About Jack Hatfield

Jack has written several highly acclaimed banjo instruction books, published by his own company Hatfield Music and for Mel Bay Publications, the largest publisher of stringed instrument instruction books in the world. Jack has been a columnist for Banjo Newsletter since 1976. He wrote the Scruggs Corner column for five years, analyzing the style of the father of bluegrass banjo. The sixty tablatures and analytical comments he wrote while authoring this column still today constitute the largest and most accurate collection of transcriptions of Earl's recordings available anywhere. Jack then wrote the Beginner's Corner column for seven years, and for twelve years authored a column called Concepts and Systems which attempted to de-mystify music theory, present alternative banjo techniques, discuss difficult and seldom-taught topics such as arranging and composition, and present other "big-picture" concepts relating to music applied to the five-string banjo.

Besides performing and selling banjo products through Hatfield Music, Jack teaches and directs various banjo workshops and camps. He has taught banjo workshops all over the USA, in Canada, England, Ireland, Scotland and Australia. Jack was on the staff of the very first banjo camp, the Tennessee Banjo Academy in 1988, and was Bluegrass Director of Banjo Newsletter's Maryland Banjo Academy for all three years.. He was Banjo Director of Chuck Stearman's Nashville Academy of Traditional Music at the Opryland Hotel. For twenty years he has been Director of the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass of America workshop every February in Nashville, TN. The workshop features top artists, banjo craftsmen and setup specialists, and frequently Banjo Newsletter columnists. The upcoming SPBGMA workshop wlll feature Jack along with rare workshop appearances by Larry McNeely and Alison Brown, with Jarda Prucha on banjo setup. This year marks Prucha's 25th anniversary in the banjo building business.

To learn about the upcoming SPBGMA workshop February 4th, 2018, click below:


To learn about previous SPBGMA workshops click below:















When Banjo Newsletter decided to curtail the Maryland Banjo Academy, Jack decided to take up where they left off. In April 2004 he directed his first three-day banjo camp, the Smoky Mountain Banjo Academy. The first SMBA featured renowned artists like Doug Dillard, Larry McNeely, Butch Robins, Leroy Troy, Dan Levenson and Bill Keith, along with many professional teachers, authors and luthiers along with national champs Gary Davis, Sonny Smith and James McKinney. The 2004 SMBA was a big hit with all who attended, so Jack decided to make it an annual event. Since its inception, SMBA has added to the faculty the likes of Tom Adams, Richard Bailey, Kristin Scott-Benson, Jason Burleson, Greg Cahill, Sonny Osborne, Ned Lubereki, Gerald Jones, Jack Hicks, Charlie Cushman, Rik Barron, Joe Mullins, Ron Stewart, Terry Baucom, Butch Robins, Leroy Troy, Herb Trotman, Bill Evans, Snuffy Smith, Sammy Shelor, Rex McGee, Tony Ellis, Ron Block and Rick Sampson. Old time artists include Dan Levenson, Frank Lee, Dave Ball, Ken Perlman, and Wayne Erbsen. Many professional teachers, banjo instruction book authors and Banjo Newsletter columnists have also appeared, including Janet Davis, Eddie Collins, Wayne Erbsen, Andy King, John Lawless, Herb Trotman and Ross Nickerson. Acclaimed setup technicians and builders have also been on hand, such as Tom Nechville, Roger Simpson, Snuffy Smith, Dave Ball, Charlie Cushman, Tom Morgan, Ronnie Bales and Marc Smith.
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To learn about previous Smoky Mountain Banjo Academys click below:

SMBA 2015

SMBA 2014

SMBA 2013

SMBA 2012

SMBA 2011

SMBA 2010

SMBA 2009

SMBA 2008

SMBA 2007

SMBA 2006

SMBA 2005

SMBA 2004

The Smoky Mountain Banjo Academy has been discontinued after wildfires destroyed the Hatfield Music Barn and Hatfield Music Banjo Supplies in November 2016. To reminisce, take the video tour of the very first SMBA in 2004:

To learn about Jack Hatfield's Northwest Bluegrass Circle Music Society workshop in Edmonton, Albera Canada in 2010, click below:


To learn about Jack's 2004 Australian workshop tour, click below:

Australia, 2004

To learn about the Jack Hatfield/Kyle Smith/Gary Davis/John Lawless workshop in 2003, click below:

Smith/Lawless/Davis 2003

E-mail Jack Hatfield.