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Camp Blodgett

10451 Lakeshore Dr | West Olive, MI

Weekend Camp on the Lakeshore

Thursday 10/11/18 – Sunday 10/14/18

Award Winning Instructors

Live Performances & Ensembles

Limited Camp Registrations

Reserve your spot soon!

About this event

A Unique Musical Experience!

Join us on Michigan's beautiful west coast for a truly inspiring musical experience: World renowned Instructors, Expanded curriculum, New ensemble tracks, Concerts, jams, & performances!
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Camp Mission

Great Lakes Music Camp provides an all-inclusive experience, by: Fostering fellowship with among campers, Carrying on traditional music to younger generations, Channeling love for music into environmental and social good, and making sure everyone has a ton of fun!
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Scholarship Program

We believe in a humble responsibility to pass the torch to younger generations. We provide the opportunity for eager music students, ages 16 and under to take part in what will surely be an unforgettable experience in a family-friendly atmosphere.
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Event Partners

Are you or your organization interested in partnering with Great Lakes Music Camp? See how you can become part of this lakeshore music experience, and how your support can benefit the students, communities non-profits, and fans of this traditional music collective.
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"Great lakes music camp has the perfect combination of professional attitudes, combined with a sense of community building and helpfulness. It's the perfect atmosphere for learning traditional music." – Budd Greenman
"The Great Lakes Music Camp is already proving it's ability to help strengthen the next generation of traditional music in this region, and I am honored to be a part." -- Hayes Griffin
"The small classes allowed the instructors to answer individual questions and give personalized feedback to every musician. The diversity of instructors also meant I was able to learn a wide variety of new skills." – Drew Najor
"The instruction I received during camp was fantastic! Not only that but the environment of friendly support and encouragement was special. I can't wait to go back!" -- Evelyn Timmis
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Instructors & Staff

Bruce Molsky

ABOUT

He’s a self-described “street kid” from the Bronx who bailed on college and big city life for a cold-water cabin in Virginia in the 1970s. His mission?  To soak up the passion that was dramatically upending his parent’s life plan for him  – authentic Appalachian mountain music – at the feet of its legendary pioneers, old masters who are now long gone.

 

Today, Bruce Molsky is one of the most revered “multi-hyphenated career” ambassadors for America’s old-time mountain music. For decades, he’s been a globetrotting performer and educator, a recording artist with an expansive discography including seven solo albums, well over a dozen collaborations and two Grammy-nominations. He’s also the classic “musician’s musician” – a man who’s received high praise from diverse fans and collaborators like Linda Ronstadt, Mark Knopfler, Celtic giants Donal Lunny and Andy Irvine, jazzer Bill Frisell and dobro master Jerry Douglas, a true country gentleman by way of the Big Apple aptly dubbed “the Rembrandt of Appalachian fiddlers” by virtuoso violinist and sometimes bandmate Darol Anger.

 

“Bruce Molsky is one of those great players who ‘gets it’: has all the links to the past but is happy not to be chained to it” – Mark Knopfler


WEBSITE

www.brucemolsky.com


SESSIONS

Bruce will teach 4 classes, perform at the staff concert, and make a cameo or two at the hosted jams. His class descriptions will be available shortly.

Bruce Molsky

Lead Instructor – Fiddle

John Mailander

ABOUT

John Mailander is an acclaimed multi-instrumentalist who moves listeners in concert halls, festivals, and music camps at home and abroad. A sought-after performer, teacher and recording artist, John is known for his deeply rooted voice on the fiddle, mandolin, and other stringed instruments.

 

He has toured and performed with some of the greatest names in the acoustic music world and beyond, including Billy Strings, Darol Anger, Molly Tuttle, Tony Trischka, Col. Bruce Hampton, Joe K. Walsh, Lee Ann Womack, Missy Raines, Danny Paisley, Laurie Lewis, and John Reischman, to name a few. He was the featured fiddler for Steve Martin & Edie Brickell’s musical, Bright Star, for its debut run in Poughkeepsie, New York.

