old-time music calendar
sign up for our free newsletter
band & musician directory for Portland
the Portland square dancing scene
all kinds of links
streaming audio old-time music program
portland old-time music gathering
music instruction
jam sessions
email us
music and square dance festivals
just what the heck IS old-time music?
This is a list of instructors who have no connection to this website. For information, please contact them rather than this website, www.bubbaguitar.com.

The concentration here is old-time music. The listed musicians are active in Portland's traditional music circles. They are the style setters.

See the bottom of the page for bluegrass and blues.

  • John Adams - Clawhammer banjo, (mostly Salem and mid-valley area)
  • Curt Alsobrook - Beginning to advanced clawhammer banjo, tablature and learning by ear, heavy focus on timing and drive - 503-206-1097
  • Cory Goldman - (Water Tower Stringband) Beginning - advanced clawhammer, old time three finger banjo for tunes and song backup 503-250-1470 (also see bluegrass below)
  • Leela Grace - Clawhammer banjo email
  • Daryl Juckett - Frailing, Seeger-style, bluegrass - 503-636-1741
  • Jane Keefer - Clawhammer banjo & old-time stringband workshops
  • Maggie Lind - Clawhammer banjo - specializes in teaching children - 503-331-1911
  • Gabrielle Macrae (New Five Cents/Macrae Sisters) - 503-281-0665
  • Alan Ransenberg - Clawhammer banjo
  • Lauren Sheehan - Banjo, country blues 503-227-4259


The details below are often out of date, but the classes and the teachers are ongoing. Use the email links to get up to date info.

  • Every Saturday
  • St. David of Wales Episcopal Church, 2800 SE Harrison<
  • For more information call Greg Stone at 971-207-3195


Leela’s By-Ear Harmony Singing III Class at Artichoke Music

Dates: Three Wednesdays in June: June 6-June 20, 2012
Time: 6:30-8:30PM.
Fee: sliding scale $65-$125 for the 3-week series.
Registration: You can now PRE-REGISTER and PAY ONLINE for this class at http://www.gracefamilymusic.com/leela-ellie/Leela-lessons.html
Information: Contact Leela at leelagracemusic@gmail.com or at 573-823-5650
Note: Class will be limited to 25 participants. Pre-registration required.
Class Description: This fun and challenging class is recommended for singers who have taken Leela's By-Ear Harmony Singing I and/or II classes or for more experienced singers. In this class, the singers will create their own harmony to an assigned song each week, using concepts presented in class, their own creativity, and a good bit of trial, error, and courage. Simultaneously, we will learn and sing, by ear of course, new songs in two or more arranged harmony parts and thereby strengthen our confidence, ability to hear and hold parts, vocal power, and sheer join in singing. Song selection will mainly be drawn from folk, old time, and old country repertoires, but may range outside of those genres.
Beginning Clawhammer Banjo (Intensive) Class at Artichoke Music

Four Tuesdays in June: June 5-June 26
Time: 6:00-7:30PM
Fee: sliding scale $65-$125
Registration: You can PRE-REGISTER and PAY ONLINE for this class at http://www.gracefamilymusic.com/leela-ellie/Leela-lessons.html
Information: Contact Leela at leelagracemusic@gmail.com  or at 573-823-5650
Note: Class will be limited to 12 participants. Pre-registration required.
Class Description: Always wanted to learn the old time banjo? Now’s your chance to get started in time for lots of summer banjo fun! Get that banjo out from under the bed and come on down. We will be learning how to play the old time banjo from scratch! We will start with the basics of how to hold and tune the banjo and then move quickly into mastering the frailing strum and left hand techniques. Utilizing by-ear learning, clear, step-by-step instruction, and time for individual coaching, we’ll have some fun learning how to wrangle this amazing instrument. By the end of the four-week intensive, you should be comfortable with the frailing strum, adept at basic chord changes, know how to do hammer-ons, slides, and pull-offs, and have several old-time tunes in your repertoire. 
Beginning Appalachian Clogging Class

