Folk School JAM is held in Cherokee/Clay Counties, NC, an area which is located near both Georgia and Tennessee in the Great Smoky Mountains. This area is geographically isolated with a sparse population. A version of two-finger style banjo is prominent here. Pete Seeger learned and afterwards popularized this two-finger banjo style (called the “Murphy” style after the Cherokee County seat) when he came to Bascom Lunsford’s Mountain Dance and Folk Festival in 1936. Notable players of the Murphy style of banjo are Hobbie Whitener, Caleb Mashburn, and Roberta Voyles Lunsford. Other historical musicians include Hardy Fain, a black banjo player, who was known for his clawhammer style, and Roy Stalcup, whose playing has been identified as pre-Scruggs three-finger banjo. There are also many fiddlers and ballad singers from past to present in this corner of North Carolina.
The John C. Campbell Folk School (JCCFS) is also located on the border of Cherokee and Clay Counties. JCCFS administrates and organizes the Folk School JAM program for area youth, although the program is held at the Tri-County Community College in Murphy, NC. The program is open to older students through grade 12 and features classes in fiddle, guitar, banjo and string band. It runs on Mondays and Wednesdays each week from 3:30 – 5:00 after school.
Peggy Patrick, Fiddle
Zach Kilmer, Guitar
Geraud Barralon, Guitar, Fiddle, Upright Bass
Wyatt Espalin, banjo
Annie Fain Barralon
The John C. Campbell Folk School provides experiences in non-competitive learning and community life that are joyful and enlivening, by offering year-round weeklong and weekend classes in craft, art, music, dance, cooking, gardening, nature studies, photography and writing.
For more information, please contact:
Geraud Barralon, Program Director firstname.lastname@example.org
1 Folk School Rd.
Brasstown, NC 28902