 

As a teacher, John has been on staff at some of the most prestigious music camps in the Americas, including the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, Augusta Heritage Center Bluegrass Week, California Bluegrass Association Music Camp, and Nimblefingers Old Time & Bluegrass Music Workshop. He also keeps a busy private instruction schedule, teaching students all over the country in person and online. His first instructional book, A Fiddler’s Guide to Moveable Shapes, was published in Fall 2017. He is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA.

 

“John Mailander is a wonderful fiddler, with great improvisatory and compositional skills. He’s rooted in tradition but can stretch in many other areas. He’s diligent and focused and one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet.” – Tony Trischka


WEBSITE

www.johnmailander.com


SESSIONS

John will teach 4 classes, perform at the staff concert, and make a cameo or two at the hosted jams. His class descriptions will be available shortly.

 

John Mailander

Lead Instructor – Fiddle

Kenny Smith

ABOUT

Kenny is in great demand at guitar workshops and master classes, teaching at the renowned Roanoke Bluegrass Weekend series, Kaufman Kamp, Acoustic Music Camp, Augusta Bluegrass Camp and at guitar workshops at major events such as IBMA. He has released a two-DVD instruction set on AcuTab Publications.


WEBSITE

www.kennysmithguitar.com


SESSIONS

Rhythm studies for guitar – Are you tired of playing the same old chords? Are you looking for a way to liven up your rhythm playing? You’re in luck! We will look at some devices and techniques that you can apply to quickly become everyone’s favorite bluegrass rhythm player.

 

Accompaniment on the Guitar – Here we will introduce a few ideas that will help guitarists diversify what you can do during other instrumental breaks, solos and melody sections. This takes us one more step down the road of rhythm/back up playing and how we can reinforce the tunes and the band.

 

Composing a Bluegrass Solo – It’s time for your solo! Where do we begin? How do we create melodic phrases? What are some of the tips, tricks and listening exercises we can use to form cohesive thoughts on the guitar when we step into our solo section. Let’s dive into

 

Tone, Attack, and Technique – How do we draw out the best tone of our instrument? How can we attack our notes to bring out the best in our playing? What techniques can we incorporate into our playing that clean up our tone, improve our dynamics and help us play with consistency and clarity.

Kenny Smith

Lead Instructor – Guitar

Don Julin

ABOUT

Don Julin, author of the best-selling Mandolin For Dummies (Wiley 2012), and founder of Mandolins Heal The World is regarded as one of the most eclectic mandolin players and top mandolin instructors on the scene today. Julin’s patient yet detailed teaching style is appreciated by students of all levels. His workshops, classes, or private lessons feature a hands-on approach focusing on developing good left- and right-hand skills, along with a dose of ear training and music theory.


WEBSITE

www.donjulin.com


SESSIONS

Don will teach 4 classes, perform at the staff concert, and make a cameo or two at the hosted jams. His class descriptions will be available shortly.

 

Don Julin

Lead Instructor – Mandolin

Joe K Walsh

ABOUT

Roots music isn’t made in a vacuum. It’s the creation of a community, of a circle of friends, of a teacher and a student. It’s something to be passed back and forth to be treasured. As an acclaimed master of American roots music, mandolinist and songwriter Joe K. Walsh knows this better than most. He’s toured with countless artists, collaborated with other master musicians like Darol anger and the Gibson Brothers, founded progressive stringband Joy Kills sorrow in the early 2000s, and is currently on faculty at the prestigious Berklee College of Music. His new album, Borderland, is an exercise in subtlety and careful creation. Turning through songs he wrote, or setting the words of Yeats to music, and picking out instrumental tunes of his own creation, Walsh plays and sings with the kind of ease that comes from years of practice and creation.

 

The touch of sawdust in his vocals, or the buzz of the mandolin strings may hint at the deep rural roots of this music, but what he’s creating now is a new kind of tradition. His first inspiration came as a teenager when he heard David Grisman, and then again when first hearing Del McCoury. The music he heard at that young age opened a window to new harmonic possibilities, and started Walsh exploring how to create new American roots music. What’s surprising then is that his new album is no act of wild fusion. Instead, it’s a joyful exploration of just why he loves this old music so much in the first place. With mastery comes restraint. With nothing left to prove, Walsh has dived deeper into the tradition, seeking to craft new music from old roots.