Stomptown Collective, formerly the Maldon Meehan Dance Studio (226 SE Madison St., Portland, OR -- detailed directions will be sent to class registrants.)
Four Mondays in June: June 4-June 25, 2012
Time: 7:00-7:55PM
Fee: sliding scale $45-$90 for four-week series
Registration: You can PRE-REGISTER and PAY ONLINE for this class at http://www.gracefamilymusic.com/leela-ellie/Leela-lessons.html
Information: Contact Leela at leelagracemusic@gmail.com  or at 573-823-5650
Note: The class will be limited to 20 participants. Pre-registration is required.
Class Description:
This class is for individuals with little or no percussive dance experience. Now is your chance to get "feet-on" experience in this wonderful, old time percussive dance form. Starting from “step one”, everyone will learn fun, exciting steps to take to any dance floor. All steps will be broken down and taught in detail. Discover the joy of making music with your feet in a high-energy, supportive environment! No dance experience necessary. Tap shoes may be worn for this class, but non-tap dance shoes are preferred. You will need to find some good hard/smooth-soled shoes: preferably shoes that lace up (versus slip on), make a sound on a hard floor, and have a low, sturdy heel. 
Intermediate Appalachian Clogging / Percussive Dance Class

Stomptown Collective, formerly the Maldon Meehan Dance Studio (226 SE Madison St., Portland, OR -- detailed directions will be sent to class registrants.)
Four Mondays in June: June 4-June 25, 2012
Time: 8:00-8:55PM
Fee: sliding scale $45-$90 for four-week series
: You can PRE-REGISTER and PAY ONLINE for this class at http://www.gracefamilymusic.com/leela-ellie/Leela-lessons.html
Information: Contact Leela at leelagracemusic@gmail.com  or at 573-823-5650
Note: The class will be limited to 20 participants. Pre-registration is required.
Class Description: This class will be for dancers who already know some clogging basics or who are somewhat experienced in another percussive dance form. We will get in the groove by reviewing the basic clogging steps and quickly build from there. You will work on getting your footwork “up to speed” and learn exciting steps as you begin learn to respond rhythmically to the music. We will be focusing on choreographed clogging as well as freestyle flatfooting. All steps will be broken down and taught and a lot of fun will be had by all! In addition to steps from the Appalachian clogging tradition, steps from other percussive dance traditions (such as Irish step dance, rhythm tap, body percussion, and more) will be introduced. If you took Leela's previous Intermediate Clogging class(es), we will cover some of the same material in this class, but you are strongly encouraged to come continue to build your dance skills! You will need to find some good tap shoes or hard/smooth-soled shoes: preferably shoes that lace up (versus slip on), make a sound on a hard floor, and have a low, sturdy heel.  

About the Instructor:

Leela Grace
is a Columbia, Missouri native and a Portland, Oregon transplant who has performed and taught nationally for over 25 years, first with her family, and now as a solo musician and with her sister Ellie Grace (as Leela and Ellie Grace).  She recorded three albums with her family as a teen (in addition to doing studio work with other musicians) and has released two acclaimed duo CDs with her sister. The sisters have performed at prestigious venues across the United States and Canada, ranging from the Winnipeg Folk Festival to the Lincoln Center in New York City to the Summer Solstice Festival in Los Angeles.

Leela has earned critical and audience praise for the “great depth and insight” of her original songs, which have been featured on NPR’s All Songs Considered and chosen for inclusion on a “Best of Portland Acoustic Music” compilation CD. She picked up the banjo as a young teen and has developed her own exceptional clawhammer banjo style, marked by clear, bright melodies and powerful rhythm. Leela is also recognized as a dynamic percussive dancer whose style draws most strongly from Appalachian clogging, but also incorporates Irish step dance, rhythm tap, body percussion, and much more.

As a teacher of music and dance, Leela has inspired literally thousands of school children, banjo students, percussive dancers, and singers of all ages through the classes, school assemblies, week-long camps, and lessons that she has taught across the U.S. and Canada since she was little more than a child herself. She has been hired to teach at The Swannanoa Gathering (NC), The Christmas Country Dance School (Berea, KY), Pinewoods Camp (MA), The Augusta Heritage Center’s Old Time Week (WV), and Lady of the Lake Camp (ID)! Her students have called her a “dynamic, engaging, and knowledgeable instructor” and “a skilled musician” who “has a wonderful ear, and a super way of motivating you to develop your skill.” Leela’s “soaring” vocals, compelling originals, “sterling credentials” in old-time music, powerful percussive dance, and disarming teaching style make her a favorite at venues and camps across the continent. She is a kind, entertaining, experienced teacher who offers clear, understandable instruction to singers, musicians, and dancers of all levels. She tries to disarm her students with laughter and a bit of silliness while, unbeknownst to them, they are not only learning to sing, dance, or play the banjo, but also learning to believe in their own ability. More about Leela: www.leelaandelliegrace.com


Bring the fiddle, $10, a folding chair or stool, a recording device. All levels welcome although it will be more of a beginning level to start out with. 109 NE 78th Ave in Portland (just north of Burnside) - info: 503.347.3860


Just want to let folks know that I will be spending my Wednesday evenings (starting the end of Sept.) teaching a class about learning to play Clawhammer banjo. Some of you in the Salem area just got your Chemeketa C.C. class catalog in the mail. Even though this will be a Banjo class, they listed it under "Music" education.

I did this kind of class last year for just one term. It will be one term again this year. I had a good time and think those who attended last year also had some fun. Any who attended last year who are on this list are invited to have their say.

Should anyone require additional information, They can call the Chemeketa office in Dallas or give me a call at 503-838-6861.


A Modal Tunes (fiddle, banjo*, mandolin)

This five-week class celebrates the music of Virginia fiddle legend, Henry Reed (1884-1968), the original source of many “classic” old-time tunes such as “Over the Waterfall” and “Kitchen Girl.” Reed had a vast repertory of all kinds of dance music. We'll learn five tunes, including classics and off-the-beaten-track treasures such as Hell Up Cole Holler, Grover Jones’ Waltz, and Betsy.

Class participants will receive a tutorial CD with the tunes played at dance speed and slowed down, as well as detailed sheet music with bowings and all the trimmings. All tunes are played in STANDARD TUNING (did I just hear a sigh of relief?).

When I was in my teens, I spent a whole summer at the Library of Congress listening to, learning, and notating tunes from recordings of Henry Reed under the watchful supervision of Alan Jabbour (who visited Henry Reed and popularized his tunes in the 1970s with the Fuzzy Mountain String Band). Now it’s time to celebrate, and you’re invited!

Cheers, Lisa

WHEN: 8:15-9:15pm, Monday evenings, Jan. 9, 16, 23, 30 and Feb 6
WHERE: 1605 S.E. 27th Ave., Portland
COST: $95 for five classes ($85 for pre-paid)
PLAYING LEVEL: for intermediate to advanced players
INSTRUMENTS: fiddle, mandolin, banjo (all tunes taught on fiddle)
QUESTIONS, REGISTRATION: lisa.ornstein@hotmail.com; 503-236-8277


Brighten your New Year with the joy of playing Quebecois session tunes in a supportive, informal group setting. In this four-week session, you’ll learn new tunes to share at dances and at the rapidly-becoming-legendary monthly Quebec Jam Session.
Tunes are taught by ear. ALL acoustic instruments welcome (fiddle, flute, accordion, concertina, woodwinds, mandolin, banjo, guitar, etc.). Class members receive a CD of all tunes and downloadable sheet music. Drop-ins receive e-mail mp3s of the tunes taught that evening.

