Author: Sargent, Geoff

CBA Music Camp 2014: Get To Know A Few Instructors

One of the really fun parts of music camp is getting to know new instructors. This year we have several instructors to welcome, and a few instructors to welcome back after a long absence. The best way to meet these, and the other, instructors would be to come to the Music Camp this year from June 8th-11th at the Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley, California. But in the meantime, to tease your Bluegrass and Old Time palate, here are a few biographies.

Karen Celia Heil is teaching Old-Time Guitar level 2 and has been playing acoustic guitar longer than she cares to admit. She has been in many a band, jam, played in living rooms, porches, stages and recording studios through the years, playing country, swing, Cajun, folk... During the past decade or so, she’s been concentrating on Old-Time Southern Fiddle music, both on guitar and fiddle, learned both from old scratchy field recordings and on yearly pilgrimages to the Appalachian South, mingling with the current players. In addition to her playing with the Bucking Mules, she performs with the San Francisco trio the Knuckle Knockers. She has taught numerous years at the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, Lark in the Morning Camp, Fiddle Kids Camp, the Berkeley String Band Class, and teaches privately in San Francisco.
Last year John Mailander and Molly Tuttle gave an unforgettable performance on Vern’s stage. This year John is back to teach Mandolin level 1. He is a San Diego-based musician and graduate of the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. Playing in a variety of styles on the fiddle, mandolin, and various other stringed instruments, he has become known for his soulful voice as a soloist, improviser, and writer. John has shared the stage with acclaimed artists including the Alison Brown Quartet, Victor Wooten, Tim O’Brien, and Christopher Guest. He was one of sixteen musicians selected to participate in the Savannah Music Festival’s prestigious Acoustic Music Seminar in both 2012 and 2013. John played fiddle in Steve Martin and Edie Brickell’s musical, Bright Star, for its premier run in New York. He has performed at events including the San Diego Symphony Summer Pops, FreshGrass Music Festival, and Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival. John currently maintains a busy performance schedule with artists including Tony Trischka & Territory, Molly Tuttle, Chris Stuart & Backcountry, Darol Anger, and others. At Berklee, John studied under the instruction of John McGann, Darol Anger, and Julian Lage.

Chris Henry, is teaching Mandolin level 3. He is the son of bluegrass musicians Red and Murphy Henry and grew up around the old school sound. After intense study in his formative years, the International Bluegrass Music Association, referring to his mandolin picking, has called him "the premiere Monroe stylist of his generation.” Chris moved to Nashville about 10 years ago and was fortunate to develop his singing with great performers like Shawn Camp and Verlon Thompson among many others. He received an IBMA nomination for Song of the Year in 2011 for writing "Walking West to Memphis.” Chris also enjoys working as a musical educator, teaching workshops at colleges and camps across the country as well as giving private lessons, and producing recordings from his studio in Nashville. At my first music camp I went to his mom’s workshop on learning music by ear and expect Chris to be an even more memorable teacher!

Keep tuned for future Welcome columns where we will feature more instructors.

Do I really need to give you a reminder that music camp registration opened at noon on February 7th, 2014 so get your web browser over to our Music Camp website at to register and to get more breaking news. If you have other questions, please contact us at Keep on jamming and I hope to see ya'll at Music Camp in June, the CBA Spring Campout in April, the Sonoma County Bluegrass and Folk Festival March 8, and the Quebe Sisters on February 22 at the Morgan Hill Grange Hall.

Posted:  2/16/2014

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