June 1-7, 2014




Our Instructors (2013)
(click here for a list of all instructors we've had)


Cary Black

2013 will mark Cary Black's 6th time teaching at the Colorado Roots Music Camp.  He's a bassist, teacher, vocalist, and producer who lives in Olympia, Washington.  Described by Alan Senauke in Sing Out! magazine as “a musician's musician,” Cary is at home in a wide variety of musical settings.

His performance and recording credits include work with Laurindo Almeida, Ernestine Anderson, Tex Beneke, The Boys of the Lough, Bob Crosby, Nokie Edwards, Dan Hicks, The Kingston Trio, Laurie Lewis, Rose Maddox, Mollie O'Brien, Eddie Pennington, Johnny Ray, Kay Starr, Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson, Ernie Watts, and Claude “Fiddler” Williams.

Cary has toured extensively, appearing at festivals and concerts throughout North America, Europe, and Asia.  He has made numerous radio appearances including the Grand Ole Opry and A Prairie Home Companion; and he has performed on the PBS, ABC, Fox, and TNN television networks.  During the period when Cary played and sang with Laurie Lewis and Grant Street, the band was awarded the Song of the Year and Entertainers of the Year honors by the International Bluegrass Music Association.

Cary taught music theory and improvisation for six years at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, and has taught upright bass for twenty years at the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop.  He has also taught bass at the California Coast  Music Camp, Greater Yellowstone Music Camp, Bluegrass at the Beach, B.C. Bluegrass Workshop, Sound Acoustic Music Camp, and Wintergrass Academy.


Rolly Brown

Rolly Brown, over a “long and checkered” musical career, has been a solo performer, sideman, studio musician, radio producer, and teacher. Actually, “teacher” should be at the front of that list, because he’s always teaching: in his videos, at camps, workshops, privately, and to anyone who approaches him at a festival.

His musical passions have included folk, blues, jazz, swing, bluegrass, and original fingerstyle guitar. He’s adept at both fingerpicking and flatpicking. He is particularly known for his clear, concise teaching style.

Rolly is also—still—a student. After winning the National Finger Style Guitar Championship in 1980, he went back to his home near Philadelphia feeling pretty good. Some friends took him out to a jazz club to celebrate shortly after, and he heard a guitarist whose playing convinced him that “I didn’t know anything.” After thirty-plus years, he’s still learning, still growing and still sharing with others his love for the guitar.

He's constantly putting new teaching materials out there; click here for a boatload of videos he's done over the years.

Rolly has recently recorded several instructional videos for Stefan Grossman's Guitar Workshop; see an interview with him, with some great playing interspersed, here.


The Canote Brothers

Twin brothers Greg and Jere Canote have been taking advantage of their genetics for as long as they can remember; as Christmas elves tap dancing their way around the wishing well in the first grade, to their thirteen-year stint as the affable side-kicks on NPR’s Sandy Bradley’s Potluck.

These guys love what they do, and it shows. Equally at home on a blazing hot fiddle tune or soaring into the clouds with a scat-singing swing solo, the twins know their stuff inside out and perform with an affable friendly approach that invites you into their genetically matched world.

The Canotes demonstrate their love and mastery of vintage American styles from fiddle tunes and country songs to novelty numbers and swing. They perform with spirit, humor, sterling musicianship, and those genetically matched voices.

They’ve taught and performed at a wide variety of stages, festivals and camps including A Prairie Home Companion, the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, the Carter Family Fold in Hilton, VA, and many more.

Besides performing, Greg and Jere run a steady slate of classes, workshops and jams in Seattle, and are known for their fun, patient and supportive approach to playing.  Jere will primarily be teaching mandolin and ukulele; Greg will primarily be teaching fiddle classes, and the two will team up for some very fun jams.


Jack Devereux

Born into an artistic family in Western North Carolina, Jack Devereux was drawn to music at a young age. Inspired by the Old Time fiddling, singing and guitar playing of his grandfather, Arthur Jenkins, and summer time visits to his father’s family in Ireland, Jack immersed himself deeply in the musical traditions of the Southern Appalachian Mountains and the British Isles.

Beginning with the fiddle, later adding the uilleann pipes and guitar, Jack quickly established himself as one of the premier young players on the traditional music scene. He has appeared on stage with such luminaries as Liz Carroll, Bruce Molsky, Darol Anger, Tommy Peoples, and the band Altan. Jack can be heard on the latest recording by Irish guitar virtuoso John Doyle, Shadow and Light, alongside master players Stuart Duncan, Tim O’Brien and others.

Jack is a recent graduate of The Berklee College of Music, where he was the recipient of the Fletcher Bright Scholarship for Strings. At Berklee, Jack had the opportunity to study with players such as John McGann, Darol Anger, Matt Glaser and Jamey Haddad. While at Berklee, Jack has worked closely with Matt Glaser as the student work-study for the American Roots Music Department, helping to develop curriculum for this newly instituted program.

Jack has taught for several years at the Swannanoa Gathering; since high school, he's taught as an assistant teacher, and this year he'll be teaching as a full staff member.


Mike Dowling

When the late, great Vassar Clements heard Mike Dowling play guitar back in 1975, he did the sensible thing. He hired him. Clements called him simply "One of the finest guitarists there is, anywhere."

Grammy-winning guitarist Mike Dowling draws inspiration from deep in the musical bag of American roots guitar. He's firmly grounded in authenticity and possessed of a musical soul as old as the vintage music he favors. Fluent in several styles and difficult to pigeonhole, Mike has captured the hearts of acoustic music fans throughout the world with his voice, wit, and elegant interpretations of old blues, swing, ragtime, and original compositions.

After many years in Nashville, Mike now runs his own Wind River Guitar School—and flyfishes—in Dubois, Wyoming.  He's a favorite at many camps around the US, teaching fingerstyle guitar, bottleneck blues, improvisation, swing and a host of techniques.



Mark Johnson

Mark Johnson is an American master of the 5-string banjo. Highly accomplished as both a three-finger style bluegrass player and a clawhammer player, he has revolutionized the art of playing clawhammer style banjo and advanced the five-string banjo well into uncharted territory with a style he calls “Clawgrass.”

Mark's taught for us several times previously, and we're thrilled to have him back.  In 2012, Mark was awarded the Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass.

Mark has released four albums, the latest two with his amazing mandolin partner, Emory Lester. Mark’s first release, “Clawgrass,” recorded in 1994 and featuring his friends Larry, Ronny, Tony and Wyatt Rice, was highly acclaimed in the Bluegrass and acoustic music print and radio media and earned him praise throughout the acoustic music industry.

Mark's unique style doesn't really fit into a strict category. It's very bluegrass but has overtones of traditional folk, progressive acoustic, newgrass and old-time all mixed into one. It's authentic. It's unique. It's Clawgrass.

Watch Mark, Steve Martin and Emory Lester tear it up on David Letterman.

See a few videos of Mark.

Go to Mark's home page.


Raul Reynoso 

This will be Raul Reynoso's eighth year teaching at the Colorado Roots Music Camp.  Wait; that's the same number of camps we've had!  Hmmm...

Guitarist, singer and composer Raul Reynoso was born in Los Angeles, California.  He started playing bluegrass guitar in 1974 and soon acquired the skills that would earn him two California State Flatpicking Guitar championships as well as many Western regional titles.  Today, he is most noted for his expertise on acoustic guitar and mandolin with a mastery of styles ranging from bluegrass and western swing to ‘30s jazz in the tradition of the legendary Django Reinhardt.

Raul first rose to prominence in the band of banjo virtuoso Larry McNeely, and his three-year stint with the band included one recording and two appearances on the Grand Ole Opry.  The release of Raul’s CD “Royal Street” has brought Raul international acclaim from jazz reviewers in the US, UK and Europe.  The instrumental and compositional skills displayed on his CD have solidified his position as one of the world’s greatest guitarists.  Music critic Jim Hilmar said “When it comes to guitar styles, Raul Reynoso’s clean, lithe, articulate picking technique is to die for.”

