Nadia Ramlagan (Beginning Banjo) grew up in Maryland where she soaked up local music that included women folk singers such as Ola Belle Reed plus country, bluegrass and punk. She first was drawn to the sounds of old time banjo during trips to West Virginia. After moving to Kentucky she served as a Kentucky Folklife apprentice to Brett Ratliff and performed with him in the High Tops and with Anna Harrod, Jodie Koch and Julia Purcell as the Possom Queens. Nadia has appeared on Red Barn Radio and festivals throughout the state and also taught banjo at the Nelsonville Old Time Week in Ohio.
Montana Hobbs (Intermediate Banjo) grew up in Lee County, Kentucky amid a community which instilled an early love of music and storytelling. She studied string music and songwriting at Morehead State University’s Center for Traditional Music, and graduated with a BA in traditional music in 2015. During 2017 she was a Kentucky Folklife apprentice to John Haywood and focused on Southeast Kentucky banjo styles. Montana performs regionally and internationally with Linda Jean Stokley as the Local Honeys. Their recordings Little Girls Actin’ Like Men and The Gospel feature mountain classics and original songs.
John Haywood (Advanced Banjo: Southeast Kentucky Styles) is an award winning artist, singer and banjo player from Floyd County, Kentucky. As a child, he attended the Old Regular Baptist Church with his papaw, where he heard him sing the old unaccompanied songs of Zion. He was a Kentucky Folklife apprentice to Knott County banjo master, George Gibson. John performs solo and also has performed with Lee Sexton, the Traveling Snakes, the Golden Cowboys of the Golden West and with Rich & the Po’ Folk. He can be heard on their recording When the Whistle Blew and on Tyler Childers 2020 album Long Violent History. He is also a visual artist whose work captures mountain history and music.
Don’t wait for CCMMS 2023 to start learning new tunes! Check out instructional videos for all levels below:
Randy Wilson teaches a great mountain tune for intermediate or advanced banjo students: