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KSU Folk Fest Sneak Peak

The Kent State Folk Festival will be Sept. 20-22 in Kent, Ohio. The free workshops are always my highlight of the festival, as they offer an opportunity meet and learn from some great musicians. Afterward, you can usually find a good jam to play some tunes.

While the official event website remains awful a work in progress, Northeast Ohio-based guitarist, singer and songwriter Kerry Kean has posted on his own site the workshop schedule for this year's festival.

In years past, the workshops were held at the KSU Student Center, which was a perfect place for people to meet, attend whatever workshop they were interested in, and then get together afterward to play tunes in the spacious building. This year, however, it looks like the workshops are being held in various locations in downtown Kent.

Glory-Beaming Banjo fans will be happy to note that Mark Olitsky will be co-hosting the banjo workshop, as he has done in the past. The session will be at the Downtown Gallery, according the the current schedule. There is a designated "slow jam" and "open jam" at the Euro Gyro, but there may be an informal faster jam organized if some of us can agree on a time an place. We'll update you all if and when that happens.

Other interesting workshops related to old-time include two clogging lessons from the legendary Charlie Burton, with music from Tom and Marilyn Lashuay; Chinese Meets Old-Time, with Ed Caner, David Badagnani, Jay Xiao and Yan Ping Ye; plus fiddle, mandolin and mountain dulcimer classes.

The Kent State Folk Festival is the second longest, continuously running folk festival on a college campus (despite the fact that very little of this year's scheduled events will be held on campus). For more timely updates on the festival, check out the event's Facebook page here.

Raccoon County Just Around the Corner
In other festival news, the Raccoon County Music Festival is coming up on Aug. 18, in Burton, Ohio. There are a number of performers throughout the day and jamming galore on the Century Village grounds. One item of note will be a performance by Bob and Karl Smakula. Bob is a fine banjo player and was the subject of post we published last year.

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