Kaufman’s acoustic camp also features community concerts

When you gather together some of the world’s most renowned musicians for a camp, why not show them off a bit?

Steve Kaufman does just that as an extension of his acoustic camp that starts Sunday on the campus of Maryville College.

Steve Kaufman’s Acoustic Kamp 2011 provides more than just world-renowned musical instruction for students who will travel from all over the globe to participate. The two-week event also offers nightly concerts by the instructors that are open to the Blount County community.

The camp will start its sixteenth year Sunday as musicians arrive on the Maryville College campus. The music camp attracts students of all ages, from children to retirees. This year Kaufman is expecting at least 520 participants. Participants range from beginning players to skilled musicians. He said the camp is the largest of its kind in the world.

“We have students who are coming in from all over the world,” Kaufman said. Some of those places are New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Israel and Sweden.

Students have the option of staying on the college’s campus while others will stay at area hotels. If the weather is nice, passersby might see a class working on their skills out on the lawn under the shade of a large oak tree.

Kaufman, who has received the Gold Award from Acoustic Guitar magazine for “Best Workshops, Seminars and Camps” several times, traveled the world teaching in seminars and workshops as well as offering private lessons before he and his wife, Donna Dixon, started Steve Kaufman’s Flatpicking Camp in 1996.

Over the years, the offerings of musical styles have grown and now include instruction for six different instruments: guitar, banjo, mandolin, mountain dulcimer, fiddle and bass.

Kaufman, who has been in the business for 35 years now, teaches the children of former students and, in some cases, the grandchildren. He will be teaching guitar the first week of camp.

On Monday, the camp starts Tradition Week that includes flatpicking, Old Time Fiddle, Old Time Banjo, finger picking, bass, mountain dulcimer and songwriting. Monday, June 20, is the start of Bluegrass Week where the offerings will include bluegrass banjo, mandolin, dobro, fiddle, bass, flatpicking and vocals.

The camp has 48 instructors, several of whom are from other countries. The instructors, including Grammy award winners and a U.S. Heritage Award winner, will play concerts at the Clayton Center for the Arts Monday through Friday nights during the camp. Tickets are $15 a night or $65 for each week and can be purchased at the door.

Kaufman said the instructors/performers are all top draws on their own so that any night will be a good choice to attend. Kaufman, a three-time National Flatpicking Champion, will perform Monday, June 13, with other musicians.

“The Incredible Steve Kaufman’s Concert Series” will run June 13-17 and June 20-24.

The public is invited to attend the concerts, which Kaufman said is the hardest part of marketing the two-week event. Many people don’t realize the concerts are open to the public, he said, but added that the concerts do have loyal following that come every year.

Blount County resident Jeanie Hilten is an enthusiastic supporter of the camp and concert series. An accomplished banjo player, Hilten said she has participated in the camp twice and is a regular at the concert series.

“We’ve been going to those since they’ve been taking place,” she said. “The instructors give the concerts, and they are phenomenal musicians. It’s the best music within 500 miles.”

Having the concerts at the Clayton Center is an added bonus, she said.

Kaufman’s work has been recognized in The Chicago Tribune, Arkansas Gazette and Acoustic Guitar. Kaufman has written books and produced videos and CDs that are sold around the world. He has found his instructional materials and CDs in locations such as Japan while on tour.

“The world is smaller than you think.”

Kaufman owns the Palace Theater in downtown Maryville with Dixon. He will start touring in August, traveling to Alaska, Canada, the United Kingdom and Ireland. His tours include both concerts and workshops where he will be teaching. For more information on his tour, check out his website: www.flatpik.com.

For more information on the acoustic camp, visit www.acoustic-kamp.com or call the Palace Theater at 865-983-3330.

Concert schedule:

Call 865-982-3808 for info. Tickets are $13 in advance, $15 day of show. Call the box office, 865-981-8590, or visit www.claytonartscenter.com.

Monday, June 13

The Incredible Steve Kaufman’s Concert Series launches at 7 p.m. Monday, June 13, at the Ronald and Lynda Nutt Theatre at Clayton Center for the Arts at Maryville College.

The concerts feature the talented musicians serving as instructors at Kaufman’s Acoustic Kamp. The June 13 lineup is flat-pick guitarist Steve Kaufman, thumb-style guitarist Eddie Pennington, multi-instrumentalist Mike Clemmer, acoustic guitarist Roberto Dalla Vecchia and banjoist Jeff Scroggins.

Tuesday, June 14

Kaufman Acoustic Kamp instructors will perform at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 14, at the Ronald and Lynda Nutt Theatre at Clayton Center for the Arts at Maryville College.

This lineup in the Incredible Steve Kaufman’s Concert Series includes banjoist Laura Boosinger and fiddler Josh Goforth, guitarist TJ Wheeler, guitarist Jim Hurst, 2007 national dulcimer champion Joe Collins and Just Us BG Band.

Wednesday, June 15

Kaufman Acoustic Kamp instructors will perform at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 15, at the Ronald and Lynda Nutt Theatre at Clayton Center for the Arts at Maryville College.

This lineup in the Incredible Steve Kaufman’s Concert Series includes dobroist-fiddler Stacy Phillips, bassist Rusty Holloway, acoustic guitarist Steve Baughman and multi-instrumentalist Tyler Grant.

Thursday, June 16

Kaufman Acoustic Kamp instructors will perform at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 16, at the Ronald and Lynda Nutt Theatre at Clayton Center for the Arts at Maryville College.

This lineup in the Incredible Steve Kaufman’s Concert Series includes guitarist Chris Proctor, flat-pick guitarist Robin Kessinger, multi-instrumentalist Marcy Marxer and multi-instrumentalist Keith Yoder and Friends.

Friday, June 17

Kaufman Acoustic Kamp instructors will perform at 7 p.m. Friday, June 17, at the Ronald and Lynda Nutt Theatre at Clayton Center for the Arts at Maryville College.

This lineup in the Incredible Steve Kaufman’s Concert Series includes vocalist-guitarist Kathy Chiavola, thumb-style guitarist Eddie Pennington, guitarist Steve Kaufman and the week’s cast.

Monday, June 20

Kaufman Acoustic Kamp instructors will perform at 7 p.m. Monday, June 20, at the Ronald and Lynda Nutt Theatre at Clayton Center for the Arts at Maryville College.

This lineup in the Incredible Steve Kaufman’s Concert Series includes guitarist JP Cormier, banjoist Gary Davis, mandolinist Barry Mitterhoff, dobro/Clawhammer banjo player Ivan Rosenberg and multi-instrumentalist Mike Clemmer.

Tuesday, June 21

Kaufman Acoustic Kamp instructors will perform at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 21, at the Ronald and Lynda Nutt Theatre at Clayton Center for the Arts at Maryville College.

This lineup in the Incredible Steve Kaufman’s Concert Series includes multi-instrumentalists the Kruger Brothers, flat-pick guitarist Dan Crary, Just Us BG Band and multi-instrumentalist Andrew Collins.

Wednesday, June 22

Kaufman Acoustic Kamp instructors will perform at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 22, at the Ronald and Lynda Nutt Theatre at Clayton Center for the Arts at Maryville College.

This lineup in the Incredible Steve Kaufman’s Concert Series includes acoustic guitarist Beppe Gambetta, singer-guitarist Mike Kaufman, mandolinist Alan Bibey, banjoist Janet Davis and vocalist-guitarist Kathy Chiavola.

Thursday, June 23

Kaufman Acoustic Kamp instructors will perform at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 23, at the Ronald and Lynda Nutt Theatre at Clayton Center for the Arts at Maryville College.

This lineup in the Incredible Steve Kaufman’s Concert Series includes mandolinist Don Stiernberg, fiddler-dobro player Stacy Phillips, flat-pick guitarist Mark Cosgrove, multi-instrumentalist David Harvey, banjoist Casey Henry and multi-instrumentalist Keith Yoder and Friends.

Friday, June 24

Kaufman Acoustic Kamp instructors will perform at 7 p.m. Friday, June 24, at the Ronald and Lynda Nutt Theatre at Clayton Center for the Arts at Maryville College.

This lineup in the Incredible Steve Kaufman’s Concert Series includes acoustic mandolinist Emory Lester, multi-instrumentalist David Harvey, fiddler Adam Masters, flat-pick guitarist Steve Kaufman and the week’s cast.

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