SPBGMA WORKSHOP February 1st 2013
Directed by Jack Hatfield

Sheraton Music City, Nashville, Tennessee

Kristin Scott-Benson

The Society for the Preservation of Bluegrasss Music of America (SPBGMA) event is a four-day indoor bluegrass festival/show/awards ceremony in Nashville. The SPBGMA show features round-the-clock jamming, top name performers, the highest-paying and most respected bluegrass band contest in the world, plus the SPBGMA Bluegrass Awards show on Sunday (the bluegrass equivalent of the CMA awards). SPBGMA draws the top amateur and semi-pro bands from all over the country, with non-stop jamming, various workshops and promoters' meetings, and vendors with everything a bluegrass fan could ever want. In MUSIC CITY yet! In addition to the workshop, the students and their families were free to attend the Grand Ole Opry, see the famous shops and clubs such as Ernest Tubb's and Linebaughs' on Broadway, and go to the world famous Station Inn to see top bluegrass artists perform.

The Banjo Newsletter/SPBGMA workshops have featured names such as Eddie Adcock, Charlie Cushman, Bill Keith, Bela Fleck, J.D. Crowe, Terry Baucom, Sammy Shelor, Scott Vestal, Doug Dillard, Wayne Erbson, Ross Nickerson, Doug Dillard, Butch Robins, Bill Evans, Alan Munde, Sonny Osborne, Scott Vestal, James McKinney, Alan Munde and Pete Wernick. Banjo luthiers and setup techs have included: Steve Huber, Mark Taylor, Frank Neat, Curtis McPeake, Geoff Stelling, Gary Price, Arthur Hatfield, Tony Wray, Bill Palmer, Snuffy Smith, Charlie Cushman, and Tom Nechville. BNL writers who have participated include: Janet Davis, Murphy Henry, Ross Nickerson, Pete Kelly, Ian Perry, Ira Gitlin, Andy Cushing, Greg Cahill, Mark Smith, Jim Panky, and Eddie Collins.

Jack Hatfield wrote monthly columns for Banjo Newsletter for over 35 years and has written several highly-acclaimed banjo instruction books published by his own company, as well as several banjo instuction books published by Mel Bay Publications, the largest publisher of stringed instrument music in the world. Jack was a finalist in the Tennessee Banjo Championship and the National Banjo Championship at Winfield, Kansas in 1989 and has worked at several Pigeon Forge Theatres and attractions including Dollywood theme park and Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede. Jack has taught banjo workshops all over the USA and in England, Ireland, Scotland, Australia and Canada. He was Bluegrass Director for all three of Banjo Newsletter's Maryland Banjo academies and has directed the SPBGMA workshop in Nashville for fifteen years showcasing names like Richard Bailey, Ron Block, Bela Fleck, Alan Munde, Bill Keith, Sammy Shelor, Terry Baucom, Scott Vestal, Eddie Adcock, Bill Evans, Doug Dillard, Steve Huber, Curtis McPeake, James McKinney, Wayne Erbsen, Sonny Osborne, J.D.Crowe, Pete Wernick, Geoff Stelling, Gary Price, Tony Wray, Tom Nechville, Charlie Cushing and Frank Neat. Banjo Newsletter contributors featured at SPBGMA have included: Janet Davis, Ian Perry, Ira Gitlin, Murphy Henry, Eddie Collins, Ross Nickerson and Andy Cushing. Jack was on the faculty of the very FIRST banjo camp, the Tennessee Banjo Institute at Cedars of Lebanon state park near Nashville in 1988. He was Bluegrass Director for all three of BNL's Maryland Banjo Academys. The SMBA is now going into its seventh year. Jack is owner/operator of Hatfield Music, providing everything the banjo player needs from instructional materials to banjos to accessories. Jack was featured in Banjo Newsletter, July 2001.

From 9:00 -10:30 AM. workshop director, Banjo Newsletter and Mel Bay author Jack Hatfield will teach the beginner session. Jack is a 35- year contributor to Banjo Newsletter magazine. He published his first banjo instruction book in 1979, and has continued on that track with over a dozen Hatfield Music publications and five Mel Bay titles and an internet business Hatfield Music which caters to five-string banjoists. Jack was on the faculty of the very first banjo camp, the Tennessee Banjo Institute in 1988, and was bluegrass director for all three of Banjo Newsletter's Maryland Banjo Academies. He is currently director of his own banjo camp Smoky Mountain Banjo Academy in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Jack recently published the third book of his Bluegrass Banjo Method series Backup Techniques on the Five-String Banjo, and has a new Mel Bay publication The Best of Jack Hatfield, This is an anthology of the best arrangements of his past publications with additional solos, and for the first time includes advanced contest and stage performance arrangements in all three-finger styles. During the finale jam session, Jack will demonstrate arrangements and concepts from this new book.


. Ross Nickersonwill teach the intermediate session beginning at 10:30. Ross is a gifted musician who has performed all over the world and made his home for several years in shows in Nevada casinos with the stars. He has taught private lessons and group workshops alike, including the SPBGMAworkshop in Nashville. Ross started publishing banjo instruction books in the 1990's and has several Mel Bay titles and at least a dozen self-published books to his credit. Since 2001 he has conducted online lessons and sells his instructional DVD's, books and banjo accessories from his website Banjoteacher.com. He also conducts an annual Banjo Cruise where he teaches classes for a week while cruising the Carribean. Ross appeared at the 2006 and 2012 Smoky Mountain Banjo Academies and was a huge hit with students and other faculty. Ross was featured in the April 2012 issue of Banjo Newsletter magazine. Tom Adams opens the interview with these comments: "By keeping a number of irons in the fire—teaching private lessons and workshops, organizing banjo camps and cruises, producing instructional books and DVDs, recording CDs and performing live concerts—and then focusing all of these efforts through his website, banjoteacher.com, Ross has managed to create a thriving business and make the banjo his full-time endeavour. Through an impressive amount of determination and hard work, Ross has made his name recognizable throughout the banjo instruction community. He teaches workshops all over North America as well as Europe and Australia, and his latest CD release, “Let’s Kick It,” was recorded with renowned bluegrass band Blue Highway, raising his profile as a recording artist as well". Read the entire interview by Tom Adams.




