We are excited about our workshop instructors and to the variety of workshops they will offer this year. Just like our campout, the workshops are rather casual. Sit in on as many – or as few as you like. All levels are welcome in the workshops. You can even just sit in for a few minutes and listen, if you like.
2017 Zigzag Workshop Schedule
10:30 – 11:20
Family Sing and Dance Along – Steph Noll
Come join us for singing, playing, and dancing. We’ll be on our feet for most of this active musical session for the littlest Zigzaggers and their bigger friends. All ages welcome, but very appropriate for toddler-early elementary. Just bring your singing voices and your dancing feet. You’re welcome to drop in at any time. Kids who are allowed to come and go as they please are welcome on their own, but smaller friends should bring along a favorite big person (or the whole family!)
11:30 – 12:30
How to Find the Old Time Groove – Nathan Bontrager
For all including non instrumentalists (Nathan)
Nathan will unravel the rhythms of old time and work with class to take apart and put back together the rhythms of the fiddle, guitar, bass and banjo. This is partly a vocal workshop as well and is open to all.
2:00 – 3:30
Music from Owen “Snake” Chapman of Eastern Kentucky: Janie Rothfield
Open to all instruments: Janie learned a number of Snake Chapman original and traditional fiddle tunes from Paul David Smith and Jimmy McCown who played a lot with Snake and knew him personally. She will teach several of her favorite Snake Chapman tunes with a focus on rhythm and drive-something Snake was known for. And a few stories too! We encourage everyone to record (either audio or video) the workshops!
3:00 – 4:00
Kids fiddle workshop – Sophie Vittels Enloe
Kids of all ages are welcome to come and and learn some new fiddle tunes. At this workshop we will learn two or three “advanced beginner” and intermediate level old time tunes. Sheet music will be provided, and we will also learn the tunes by ear.
4:30 – 5:30
Body Percussion – Leela Grace
Learn a variety of fun ways to make rhythm with instruments you always have with you — your hands, your feet, and your body! From hambone songs to bits of South African boot dance, from Appalachian clogging steps to flamenco rhythms, and from stepping to rhythm tap polyrhythms, there will be something for everyone! Every step and rhythm will be broken down and accessible to anyone who wants to try it out. Join the fun!
Kids Jam – Sophie Vittels Enloe
All are welcome to come and jam! We will play some common old time tunes, as well as the tunes taught at the kids’ fiddle workshop. Participants will be encouraged to suggest and lead tunes, and those who don’t know a tune will be given ideas for playing along. Grown ups who can play backup instruments (guitar, banjo, uke, etc) are also encouraged to join in. Sheet music for several tunes will be provided.
Intro to By-Ear Harmony Singing – Leela Grace
With a patient, light-hearted approach, Leela will help you discover the power of voices raised in harmony. Through large and small group singing, we will practice the fundamentals of two- and three-part harmony using by-ear techniques. This workshop is all about singing . . . singing together, finding your voice, experiencing the power of harmony, listening, laughing, and generally having lots of fun. We will learn to understand harmonies and how they work by SINGING. All abilities and experience levels are welcome. Come explore the possibilities! “Learn how to harmonize easily and joyfully! Leela Grace is a leading harmony teacher in the Pacific Northwest from the real world of folk music. This workshop is taught in the oral tradition. Leela’s teaching is both simple and profound for its common sense and its accessibility for both the new – and seasoned – singer. Treat yourself to the discovery of harmony and learn how it really works.” — Kate Power, Quality Folk 11:00 -12:30
1:00 – 2:30
Fiddling the Banjo – Janie Rothfield
Janie will work with the class to add more fiddle-esque melody and variations into your clawhammer banjo tune playing, as well as some chordal rhythmic fun-all without sacrificing that clawhammer drive. This is for the intermediate-advanced clawhammer banjo who are comfortable at playing at a medium to fast tempo. She will teach as many tunes as possible.
We encourage everyone to record (either audio or video) the workshops!
3:30 – 5:00
Old-time Harmony: More Than Just Chords – Janie Rothfield & Nathan Bontrager
Open to all instruments. Much of the time we treat harmonies or chords in Appalachian music as a static element that is really just there as a foundation for the fiddle tune. The foundation part is definitely true but these harmonies contain a whole world of nuances which can make a tune into something deeper and more musical. We will look at some basic elements of harmony which can add spice to your backing up of tunes and give tips on how to figure out the chords for a tune you’ve never heard before. We will also talk about the idea of melodic chordal accompaniment, especially useful for guitar, bass and similar instruments. We encourage everyone to record (either audio or video) the workshops!
