Banjo Summit Camp Director, Round Window Radio
Jake Schepps is an uncommon musician, banjoist, and composer creating music for the traditional American string band that is anything but traditional. In 2015, Jake launched Round Window Radio, an innovative online music subscription series covering territory from bluegrass to Brazilian choro, jazz, classical and more - each revealed through the prism of the 5-string banjo. New releases each month offer inventive, exciting, and rich new music with a wide spectrum of accomplished collaborators. As a bandleader with the Jake Schepps Quintet, the Expedition Quartet, and now Round Window, he has performed around the world and he has been featured at NPR’s Tiny Desk, Colorado Public Radio, eTown, and WNYC.
Jake is a skilled and conscientious educator, having taught at NimbleFingers, Berklee College of Music, Steve Kaufman Acoustic Kamp, British Columbia Bluegrass Workshop, University of Northern Colorado, and producing an instructional DVD Modern Banjo Ideas & Techniques. After many years of interviewing some of the world's greatest banjo players for Banjo Newsletter, and attending workshops in a spectrum of musical styles (the Banff Centre’s Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music, Valley of the Moon Fiddling Camp, the Centrum’s Choro Workshop, and Silk Road Ensemble’s Global Musician Workshop), this breadth of musical experiences have worked their way into Jake’s teaching curriculum and his open-minded approach to music.
2-time June Award winner, Folklife
Banjoist, composer, and instigator Jayme Stone makes music inspired by sounds from around the world—bridging folk, jazz, and chamber music. His many award-winning albums both defy and honor the banjo’s long role in the world’s music, turning historical connections into compelling sounds. Stone is the consummate collaborator, unearthing musical artifacts and magnetizing extraordinary artists to help rekindle these understudied sounds. He is a passionate educator and has taught in many settings including the Silkroad’s Global Musician Workshop, Mike Block’s Fiddle Camp, Alasdair Fraser’s Sierra Camp, the Midwest Banjo Camp and the Berklee College of Music.
Former banjo professor at Berklee College of Music, Joy Kills Sorrow, Molly Tuttle Band
A respected performer and teacher of traditional music, and a banjo player of uncommon grace and facility, Wesley Corbett began classical piano at the age of two. During high school he converted to the banjo and has spent the last 15 years studying, touring and teaching. Wesley has recorded and performed with numerous musicians, including Molly Tuttle, Joy Kills Sorrow, The Bee Eaters, The Biscuit Burners, the David Grisman Quintet, Mike Marshall, Darol Anger, Robert Earl Keen, Crooked Still, Sarah Jarosz, Tony Trischka, Alan Munde, and others. Wesley served as the professor and grant manager of the banjo program at Berklee College of Music between 2011-2015. He toured internationally with the critically acclaimed acoustic string band Joy Kills Sorrow until 2014 which was featured on NPR’s A Prairie Home Companion and Mountain Stage as well as in Rolling Stone. Wesley Corbett has more than 10 years teaching experience. He enjoys playing and teaching all styles of 3 finger banjo. With a vital fluency in Scruggs style, he is additionally adept in blending single string and melodic style within composition and improvisation. His music instruction focuses on enabling students to effectively practice on their instrument which in turn, fosters self-learning and creativity. He currently tours with the 2017 IBMA guitar player of the year Molly Tuttle.
Catherine “BB” Bowness
Mile 12, resident Kiwi
Catherine (BB) Bowness began playing the banjo as a teenager in her hometown, Koitiata, New Zealand. Just a few years later, she received the Frank Winter memorial award to travel to the USA and study with world renowned banjo players Tony Trischka, Alan Munde and Bill Evans. BB joined the Jazz Performance program at the NZ School of Music and received her BMus in 2012 as the first banjo player to have ever completed the program. In 2013, she was one of 16 young string musicians selected from across the United States to attend the Acoustic Music Seminar in Savannah, Georgia and in 2015 placed first at the Freshgrass Banjo Contest. Since re-locating to Boston, Mass, she has become a highly sought-after educator, teaching hundreds of private banjo students and at camps including Banjo Camp North. She currently tours full time as the banjo player for the progressive bluegrass band Mile Twelve.
Ph.D. in ethnomusicology, Old School Freight Train
Ben Krakauer is a banjo player and composer rooted in bluegrass, jazz, and new acoustic music. He has toured with David Grisman and the Bee Eaters and was a founding member of Old School Freight Train. He has won awards at the Merlefest, Rockygrass, and Telluride banjo and band competitions, and appears on recordings for Acoustic Disc, CMH Records, and the Fiddle Masters series. He has taught banjo at the University of Virginia and Tufts University, given banjo residencies at Berklee College of Music, and instructed at various camps organized by Tristan and Tashina Clarridge. Since 2005, he has taught at the Shasta Music Summit, offering classes in banjo, improvisation, composition, accompaniment, arranging, and jazz harmony. Ben helps students to develop the techniques and approaches needed to realize their personal musical goals. He specializes in developing students’ improvisation, harmonic, and rhythmic skills, and in expanding their range of accompaniment techniques.
Ross Martin (resident guitarist)
Matt Flinner Trio, Ron Miles Band
Guitarist Ross Martin has performed in concert halls, honky-tonks, theaters, rock clubs, living rooms, on festival stages, television programs and everywhere in between. He grew up in the suburbs of Dallas, TX, with brief stints in East Tennessee, attended the University of North Texas, where he earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Studies, then headed west. After ten years in the front range area of Colorado, he relocated to the east coast and has lived in Brooklyn, NY for the past ten years.
His musical path has covered as much territory as his physical one. Reflecting his love of diverse genres like jazz, bluegrass, country, folk, experimental, and classical music, Ross has always felt at home with fellow musicians who seek to reconcile, through their music, the incredible wealth of styles available to listeners in this global and digital age. Ross, along with bassist Eric Thorin, has been a member of the Matt Flinner Trio for the past eleven years. Known in acoustic circles for his groundbreaking mandolin work, Matt developed a unique concept for the group: All three band members write a tune each day while on tour and perform it that evening. After several tours, they picked twelve of their favorite tunes and recorded them. The result was “Music du Jour” which was released on Compass Records in April, 2009. Since then, the Trio has produced two more recordings of Music du Jour compositions: “Winter Harvest” (2012) and “Traveling Roots” (2016).
Ross’ solo album, “Volley”, features his original compositions and electric guitar playing. He also recently released a duo recording with acoustic guitarist Grant Gordy titled “Year of the Dog”. He performs frequently throughout the New York City area, and tours nationally and internationally with various projects.