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Joe Newberry

Banjo Master Class

Joe grew up in a family full of singers and dancers. He took up the guitar and banjo as a teenager and learned fiddle tunes from great Missouri fiddlers. He came to North Carolina as a young man and quickly became an anchor of the incredible music scene in the state. Still going strong more than 30 years later, he does solo and studio work, and plays and teaches at festivals and workshops in North America and abroad.

Joe’s songwriting is characterized by the same clean, elegant style as his banjo playing. Musicians in the folk and bluegrass world often record his songs. The Gibson Brothers’ version of his song “Singing As We Rise,” featuring guest vocalist Ricky Skaggs, won the 2012 IBMA “Gospel Recorded Performance” award. In 2013, Joe shared co-writing honors with Eric Gibson for the IBMA Song of the Year, “They Called It Music.”

Joe was a frequent guest on Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion, and was recently featured on the Transatlantic Sessions tour of the United Kingdom with fiddler Aly Bain and Dobro master Jerry Douglas.  In addition to performing solo, Joe plays in a duo with mandolin icon Mike Compton, sits in the banjo chair with old-time music legends Mike Craver, Bill Hicks, and Jim Watson, and also performs with the dynamic fiddler and step-dancer April Verch.

A noted teacher of traditional music and song, Joe has taught at numerous camps and festivals, including Ashokan, Pinewoods Camp, Vocal Week and Old-Time Week at the Augusta Heritage Center, the Australia National Folk Festival, the Blue Ridge Old-Time Music Week, and the Bluff Country Gathering. For six years he served as coordinator of Old-Time Week at the Augusta Heritage Center in Elkins, WV. He also teaches at weekend vocal workshops around the country with his singing partner Val Mindel, and has recently performed and recorded with April Verch. Joe and April will be appearing in the Harrisburg area in December of this year.

Video link to traditional North Carolina tune “Roustabout” from Fred Cockerham.

Visit Joe Newberry's website.


Each Master Clinic has TEN spaces for students.  

Pre-registration is required for Master Clinics.

Joe's Course Description: At the Corner of 2nd and 5th

This old-time banjo workshop will show you the technique of finding the notes of a tune on the open strings, the second fret, or the fifth string.  Great for picking up new tunes in a jam. 


The workshop will also showcase some famous tunes, and ones that are not, but should be.

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