshops, including having taught the Intermediate and Advanced Banjo classes at BCBW. Since  March of 2012, I have been leading a well attended weekly beginner bluegrass jam for the Idaho Bluegrass Association (IBA).  Besides playing and teaching Scruggs-Style and Clawhammer (including 'Melodic' Clawhammer), I also play and teach a combination of 'Single-String' and 'Melodic' ('Keith') style that I use for arranging Irish fiddle tunes, classical pieces, and other types of material, for banjo. For samples of my playing, check out http://cdbaby.com/cd/jasonhomey2 .



Gary Eller. I grew up in rural West Virginia and learned my first banjo tunes from a tobacco chewing mountaineer neighbor. I still play the mastertone I bought in Wheeling in 1967 and have used it in bands and contests where I’ve lived – Ohio, Georgia, New Mexico and  Idaho. I’ve competed successfully in contests, including first place in the Horseshoe Bend and second place in the Santa Fe contests. I’ve taught lessons off and on for forty years. Currently I am banjoist for Chicken Dinner Road, a progressive Treasure Valley, Idaho bluegrass band. Also, I travel the length and breadth of Idaho doing solo programs of pre-radio era Idaho songs, sometimes playing plectrum banjo. I also do a piano/classical banjo program “High Tone Music of Early Idaho” with classical pianist Sean Rogers. For samples of my playing see

and http://www.chickendinnerroad.com  .

This page was last modified on January 27, 2014