What’s on the tune list? Well, so far: reels, crooked tunes, waltzes, 6/8s, and galopes, including that musical roller-coaster “Reel Béatrice” and Louis Boudreault’s lovely “La Pêcheuse.” These tunes have so much lift, you may need an oxygen mask!
where: 1605 SE 27th Ave., Portland
ADVANCED: Sunday, 7:30-8:30 pm Jan. 15, 22, 29 and Feb. 5
INTERMEDIATE: Tuesday, 8-9 pm Jan. 10, 17, 24, and 31
cost: $60 pre-paid by Jan. 2, 2012; $70 at door; $20 per class for drop-ins
information, registration: Call Lisa at 503-236-8277 or lisa.ornstein@hotmail.com

Styles: Old-Time, Quebecois, Acadian and Cajun, New England and Contradance
Levels Taught: all
Ages Taught: all
Contact Phone, email: lisa.ornstein@hotmail.com
Lisa’s masterful playing has inspired a generation of old-time, contradance, and Quebecois musicians. She began playing music in Ohio as a youngster and was mentored in her teens by fiddling greats such as Tommy Jarrell, Dewey Balfa, and Louis Beaudoin. At 20, she was invited by Mike Seeger to record an old-time album (Ship in the Clouds, on the Smithsonian/Folkways label). Lisa’s passion for French-Canadian music eventually led her to to Quebec, where she spent 12 years and was a member of the super-star trad group, La Bottine Souriante. Lisa has also produced award-winning documentary recordings of elder master musicians, and her own rich and unique repertory of old standards and off-the-beaten track musical treasures reflects a lifetime of being a ‘’tune catcher.”
Lisa is an experienced and inspiring teacher who likes working with fiddlers at every level and every age and from a variety of musical backgrounds. She has a gift for putting students at ease while connecting them with the power and joy of playing. She has a solid understanding of violin technique is very good at helping beginning and intermediate fiddlers get “unstuck” and improve their bowing, fingering, tone production, ornamentation, and ease in playing up to speed.
Lisa generally teaches by ear, but will happily supply sheet music--there are many paths to playing! And because she’s an Oberlin Conservatory graduate, Lisa understands how classical musicians think and learn, and can help classically-trained folks who want to “make the leap” into traditional fiddle or hone their learning-by-ear skills..



  • Greg Stone - 971-207-3195 - Bluegrass guitar
  • Jack Dwyer - mandolin, lead and rhythm guitar, fiddle, banjo, plus music theory for the traditional musician.  Contact: mandolinjack@yahoo.com , or 503-360-3496
  • Peter Schwimmer - banjo, mandolin, fiddle, guitar, electric bass - contact: schwimbo@pacifier.com , or (503) 282-0344
  • Matthew Snook - Scruggs style banjo and bluegrass dobro - contact: matt@snooksband.com or 541.805.5133
  • Cory Goldman - Banjo (Water Tower Bucket Boys, Jackstraw) Three-finger Scruggs style, single-string and melodic style basics - 503-250-1470
  • Cory Goldman - Guitar (Water Tower Bucket Boys, Jackstraw) Old time / Bluegrass tunes and songs backup, Carter picking, country, swing / jazz - 503-250-1470


  • Steve Cheseborough old style acoustic guitar blues and rags chezztone@gmail.com or 757-880-3239
  • Mary Flower - fingerstyle, blues, ragtime, open tunings, lap slide. Private lessons and via Skype. mary@maryflower.com or 503-232-9998
  • Michael McCabe - acoustic, electric, classic, Spanish, folk, rock, jazz, blues, funk, bossa, Celtic, fingerstyle, bass, music theory, composition, improvisation, performance skills, recording skills. 360-693-5402, michael@mmcabe.com
  • David Mullany - Acoustic, Electric & Bottleneck Guitar Styles Blues & Slide Guitar. 503-757-7522 / dave@davemullany.com
  • Terry Robb NW School of Acoustic Guitar, 811 SE Main St. (503) 234-7807
  • Lauren Sheehan
    • Finger and flat picking
    • guitar
    • Jug band/country blues mandolin
    • Banjo
    • Vocals
    Performance and general musical coaching. Mostly roots based and includes backup, solo, and ensemble skills. 503-227-4259
  • Anne Weiss - blues guitar, voice. 503-232-1720 likapika@aol.com