4:00 – 4:50
We’ll dance some traditional square dance figures in a format that’s fun and accessible to dancers of all ages. If you’re a young dancer that would like to try out calling a dance, find Steph before the workshop!
7:00 – 9:00
Hen’s Teeth, followed by open mic.
2017 Zigzag Workshop faculty
Master Fiddler and clawhammer banjo player, Janie Rothfield (Pennsylvania, USA), has been playing old time music since her early teens. Over her 30+ year career, she has played at concerts, festivals, workshops and music camps throughout the UK, the USA, Canada, and Australia. In addition to performing with Hen’s Teeth, she performs with numerous other musical projects and bands, including contra dance supergroup Coracree, with Scottish singer Allan Carr, Panache Quartet (Four Fiery Female Fiddlers), Little Missy with her daughter Shona Carr and The Janie Rothfield Old Time Trio. A talented and experienced music teacher, Jane is also the creator and director of the unique and popular music camp, Janie’s Jumpstart. Janie has made over a dozen recordings of her award winning brand of old time and original music over the years and her latest CD, Out of Thin Air, features 13 of her own original tunes and songs. Find out more www.janerothfield.com
Nathan Bontrager (Lancaster PA/Cologne Germany) is a unique and versatile musician with musical chops rooted firmly in the traditional old time and folk genres. As well as being a world-class classical, jazz and experimental music cellist, he has performed throughout Europe and the US as an old time fiddler, clawhammer banjo and guitar player. Nathan has collaborated with musicians like Brian Slattery, Aaron Jonah Lewis and Harry Bolick, and regularly plays with the Ol’ Timey Messengers in Paris and the UK/US traditional band, Root & Branch. Nathan hails from the North-Eastern USA but currently lives in Germany, where he has studied Baroque Cello and Viola da Gamba in Masters programs at the Essen and Koeln conservatories. In addition to Appalachian and other traditional folk forms, Nathan is quite active in the improvised and new music scenes throughout Europe. Recent and upcoming projects include touring with Marc Ribot and the Young Philadelphians, concerts with Gerry Hemmingway.
Leela Grace is a nationally-known singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, recording artist, percussive dancer and teacher of music and dance originally from Missouri. Since moving to Portland, Oregon in 2007, she has built a tremendous following, teaching popular banjo, by-ear harmony singing, and Appalachian clogging classes. In 2014, Leela embarked on the new adventure of motherhood when her daughter was born. In late 2015, Leela and her family moved to northern Vermont following a job opportunity for her partner, Seth. After many “adventures” in the snowy northern lands of the east, she returned to the Pacific Northwest in the fall of 2016, inspired and ready to resume teaching and performing in her home community.
Leela has performed and taught nationally for over 25 years, first with her family, and now as a solo musician and with her sister Ellie Grace (as Leela and Ellie Grace). She has earned critical and audience praise for the “great depth and insight” of her original songs, which have been featured on NPR’s All Songs Considered and chosen for inclusion on a “Best of Portland Acoustic Music” compilation CD. She picked up the banjo as a young teen and has developed her own exceptional clawhammer banjo style, marked by clear, bright melodies and powerful rhythm. Leela is also recognized as a dynamic percussive dancer whose style draws most strongly from Appalachian clogging, but also incorporates Irish step dance, rhythm tap, body percussion, and much more.
Sophie Vitells Enloe
is a fiddler and music teacher in Portland, OR. She is classically trained, but discovered Old Time music at the age of 16 and fell deeply in love with the music and the community surrounding it. Sophie has performed and recorded with a number of old time, folk and country bands, including the Macrae Sisters, The Caleb Klauder Band, and Hopping Jenny, and has taught and performed at many music festivals and workshops. She has co-taught the Portland Stringband Class with Maggie and Patrick Lind since 2005, and runs the annual Portland Fiddle Camp for Kids with Kate O’Brien. Sophie also has a private Suzuki and fiddle studio in NE Portland. Sophie loves to work with students of all ages, and strives to help her students to develop the skills and enthusiasm they need to pursue any genre of music.
is an old-time musician, dance caller, and mama to two, singing and dancing 6 1/2-year-olds. She loves calling family dances and loves the Pacific Northwest old time music scene for its many opportunities to make music with friends of all ages. Steph is offering Family Sing and Dance Along sessions on Saturday and Sunday.
The Zigzag Workshop Faculty are sponsored by Bubbaville through the The Bubba Fund – Honoring the spirit of Bill Martin.