Along with John Jorgenson, Raul is one of the pioneers of the Gypsy Jazz movement, and has been nominated Instrumentalist of the Year three times by the Western Music Association. 

Raul has taught privately for over 35 years, and has done workshop and clinics for the last fifteen. He is a mentor at the Booher Family Music Camp, and has done workshops with John Jorgenson for the JazzMasters Workshop.  Raul has also taught Bluegrass workshops with Dan Crary, John Moore, Beppe Gambetta, and Steve Kaufman.


Cosy Sheridan

Cosy Sheridan has been called “one of the era’s finest and most thoughtful singer-songwriters.” She first caught the attention of national folk audiences in 1992 when she won both the Kerrville Folk Festival's NewFolk Award and The Telluride Bluegrass Festival Troubadour Contest, then released her critically-acclaimed debut CD Quietly Led on Waterbug Records.

She has released nine CDs, her music is featured in the Robert Fulghum multi-media novel The Third Wish and she tours consistently throughout the US. Her concerts are wide-ranging explorations of modern mythology (meet Hades the Biker), love songs for adults, contemporary philosophy for the thoughtfully-minded and her signature parody on aging and women. Throughout this journey, her lyrical dexterity is backed by her distinctive, percussive bluesy-gospel guitar style.

A guitar student of instrumental luminaries such as Guy Van Duser and Eric Schoenberg and a voice student at The Berklee School of Music, she brings a depth of experience to her craft. For the past 18 years, she has taught classes in songwriting, performance and guitar at workshops and adult music camps across the country including The Puget Sound Guitar Workshop and The Swannanoa Gathering. In 2008 she co-founded The Moab Folk Camp.


David Surette

One of New England’s premiere instrumentalists, David Surette is highly regarded for his work on the guitar (both flatpicked and fingerstyle), mandolin and bouzouki in a wide variety of settings.

As a soloist, he is nationally-known as a top player of Celtic fingerstyle guitar, yet his diverse repertoire also includes original compositions, blues and ragtime, traditional American roots music, and folk music from a variety of traditions, all played with finesse, taste, and virtuosity.

He has performed as a duo with his wife, singer Susie Burke, for 20 years, recording several albums and building a reputation as one of New England’s top folk duos.

Surette was a founding member of the Airdance band with fiddler Rodney Miller, with whom he recorded four albums and toured nationally. He has also released five solo recordings – his most recent is Return to Kemper, a collection of original and traditional solo guitar pieces from 1990-2011.

David is an accomplished and gifted teacher who has taught at workshops and camps throughout the U.S., and the U.K. He is folk music coordinator at the Concord (NH) Community Music School, and artistic director of their March Mandolin Festival. He has authored a book of Celtic fingerstyle guitar arrangements for Mel Bay Publications, and is a regular contributor to Acoustic Guitar and Strings magazines.


Jeff Troxel

Jeff Troxel is from northwest Wyoming, but his music has taken him from one corner of America to another; from Berklee School of Music in Boston to the University of Southern California, learning, playing and teaching. Along the way, he developed into a prominent guitarist, composer and songwriter, performing and touring with musicians such as Ronnie Bedford, Warren Chiasson, Sonny Wilkenson, Bobby Shew, Frank Mantooth, Jack Reilly, James Naughton, Chris Merz, Mike Dowling, Pete Huttlinger and Bruce Escovitz.

He also made a stop in Winfield, Kansas, where in 2003 he won the National Flatpicking Championship.

For several years, he’s been back home in Wyoming, working as a guitarist, songwriter, composer and teacher. He maintains a busy performance schedule both as a jazz guitarist and an acoustic guitarist playing his own music.

Jeff is on the faculty at Central Wyoming College in Riverton, Wyoming and Rocky Mountain College in Billings Montana, and writes columns for Flatpicking Guitar magazine and Mel Bay’s online magazine Guitar Sessions. He has written several books for guitar, his most recent being Flatpicking up the Neck for Mel Bay Publications.