[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Updated April 1, 2014

2014 Breakin' Up Winter
Musicians and Presenters

March 6-9, 2014

We had a great lineup of luminaries who taught, performed, and lead guided jams at our 19th annual Breakin' Up Winter.

Whatever else you do during the first weekend next March, you won't want to miss the living heritage that will be walking and playing amongst us at Cedars of Lebanon State Park for this great weekend of traditional music.



Alice Gerrard

Our 2014 Heritage Award winner, Alice has collaborated with many of the old-time and bluegrass greats, and is highly respected for her own contributions to the music.

She has known, learned from, and performed with many of the old-time and bluegrass greats and has in turn earned worldwide respect for her own important contributions to the music.

Alice is particularly known for her groundbreaking collaboration with Appalachian singer Hazel Dickens during the 1960s and ’70s. Alice has appeared on more than 20 recordings, including projects with many traditional musicians such as Tommy Jarrell, Enoch Rutherford, Otis Burris, Luther Davis and Matokie Slaughter; with Tom Sauber and Brad Leftwich as Tom, Brad & Alice, with the Harmony Sisters, and with the Herald Angels.

With her in-depth knowledge of mountain music, she has produced or written liner notes for a dozen more. She also co-produced and appeared in two documentary films.

A tireless advocate of traditional music, Alice has won numerous honors, including an International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Distinguished Achievement Award, a Virginia Arts Commission Award, the North Carolina Folklore Society’s Tommy Jarrell Award, and an Indy Award.

In 1987 Alice founded The Old-Time Herald and the Old-Time Music Group, a non-profit organization that oversees publication of The Old-Time Herald. Alice served as editor-in-chief of The Old-Time Herald from 1987 till 2003. She continues to perform solo and with Tom Sauber and Brad Leftwich, the Herald Angels, and Beverly Smith. Watch for upcoming new recordings.


Frank George

Frank George, our Heritage Award recipient for 2011, is a beloved and esteemed musician, and an authority on the history of West Virginia traditional music.

In addition to the fiddle, Frank is a master of old-time banjo and plays Scottish bagpipes, pennywhistle, fife, and mountain and hammered dulcimers.

He’s been known to keep us up late jamming at BUW. In 2009 and 2011, he kept us playing and introduced a number of tunes that were new to many of us and that have since become new old-time favorites.

Frank and his wife, Jane, have been ardent proponents and supporters of the music of West Virginia for decades. It has been rightly said that no old-time musician grows up in West Virginia without knowing the name Frank George.



Alan Jabbour

Alan, retired long-time Director of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, has spent most of adult his life recording and learning from the greatest of both known and unsung musical heroes of old-time.

A native of Alan was born in Jacksonville, Florida, and learned to play classical violin, rather well, at an early age. The folk revival of the 60s introduced him to mountain music, and he eventually went to Duke University in North Carolina to study English and, later, to obtain a PhD in folk music.

As a graduate student, Alan traveled around the Upper South, documenting old-time music. During this time, he absorbed the music of many of the old-time fiddlers he met, especially Henry Reed (1884-1968), a superb fiddler who lived in Glen Lyn, Virginia, near the West Virginia line.

That early passion has remained a lifelong dedication to old-time music and he has encouraged and inspired countless new old-timers to not only acquire tunes, but to focus on the technical skills - especially bowing - that make great fiddle music soar.

George Gruhn

A noted writer and businessman, George is an acclaimed expert on vintage American guitars and related instruments.

He launched Gruhn Guitars in 1970 on Broadway, and it has since become a mecca for those of us looking for older acoustic instruments.

He is the author of beautifully illustrated and thoroughly researched books about their history and development.

He’ll talk about the Golden Era of instrument making and why so many of those instruments are exceptional.


John Harrod

John, in addition to being a superb fiddler, is one of the leading documenters of older style traditional music in Kentucky, particularly its strong fiddle tradition.

