2024 Instructors

Banjo   Fiddle   -    Guitar    -  MandolinBass


Missy Raines and AlleghenyBand in residence

Currently, Missy is touring with her own bluegrass band, Missy Raines & Allegheny, named for the Allegheny highlands of West Virginia where Raines grew up. This band is a significant nod, and return, to her deep traditional bluegrass roots.  The music is traditional and hard-driving at its core but energized with Raines’ well-known penchant for originality and innovation.   

Missy Raines & Allegheny features some of the brightest young stars in bluegrass today with Tristan Scroggins on mandolin, Ellie Hakanson on fiddle, Ben Garnett on guitar, and Eli Gilbert on banjo.  Their new album, Highlander, produced by Alison Brown, has just been released.


Bennett Sullivan​3-finger Instructor

Bennett Sullivan is a North Carolina-based educator and performer in bluegrass who has toured with some top musicians in the industry including Judy Collins, Maria Muldaur, John Sebastian, Jim Kweskin, Willie Nelson, Steve Martin, Zoe & Cloyd, Balsam Range, and Ben Sollee and Kentucky Native .

Bennett has dedicated himself to teaching through online workshops, and creating multiple learning platforms for the bluegrass world including Tune Fox.  He uses a “listen and learn” method of instruction that combines learning by ear with tablature in order to play what you hear, not just what’s written on the page.  

In 2020, facing a challenging musical landscape, Bennet turned his backyard shed into a music studio and recorded “Eager to Break” a solo album of original songs released in November, 2021.

Click here to learn more and Listen to his album.  

Frank Evans​3-finger Instructor

Frank Evans fell in love with banjo at age 10 and quickly developed a passion for Old Time Appalachian music. He won the youth banjo contest at the Clifftop Appalachian String Band Festival when he was 13 and later placed second over all. In 2010 Evans joined the bluegrass outfit the Slocan Ramblers and recorded their first album Shaking Down the Acorns produced by Juno award winner Andrew Collins.The album gained attention world wide and led them to open for Steve Martin at the Toronto Jazz festival in 2013. In 2011 Evans became the first banjo player to attend Humber

College of Music where he studied Jazz. Currently Evans tours extensively year round throughout the world and has played at Rockygrass, Merlefest, and Jacobs Ladder Festival in Isreal. He has taught at the Rockygrass Academy, Nimble Fingers Bluegrass Camp and has played, recorded and taught alongside Old Crow Medicine Show, Natalie MacMaster, Tony Trischka, Peter Rowan, John Reischman and Ken Whiteley. The Slocan Ramlers released their most recent album, Queen City Jubilee in June 2019 which was nominated for a Juno. Evans is based in Nashville TN.

Evie Ladin

​Clawhammer Instructor

Banjo player, singer, songwriter, percussive-dancer, choreographer and square-dance caller, Oakland, CA-based Evie Ladin grew up steeped in traditional folk music/dance on the East Coast, and brings a contemporary vision to her compositions and choreography while holding fast to the roots.  Her performances, recordings and teaching reconnect Appalachian music/dance with other African-Diaspora traditions, and have been heard from A Prairie Home Companion to Lincoln Center, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass to Celtic Connections, Brazil to Bali. She has shared the stage with innumerable luminaries, such as Alice Gerrard, Laurie Lewis, Ralph Stanley and John McKuen, and many contemporaries. Evie currently tours internationally with her Evie Ladin Band, and as a duo with Keith Terry. In the trad world, she teaches clawhammer banjo at the infamous Freight & Salvage, online at Peghead Nation with over 350 students, and numerous camps and festivals. In the percussive dance world, she directs the moving choir MoToR/dance, is Executive Director of the International Body Music Festival, does educational outreach with the multicultural Crosspulse, and is an ace freestyle flatfooter. In the songwriter world, she writes clever, poignant and funny songs, subtitling her band “neo-trad kinetic folk." In 2019 she released two CDs, celebrating both of her musical sides: one totally trad fiddle/banjo duets with 17 different fiddlers, Riding the Rooster, and her fourth album of adventurous originals, Caught On A Wire, followed quickly by the 2020 release of an EP of eclectic cover songs. A highly entertaining performer, Evie enjoys facilitating arts learning in diverse communities, always connecting the music with the dance, and educating people about traditional Appalachian culture and history. “The best example I have seen of a Neo-Trad band's sound being authentically anchored in old time music but extending it into new and entertaining directions.”  —Founder, Clifftop Appalachian Stringband Festival


Hayes GriffinGuitar Instructor 

Hayes Griffin is a multi-instrumentalist and music educator living in Columbus, OH. Hayes has over a decade's worth of experience touring with acts like Canadian fiddler April Verch and progressive bluegrass band Newtown, whose album Harlan Road featured Griffin’s guitar work and debuted at #8 on the Billboard Bluegrass Charts. 

In 2020, Hayes developed a presence in the YouTube instructional community with his weekly series on the electric mandolin playing of Tiny Moore and later through his work with Mandolin Secrets. 

These days, Hayes helps thousands of guitarists realize their true musical potential through his weekly YouTube lessons, private instruction, and his online video platform - Guitar Club. 

Ben GarnettGuitar Instructor 

Born 1994 in Dallas/Fort Worth, Garnett studied jazz at the University of North Texas, majoring in jazz guitar performance (2016). Halfway through his studies, however, Garnett discovered a new calling. “I stumbled on this world of contemporary acoustic music and quickly went down a rabbit hole,” Garnett says. Soon, Garnett was chasing the music of Tony Rice, David Grisman, Mike Marshall, Darol Anger, Edgar Meyer, Strength in Numbers, Punch Brothers, Väsen, Grant Gordy, and more. 

