2023 Visiting Masters

Art Mize shopArt Mize & Diane Timmons (Visiting Master Recital Tuesday 1:30) grew up in a musical family in Laurel County.  Besides being surrounded by instrumental music, he picked up a cappella shape-note singing at church.  Art is now a master luthier and versatile fiddler in Lexington, Kentucky.  He has performed widely with bluegrass, celtic, old time and jazz swing bands.  He currently performs in the old time trio the Jarflies, whose upcoming recording is Driving Down Hurricane.  Art’s dedication to instrument making, as well as Kentucky’s traditional music, was recognized in 2007 with the Homer Ledford Award.  At CCMMS Art will be joined by his wife, Diane Timmons, a versatile singer and multi-instrumentalist. 

Roger CooperRoger Cooper (Master-in-Residence) is from Lewis County, Kentucky, an area along the Ohio River steeped in diverse musical influences.  As a teenager Roger learned fiddle from and played guitar for his neighbor Buddy Thomas.  He also picked up tunes from Bob Prater, Jimmy Ed Wheeler and George Lee Hawkins.  His recordings include Snakewinder on Berea College’s AC series, and Going Back to Old Kentucky and Essence of Old Kentucky on Rounder Records.  The Lincoln Center in New York City, Celtic Fest Chicago and the Roots Festival in San Diego are among his performance credits.  He has also toured widely as a solo artist and also with the Bing Brothers.  

Jesse WellsJesse Wells (Visiting Master Recital Thursday 1:30) from Johnson County, Kentucky first learned fiddle from his father Jamie.  He graduated with a degree in guitar performance from Morehead State University and now serves as education coordinator for MSU’s Kentucky Center for Traditional Music.  Jesse is a versatile multi-instrumentalist who has played in a number of old time, bluegrass and rock bands; currently he plays bluegrass with the Wooks and tours with singer/songwriter Tyler Childers.


And just a few of our workshop leaders:

RANDY-WILSON-229x300Randy Wilson (Roving Storyteller) from Leslie County, Kentucky, is a talented multi-instrumentalist, dance caller and story teller.  He recently retired after decades of engaging public school kids in Leslie and Knott Counties with traditional and home made music, storytelling and dance.  Randy has also taught at Hindman’s Family Folk Week.  He  performed and recorded Heritage on June Appal Records with the late poet James Still.  In 2003 he appeared at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, D.C. and in 2007 at the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes in Port Townsend, Washington.


carla gover dancingCarla Gover (Artistic Director, Beginning Flatfoot Dance, Monday 3:30) is a seventh-generation Kentuckian who is known for her music and for showcasing the rhythms of Appalachia through clogging and clawhammer banjo. She shares her passion with hundreds of students each year in schools throughout Kentucky, where she teaches Appalachian music and dance, and explores with students the diverse cultural influences and elements that have shaped our state and nation. An award-winning singer-songwriter, she has covers by major artists as well as songs in film and documentary soundtracks, and six full-length albums under her belt. She performs with a variety of ensembles, including the bands Zoe Speaks and CornMaiz String Band. She is the Artistic Director for the Cornbread & Tortillas Collective of Appalachian and Latinx artists, and she was recently selected as a Master Artist in Traditional Flatfoot Dancing by the Kentucky Arts Council. 

George GibsonGeorge Gibson ( Workshop on Banjo History Thursday 3:30) grew up on Burgey’s Creek in Knott County, Kentucky, a community with a rich musical heritage. He learned banjo from listening to his father, uncle and many neighbors. George’s playing uses a driving and complex drop-thumb style strum, two- and three-finger picking and a wide variety of tunings. He has performed widely at regional festivals including the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, the Florida Old Time Music Championships, Augusta, and Home Craft Days. His 2000 June Appal release Last Possum Up the Tree reflects the unique repertoire of Knott County.


james caudillBig Cowan Old Regular Baptist Church (Tuesday 3:30 at the church) graciously welcomes CCMMS students and faculty each year for an afternoon workshop of lined-out hymnody.   Old Regular Baptist singing is an a capella style which originated in Scotland and represents one of Appalachia’s oldest singing traditions.  If you haven’t heard it, take a listen: 


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