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Ken Kolodner, Hammered Dulcimer

Class description: Old-time music for the hammered dulcimer


All levels are welcome. Using several old-time tunes, we will focus on backup ideas and finding the groove and swing of old-time music, and we will explore how to vary one’s playing using rhythmic and melodic variations. The workshop will cover concepts such as groove, swing, syncopations, anticipations, accent shifts, adding chords, baselines, and more.

About Ken:


Prior to performing with his son Brad, Ken toured and recorded for many years with the legendary world music trio Helicon with Chris Norman and Robin Bullock, and with Quebec fiddler Laura Risk and Scottish National Fiddle Champion Elke Baker. He was the only U.S. player to be invited to play at the International Hackbrett Festival in Germany along with the world’s best players. His extensive repertoire of thousands of pieces includes traditional music from over 30 countries on all continents.


Ken has performed in every state in the U.S. and has shared the stage with Doc Watson, Alison Krauss, Jeanie Ritchie, John McCutcheon, Jay Ungar & Mollie Mason, and many others. Kolodner’s nearly twenty recordings include an “Indie” winner for Best Seasonal Recording in 1999 (Helicon’s Winter Solstice) and a #1 World Music title (Walking Stones). He has also written numerous books and instructional recordings for the hammered dulcimer and fiddle.


He teaches locally in Baltimore with over 75 fiddle and hammered dulcimer students and has taught throughout the U.S. at countless music camps and festivals. In the last decade, his focus as a teacher has been The Sandbridge Hammered Dulcimer Retreats which Kolodner founded as the elite master class for up to 80 players from around the U.S. and beyond (

With Brad, Ken also hosts the Baltimore Old-time Music Festival. The Festival brings together the brightest Old Time Stringband musicians in the country to celebrate where this vibrant music form exists today. It's two days of concerts featuring brilliant musicianship and shimmering vocal harmonies, hands-on workshops, jamming, square dancing, conversation and revelry that’s fun for all ages. 



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