“It felt like a light switch,” says Garnett. “This was music at the nexus of jazz, bluegrass, singer-songwriter, classical, old-time, world-folk, that so clearly merged an array of values. These musicians were communicating things I had been craving in music from as early as I can remember. It was a calling, I knew from then on I wanted to be an acoustic musician.”

Perhaps the most profound influence on Garnett’s playing and musical sensibility was none other than his future producer, Chris Eldridge—particularly Eldridge’s two acoustic collaborations with jazz guitar virtuoso Julian Lage, Avalon (2014) and Mount Royal (2017). “It’s sort of unexplainable,” Garnett recalls. “It was so profound to me how much genuine joy was being immediately transmitted through the music. And at no loss to sheer virtuosity, dense compositions, and mind blowing improvisation.” 


Ellie Hakanson Fiddle Instructor

Ellie Hakanson has played bluegrass all her life, performing with her family band, various regional groups, and most recently, touring internationally for five years with Jeff Scroggins and Colorado. 

In January 2019, Ellie released her first full length album with Jeff Scroggins and Colorado. The band was nominated in 2018 for IBMA Emerging Artist of the year. Ellie was also nominated for several IBMA Momentum awards, in 2017 for Instrumentalist of the year, in 2018 for Vocalist of the year, and in 2019 for both Vocalist and Instrumentalist. She is currently touring with Missy Raines. 

In addition to performing, Ellie has been teaching private fiddle lessons and workshops at festivals since 2003, and currently teaches fiddle and vocals at camps and in individual lessons.

Megan Lynch Chowning  ​Fiddle Instructor 

Megan Lynch Chowning is in high demand as a private and group teacher. She counts dozens of State and National Champions among her students, and has been an instructor at the most prestigious bluegrass and acoustic camps throughout the world, including Augusta Heritage Week, The British Columbia Bluegrass Workshop, and Sorefingers Bluegrass Week in England.

Her no-holds-barred workshops have drawn rave reviews across the U.S and Canada. Her encouraging style makes the newest players as well as seasoned professionals feel like the next level of fiddle success is completely within reach.

To learn more about Megan, visit www.fiddlestar.com 


Tristan Scroggins

Mandolin Instructor

With a signature raw mandolin groove, bold fashion sense, charismatic yet soft-spoken confidence, and keen sensitivity to style and artistic innovation, twenty-six-year-old GRAMMY nominated mandolinist Tristan Scroggins is quickly becoming a highly influential voice of both music and community in the world of bluegrass. An old soul with the drive and curiosity of youth, Tristan is dedicated to learning the history of bluegrass while creating an open and inclusive space for the music moving forward. In 2021 Tristan was honored with a nomination for the International Bluegrass Music Association's Mandolin Player of the Year Award. After a decade of full-time touring with Jeff Scroggins and Colorado, he now lives in Nashville, Tennessee where he has become a part of the thriving bluegrass and acoustic scene and can be found performing, teaching, researching, and writing about music.  

Joe K Walsh  

Mandolin Instructor

Hailed by CBC-Newfoundland as “one of the best mandolinists of his generation” and by Vintage Guitar Magazine as “brilliant”, Portland, Maine-based mandolin player Joe K. Walsh is known for his exceptional tone and taste, and his collaborations with acoustic music luminaries including legendary fiddler Darol Anger, flatpick guitar hero Scott Nygaard, folk star Jonathan Edwards, and pop/grass darlings Joy Kills Sorrow have taken him all over the global and musical map. He’s played with everyone from John Scofield to Bela Fleck to Emmylou Harris, and performed everywhere from festivals to laundromats to Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium. After a number of award-winning years as mandolinist with bluegrass stars the Gibson Brothers, Joe currently splits his time between an inventive string band called Mr Sun (featuring Darol Anger, Grant Gordy and Ethan Jodziewicz) a duo with Grant Gordy, and his own band. An avid educator, Joe is a mandolin instructor at the Berklee College of Music. He teaches regularly at music camps throughout North America and beyond, and teaches online through Peghead Nation.  


Missy Raines  Bass Instructor

GRAMMY® nominated Missy Raines was named 2021 International Bluegrass Music Association Bass Player of the Year, for the 10th time, more than any other bass player in the history of the organization.  She is a bass players’ bass player, a singer, songwriter, teacher, sideman, and bandleader.  In addition to the Bass Player awards, she’s received multiple awards from the IBMA for Recorded Event of the Year and Song of the Year.  In 2019, Missy was featured in The Country Music Hall of Fame as part of their American Currents exhibit.  In January of 2020, Missy Raines & Allegheny debuted on the Grand Ole Opry

Missy has created an extensively detailed library of Bluegrass bass lessons at ArtistWorks. Students unlimited access to hundreds of bass lessons plus bass tabs, backing tracks, and special guests, and a worldwide community of bluegrass bass enthusiasts.  


Jason HomeyInstructor at Large 

Jason Homey is one of the founders of the Weiser Banjo camp.  He and Gary Eller created the camp with a vision of providing an intimate learning environment great instruction. He has played  five-string banjo since 1989 and is a two-time first place winner of the Western Canadian Bluegrass Banjo Championships and the Weiser Banjo Contest and a long-term member of the Bluegrass/Celtic/Rock-band 'The Clumsy Lovers'. In addition to performing, recording, and teaching one-on-one banjo, guitar, and mandolin lessons, Jason has (for many years)  hosted  beginner and  intermediate Bluegrass jams in Boise that have vitalized a strong bluegrass community.