He has been honored with a Governor’s Award in the Arts—Folk Heritage, in KY, for his fiddling and for preserving the work of many other old-time fiddlers.

Working with Guthrie T. “Gus” Meade and Mark Wilson, John researched and recorded record hundreds of musicians which ultimately culminated in multiple releases of traditional Kentucky fiddle music that were released as part of Rounder Record's North American Tradition series.

His lectures and collections of recordings radiate his passion for the genre, and he is always in the midst of new research projects to share with us.


Ken Perlman

Ken is a “melodic clawhammer” banjo pioneer, fingerstyle guitar player, folklorist collector, and collaborator on many projects.

Ken is an acclaimed teacher and has written some widely respected banjo and guitar instruction books.

He has been on staff at prestigious teaching festivals around the world. He has also served as director, or co-director for several banjo and music-instructional camps, including American Banjo Camp, Banjo Camp North, Bath Banjo Festival, Maryland Banjo Academy, Midwest Banjo Camp, Northeast Heritage Music Camp, and Suwannee Banjo Camp.

Also an active folklorist, Ken has spent over a decade collecting tunes and oral histories from traditional fiddle players on Prince Edward Island in eastern Canada.

At BUW 19, Ken will play with Alan Jabbour, his frequent tour mate, and will teach an old-time banjo workshop.

Jeff Todd Titon

Jeff has done decades of field work and research on the musical cultures of Old Regular Baptists, old-time fiddling and blues.

He is Professor Emeritus of the School of Music at Brown University, where he was a professor of ethnomusicology for many years and also where he maintained a long-standing old-time jam.

He is author or editor of seven books, including Early Downhome Blues (1977; 2nd edition, University of North Carolina Press, 1994), which won the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award; Worlds of Music (five editions since 1984, with translations into Italian and Chinese); Powerhouse for God (a book, record, and documentary film); and most recently Old-Time Kentucky Fiddle Tunes (University Press of Kentucky, 2001), and American Musical Traditions, (Gale, 2002).

He also repairs and restores fiddles and plays slack-key guitar.

Bill Mansfield

Bill Mansfield grew up in North Carolina and has been playing old-time music since his mother taught him how to play the juice harp at the age of 12.

In high school, he started playing the banjo, initially inspired by the two-finger style of Arnold Watson.

He was determined to master the Round Peak style.

In 1975, he was introduced to the music of Tommy Jarrell and Fred Cockerham, with whom he later studied under a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

His 1987 album, Root Hog or Die, is a must-have for any collection and was recently reissued as a CD to rave reviews.



Jim and Joyce Cauthen

They are members of the Red Mountain White Trash, an Alabama stringband that’s been together for 26 years.

They and band-mates will lead a workshop on tunes they’ve sown throughout the country.

Joyce and Jim have attended BUW most years since its beginning.

They have lectured and held a singing workshop, hosted cabin jams, and contributed to the quality of the festival by consulting with us over the years. It’s hard to be more integral than that!

Bob White

has been been playing fretted and fretless clawhammer style for over twenty-five years, and has played with some of the great old-timers. Heavily influenced by the Round Peak style, he has developed his own style on banjo and fiddle, which he also teaches.

Lisa Ingram and Betty Westmoreland

will lead the Sunday Morning Sing. Lisa is a member of the Gallinippers, a Middle-Tennessee stringband, and Betty is a knowledgeable old-time and bluegrass blogger and singer.

Roby Cogswell

is a longtime friend of NOTSBA and serves as Master of Ceremonies for our “Roots of Old-Time Music” day. He is Director of Folklife for the Tennessee Arts Commission is well-versed in the lore of old-time music.

Martin Fisher

comes to every Breakin' Up Winter (and other NOTSBA events) to share his passion and expertise in old-time recording techniques. His wax-cylinder recordings are as authentic as it can get, and he'll show you how it's done and record you in true old-time style.



* Changes in the list might be possible because of presenter illness or other unforeseen event.


[an error occurred while processing this directive]