Silk Hope, NC – The Shakori Hills Community Arts Center presents the Hoppin’ John Old-Time & Bluegrass Fiddlers’ Convention, now in its 7th year. Hoppin’ John is a three-day event for musicians, dancers, and music lovers to come together and celebrate the traditions of old-time and bluegrass music. There will be dance, instrument, and band contests for all ages. Hoppin’ John also features square and cajun dances, workshops, musician showcases, a hoppin’ john cook-off, and a special opportunity to see, hear, and learn the secrets and treasures of this Piedmont take on the fiddlers’ convention concept.
The convention helps keep the musical roots of our state alive and provides an opportunity for young people to play on stage and be exposed to some of the musicians who have helped inspire them in their love of traditional music. North Carolina is known for its fiddlers’ conventions and Hoppin’ John is becoming one of the new favorites in the state!
The event will kick off on Thursday night this year with a Cajun Dance led by local band, Shamu Garcon.
The convention’s individual contests will begin on Friday afternoon and run throughout Saturday. There will be “Rowdy Square Dances” throughout the weekend with The Five Points Rounders, featuring David Bass on fiddle, Colin Booy on banjo, Rob VanVeld on gutbucket bass, and Steve Kruger on guitar. The Rounders, a young, high-energy old-time band came together in Durham to bring their type of music to the next generation by creating the Rowdy Square Dance concept – dusting off the old square dance tunes and moves and repackaging them to suit a younger, more hip crowd, without losing any shine for forever fans and connoisseurs. Anna Lena Phillips calls out the next dance step while dancing on stage, and keeps all of the dancers together and comfortable, whether it’s their first or their 100th square dance.
Hoppin’ John is excited to welcome banjo masters Wayne Erbsen and Mark Olitsky as part of the featured banjo showcase on Saturday afternoon. Mark Olitsky plays Clawhammer banjo and has recorded with various string-bands. He has been interviewed and reviewed in The Old-Time Herald, Banjo Newsletter and Bluegrass Unlimited. He has won awards at old-time festivals in both solo banjo as well as string-band competitions and recently won the 2012 Cuyahoga County Seth Rosenberg prize for performing arts in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. He was also selected to represent old-time banjo in the “First Voice” film project showcasing Ohio roots musicians.
Wayne Erbsen will also be conducting a beginning clawhammer banjo class on Saturday morning. Wayne is a master of bluegrass and old-time banjo, fiddle, mandolin and guitar. He has been teaching people to play stringed instruments for over forty-five years. Since his first book, Clawhammer Banjo for the Complete Ignoramus!, Wayne has written thirty-one instruction and songbooks on Southern Appalachian music, folklore, and humor, and since 1988 he has recorded eighteen solo CDs. In addition to teaching Appalachian music at Warren Wilson College and at the Log Cabin Cooking & Music Center, Wayne runs a publishing company and old-time record label, Native Ground Books & Music.
The Green Grass Cloggers, the premier clogging group of North Carolina, will be around for performances and workshops. New to the convention this year will be a kids crafts tent and Sacred Harp Singing. The Hoppin’ John Cakewalk and “hootenanny hayride” will be back by popular demand Saturday afternoon with early childhood educator and local musician, Tim Wells. As always, there will be a Hoppin’ John Cook-off. Contests include: band (old-time, bluegrass, and non-traditional), old-time and bluegrass instrument (fiddle, guitar, mandolin, banjo, and bass), folk song, and dance. There will also be a contest for youth musicianship. Cash prizes will be rewarded for a total of $3800.
Tickets & Admission (purchased at the gate only):
Contestant Tickets: $22 w/ $5 refund
Thursday Admission: $6
Friday Admission: $8
Saturday Admission: $12
Camping: $10 per vehicle per night (free on Thursday) – $15 per night for RVs
Day Parking is Free!
There will be great craft and musical instrument vendors as well as food vendors, including the Shakori Hills Pizza Shack and the Groovy Grill. Folks can bring the family and stay for the weekend!
More info and schedule are available at www.hoppinjohn.org.