Brad Kolodner, Banjo

While it wasn't until the age of 17 when Brad first picked up the banjo, he soaked up his father's music throughout childhood. He was introduced to clawhammer banjo when he spontaneously signed up for a banjo-from-scratch class taught by clawhammer legend Richie Stearns at the Meadowlark Music camp in Maine.


The following year, Brad started his first year as a student at Ithaca College in New York to pursue a degree in Television-Radio. It was in Ithaca, a hotbed for Old-Time music, where his interest in the music was cemented. Within a couple of years, he began performing regularly with his father throughout the East Coast and competing in regional banjo contests. Perhaps his first most notable performance came in 2009 when he performed at the Kennedy Center with his father.


The following year, Brad won the prestigious 2010 Old-Time Banjo Festival Contest in Takoma Park, MD, earning a performance slot later that evening at The Birchmere where he opened for Grammy-winning banjo legends Tony Trischka and Cathy Fink. That performance became a launching point for Kolodner's career as an Old-Time musician. He has since placed in the finals of the banjo contest in 2014, 2015 and 2016 at the Appalachian String Band Festival in Clifftop, WV, one of the most prestigious Old-Time banjo contests in the world.


Rooted in the traditions of Old-Time music, Baltimore-based clawhammer banjoist Brad Kolodner represents the next generation of Old-Time musicians pushing the boundaries of the tradition into uncharted territory. Regarded for his delicate touch, expressive style, and original compositions, Kolodner has rapidly gained national attention for his unique approach to the banjo.

Class description:

In this workshop, we will explore the versatile nature of clawhammer banjo and go "beyond the bum-ditty.” The workshop will be geared towards intermediate to advanced players who can comfortably play a few tunes but are looking to expand upon their technique and take their playing to the next level. 


A tune or two will be taught as a vehicle for exploring a variety of techniques and ideas including but not limited to incorporating variations, going up the neck, syncopated and melodic drop-thumb, ghost strums, bass-lines, triplet pull-offs, fretting the fifth string, back-up ideas, playing with others and achieving good tone. 


Regardless of your skill level, you will walk out of the workshop with a handful of new tips and tricks to implement in your playing.