. There will be a one hour lunch break from 1:00-2:00. Students may leave their banjos in the workshop room where tey will be watched.

At 1:00 Jack Hatfield will conduct a one hour session on banjo setup. He will demonstrate the basic adjustments that setup men charge as much as $100. to do, but which can be performed by anybody with a little knowledge and a few basic tools. Mike Smith from KatzEyez bridges KatzEyez Bridges will talk about bridges for a short part of the setup segment and discuss his company's exciting re-introduction of Snuffy Smith bridges.

Kristin Scott-Benson will teach the Advanced session at 2:00-3:30. Kristin performs with The Grascals, , Grammy-nominated and two-time IBMA Entertainers of the Year. Kristin is the reigning, four-time IBMA Banjo Player of the Year. As a member of The Grascals, she has made an indelible mark on the bluegrass music industry. Kristin grew up in South Carolina, surrounded by a musical family. She started playing mandolin and stepped on stage for the first time at the age of five. After receiving a much-anticipated banjo for Christmas when she was thirteen, Kristin became enthralled with the instrument and spent her teen years studying the playing of all the banjo greats from Earl Scruggs to Bela Fleck. After high school, she attended Nashville’s esteemed Belmont University, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BBA in Marketing and a minor in Music Business. Kristin has attained a national identity as one of the top bluegrass banjo players on the scene, exhibiting impeccable taste, timing, and tone. With an attentive ear to back-up, she is known and respected as a true team player among her peers. Many attribute her as one of the first females to successfully be a side-musician in a top-tiered bluegrass band: “There was one grass ceiling no woman could cut through—until Kristin Scott Benson came along, that is. Almost two years ago, she joined The Grascals. Not to front the band, not to sing, not to be eye candy, but instead to drive the group with her fivestring banjo. Until then, no woman had ever been hired to play one of the most defining of the bluegrass instruments in an Alist, festival-headlining, all-male band….It’s a high profile gig, as Kristin takes the banjo where no woman has taken it before.” Larry Nager – “Kristin Scott Benson – Cutting the Grass Ceiling” Bluegrass Unlimited: Oct, 2010 She is featured on the four latest Grascals albums, including the most recent release, Life Finds a Way. Grascals and Friends, available exclusively at Cracker Barrel, includes collaborations with many of today’s top country artists, such as Dierks Bentley, Brad Paisley, Dolly Parton, Charlie Daniels, and others. Her latest solo release, Second Season, features eight instrumentals (half of them originals) and four vocal performances. The album showcases her powerful banjo playing, while still appealing to fans that aren't motivated solely by instrumental prowess. The project received stellar reviews and features some of bluegrass’ brightest musicians. Copies can be purchased at www.musicshed.com. Kristin plays a 2010 Sonny Osborne Chief banjo and a 1933 Gibson TB-3 banjo. She endorses GHS Strings, Takamine guitars, Doc Fossey Guitars, Fishman pickups and Robin Smith at Heartland Guitar and Banjo. After 13 years in Nashville, Kristin relocated back to the Carolinas in 2007, along with her husband, Wayne, and young son, Hogan.

Kristin's teaching resume includes: Sonny Osborne NashCamp, Banjo Camp – Nashville, TN, Fiddle Star Band Camp – Nashville, TN, East Tennessee State University – Johnson City, TN - Adjunct Faculty, British Columbia Bluegrass Workshop – Sorrento, British Columbia, Wabash River Bluegrass Camp – Grayville, IL, Bear on the Square Music Camp – Dahlonega, GA, Fiddle Fest Music Camp – Roanoke, VA, International Bluegrass Music Association Mentor. Plus, Innumerable workshops at premier festivals and events, in the US, Canada and EuropePrivate. She also teaches private lessons in Banjo, Guitar, and Mandolin.

At 3:30 there will be a jam/mini-concert featuring the workshop staff.

The workshop admission allows access to all areas of the huge SPBGMA convention all day Friday the 1st 2013 including the stage show, which would normally require full paid SPBGMA admission.

Suggested hotel if you are not staying at the Sheraton Music City: Alesis Inn, a few blocks away. About 70 bucks per night with full breakfast bar included. 615-889-4466. You can catch a shuttle to the Sheraton.

to download a registration form which you can print, fill out and return by mail, click here:

SPBGMA 2013 Registration Form

Driving directions to workshop:

from I-40, just East of downtown Nashville, take Briley Parkway North (towards Opryland Hotel/Opry Mills).

Immediately take Elm Hill Pike exit, Merge right onto Elm Hill pike.

Go approximately two tenths of a mile, turn right on McGavok Pk.

Go approximately a quarter mile to the Sheraton Music City on left.

Once inside, bear left down the corridor hallway and through the vendor room to the Two Rivers Room. There will be someone at the Hatfield Music booth in the McGavok room off the left of the corridor to assist you and take walk-in registrations.

Call toll-free 1-865-428-8063 or email jack@hatfieldmusic.com for registration information.