WEBSITE

www.joekwalsh.com


SESSIONS

Joe will teach 4 classes, perform at the staff concert, and make a cameo or two at the hosted jams. His class descriptions will be available shortly.

Joe K Walsh

Lead Instructor – Mandolin

David Benedict

ABOUT

Originally from South Carolina, mandolinist David Benedict is a Boston-based performer, composer, and instructor seeking to blend tradition and innovation through his music. Alumnus member of Missy Raines & The New Hip and producer of the popular weekly Mandolin Mondays video series, David is now a part of the IBMA Momentum Award-winning New England bluegrass band Mile Twelve.

 

In 2013, he graduated with a unique degree in mandolin music performance from Bryan College in Tennessee, where he studied with Grammy-nominated mandolinist Matt Flinner. Since then, David has played at venues and festivals across the southeast including the Savannah Music Festival and TEDx Conferences–sharing the stage with such musicians as Casey Driessen, Matt Flinner, Julian Lage, Mike Marshall, Tim O’Brien, Darrell Scott, Tommy Emmanuel, and others. In 2017, he was nominated for the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Momentum Award Instrumentalist category.


WEBSITE

www.davidbenedictmusic.com


SESSIONS

David will teach 4 classes, perform at the staff concert, and make a cameo or two at the hosted jams. His class descriptions will be available shortly.

David Benedict

Lead Instructor – Mandolin

Bill Evans

ABOUT

A professional player for over thirty-five years, Bill has spent a lifetime learning and sharing knowledge one-on-one with such bluegrass banjo masters as Sonny Osborne, J. D. Crowe, Alan Munde, Tony Trischka, Bill Keith and Ben Eldridge.

 

Bill’s students include a new generation of banjo masters: Chris Pandolfi (The Infamous Stringdusters), Greg Liszt (Crooked Still & The Deadly Gentlemen), Jayme Stone, Wes Corbett and Erik Yates (Hot Buttered Rum). However, Bill equally enjoys teaching the adult learner who wants to just have fun playing with others in jam sessions and amateur bands.

 

“The banjoist has a world view shared by a precious few. It shows in the breadth of his own bluegrass playing and, especially, through his composing. Evans infuses his work with hints of jazz, classical and music of other realms, all fitting snuggly into his conception of the bluegrass sound. ” David Royko, The Chicago Tribune


WEBSITE

www.billevansbanjo.com


SESSIONS

Bill will teach 4 classes, perform at the staff concert, and make a cameo or two at the hosted jams. His class descriptions will be available shortly.

Bill Evans

Lead Instructor – Banjo

Keith Billik

ABOUT

Keith Billik is best known for his recordings and concert performances with Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys, Mark Lavengood’s Bluegrass Bonanza, and many other groups in his nearly twenty years playing 3-finger banjo. You may also recognize Keith from his ten years as Showroom Manager and teaching banjo lessons at the world famous Elderly Instruments, or because of his longstanding role as the soundguy and faculty member at the Midwest Banjo Camp.

 

Keith is also the creator and host of The Picky Fingers Banjo Podcast, launched in early 2018, which is listened to by banjo enthusiasts worldwide. Although banjo has been his primary instrument since picking it up (pun intended) in college, Keith has also performed on various other instruments such as the saxophone, keyboards, and guitar, which gives him a broad range of influences to incorporate into his playing. Keith currently lives with his family in the Detroit area, and is proud to be part of the inaugural banjo track at the Great Lakes Music Camp!


SESSIONS

Keith will teach 4 classes, perform at the staff concert, and make a cameo or two at the hosted jams. His class descriptions will be available shortly.

Keith Billik

Lead Instructor – Banjo

Hayes Griffin

ABOUT

Hayes was raised in central Ohio and started playing guitar at the age of nine. Inspired by the sounds of Bill Monroe, Flatt and Scruggs, and Tony Rice, Hayes completely immersed himself in the world of bluegrass and acoustic music at a young age. As a teenager, Hayes gained recognition playing in local bluegrass bands and winning local flatpick competitions. Around this time his musical interests started to broaden, and Hayes began studying bluegrass and jazz music under the supervision of Andy Carlson, Tom Carroll, and Casey Cook at Denison University, where he eventually earned a B.A. in Music Performance in 2010. After his time at Denison, Hayes became an active member of Boston’s vibrant acoustic music scene while pursuing a master’s degree in Contemporary Improvisation at the New England Conservatory under the instruction of the late, great John McGann.

 

Upon graduating from NEC, Hayes was given the opportunity to tour for nearly four years with renowned Canadian fiddler April Verch, where he hit the road nearly 250 days a year, playing in over 12 countries and 38 states. In 2015 Hayes left the April Verch Band to pursue teaching opportunities in Columbus, OH. As of 2016, Hayes lives in Grand Rapids, MI and tours with the Lexington, KY-based bluegrass band, NewTown.


WEBSITE

www.hayesgriffin.com


SESSION

 

Hayes will teach 4 classes, perform at the staff concert, and make a cameo or two at the hosted jams. His class descriptions will be available shortly.

Hayes Griffin

Guitar Instructor

Bruce Ling

ABOUT

Bruce Ling was born in Chicago, and began playing guitar at age four under the tutelage of his father and uncle, semi-professional musicians involved in Country/Western and Rock and Roll, respectively. He says, “My earliest memories are of picking the melody lines to Hank Williams and Ferlin Husky records on a 1930’s Kay arch-top guitar”. He still uses this guitar when playing Delta Style slide guitar blues.

 

Admired for his musicianship and vocal range, Bruce has shared the stage with guitarist Jerry Reed, singer Bobby Goldsboro, guitarist Harvey Reid, blues man Peter “Madcat” Ruth, saxophonist Boots Randolph, and Grammy Award winning Reggae band Gizzae, and has opened for folk singer Anne Hills, and Cajun fiddler Michael Doucet with his band Beausoleil. He has performed with national award winning dulcimer player Rick Thum, and Jazz greats Chris Brubeck and Bill Crofut, and has fiddled for the moving feet of internationally known dancer Ira Bernstein, and Michigan hoofer/caller/instructor Dan Gorno. The first dance he fiddled for was at the prestigious Wheatland Music Festival, Michigan’s largest traditional arts festival.

 

He took 1st place in the first fiddle contest he entered, the Wild Rose Moon Festival, in northern Indiana in 1993,and again in 1995.  In 2001, at Michigan’s largest contest festival, the Shady Grove Fiddle Fest, Bruce took 1st place in Mandolin, 2nd in flatpicked guitar, and 3rd place in fiddle. He has since been asked to, and has been participating as, a contest judge at FiddleFest.

 

Since 1997 Bruce has fronted his own band “Hawks and Owls”, playing a mix of acoustic based Country blues, Bluegrass, early Swing, Appalachian, Irish, and original fiddle tunes and songs. He has also performed and spoken on many radio programs, stage productions, media interviews, and televised spots. His understanding of the evolution of traditional music is  expressed in his performances, where the audience is treated to colorful facts about the  homegrown music of the 18th and 19th centuries in America, and the immigration of music from the British Isles in those periods.


WEBSITE

www.hawksandowls.com


SESSION

Bruce will teach 4 classes, perform at the staff concert, and make a cameo or two at the hosted jams. His class descriptions will be available shortly.

Bruce Ling

Multi-Instrument Instructor

Drew Najor

ABOUT

Drew Najor is a Grand Rapids based musician who primarily enjoys playing old time, bluegrass, and swing music. As a student at Michigan State University, Drew discovered his passion for traditional acoustic music while jamming with The Pretty Shaky String Band, an East Lansing institution of old time musicians who have been jamming together weekly for more than 25 years. These formative experiences fostered Drew’s commitment to passing on traditional music.

 

Though mostly self-taught, Drew has been attending camps such as Earful of Fiddle and workshops at the Augusta Heritage Center in West Virginia in order to learn from the masters of our time. A working public school educator, Drew greatly values education and has a deep commitment to community building. He is tremendously excited to be the jam facilitator and jam with campers at this year’s Great Lakes Music Camp.


 

SESSIONS

TBD

Drew Najor

Jam Facilitator

Jason Wheeler

ABOUT

A touring musician, instructor, and Executive Director of The Great Lakes Music Camp, Jason Wheeler has been immersed in the mandolin for nearly two decades, focusing on old-time and bluegrass music. Having performed with several outfits such as Hawks & Owls String Band, Junior Valentine, Mark Lavengood, and Fauxgrass over the years, Wheeler has developed a love and appreciation for old music and a drive to reinvent himself as a human and instructor with each note.

 

Wheeler has studied under Don Julin, Don Steirnberg, Bruce Ling, and several notable instructors as well as having attended countless music camps throughout the last decade. Jason has performed more than 100 shows a year for more than seven years with Fauxgrass and still manages to maintain a steady teaching schedule. He will be at several Michigan festivals through 2018 hosting workshops, jam sessions, and performing.

 

With a practical approach to instruction, Wheeler encourages students to enjoy the learning process and get as much time playing and learning tunes as possible. Workshops will be focused on learning tunes and discovering different ways to express and improvise on the mandolin.


WEBSITE

www.fauxgrassmusic.com


SESSIONS

Jason will teach 4 classes, perform at the staff concert, and make a cameo or two at the hosted jams. His class descriptions will be available shortly.

Jason Wheeler

Executive Director

Accommodation Options

Camp Blodgett

If you’re attending the Great Lakes Music Camp, Camp Blodgett is a natural choice. Their lakeshore campus offers great lodging accommodations only steps from classroom sessions, dining hall, and inspiring lake views and beach experiences.

Lakeshore Inn

Less than a mile north of Camp Blodgett on the shores of Lake Michigan, this fully restored 6,500 sq.ft. mansion was built in 1941 on 200 feet of private Lake Michigan beach frontage. This classic estate exudes charm, style and ambiance too rich to describe.

Grand Haven Hotels

If you’re looking for more traditional lodging options, there are a variety of hotels in the beautiful town of Grand Haven–less than 10 miles from Camp Blodgett. Check out our list of reputable hotel and Bed & Breakfast options in the links provided.

RV/Camper Parking

Camp Blodgett offers a limited number of RV parking options with electric hook ups (no water hookups available at this time).  For more information, please contact us at info@greatlakesmusic.org

Camp Registration

A variety of class options to fit your needs and preferences

Weekend Camper Deluxe
SOLD OUT
1 person
  • Weekend (Thursday - Sunday) of Classes, Jams, and Activities
  • King Bed, Private Room, Private Bath
  • Daily Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner Meals
Get Started
Roommate Camper Plus
SOLD OUT
1 person
  • Weekend (Thursday - Sunday) of Classes, Jams, and Activities
  • Two Campers to a Shared Room (pay separate)
  • Two Queen Beds per Room, Private Bath
  • Daily Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner Meals
Get Started
Weekend Camper
$550
1 person
  • Weekend (Thursday - Sunday) of Classes, Jams, and Activities
  • Single bed, bunkhouse in main building
  • Daily Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner Meals
Get Started
Musicians Hostel
$400
1 person
  • Weekend (Thursday - Sunday) of Classes, Jams, and Activities
  • Twin Bed in Bunk Hall (Bring you own linens)
  • Separate Bunk Hall Buildings for Men and Women
  • Daily Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner Meals
Get Started
Day Camper
$350
1 person
  • Weekend (Thursday - Sunday) of Classes, Jams, and Activities
  • Lodging not included
  • Daily Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner Meals
Get Started
Saturday Only
$250
1 person
  • Saturday Activities
  • Admission to benefit concert
  • Daily Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner Meals
Get Started

Contact Us

  • 10451 Lakeshore Dr | West Olive, MI

  • (616) 437-1519

  • info@greatlakesmusic.org