The California Bluegrass Association presents...


Workshop and Jam Schedule

We have a full lineup of jams and workshops this year!
Keep scrolling to read all the details.

Thursday January 4

7:00pm Wernick Method Workshop

Friday January 5

10:00 am Wernick Method Workshop
12:30 pm Friendly Old-time Jam
2:00 pm Intro to Gospel Songs Slow Jam
3:30 pm Banjo Master Class
3:30 pm Bluegrass Guitar Master Class
10:00 pm Late Night Slow Jam

Saturday January 6

10:00 am Wernick Method Workshop
12 noon Songs & Stories Workshop
3:00 pm Slow Jam

Free Saturday Afternoon Workshops
Twin Fiddling
Old-time Appalachian Tune
Vocal Skills

Sunday January 7

9:00 am Gospel Jam

Peter Rowan ‘Songs and Stories’ Workshop

at Bakersfield Marriott Hotel
Noon – Saturday January 6, 2024

We’re very excited to have a special Master’s Workshop at Great 48 this year!  Peter Rowan will be joining us for an informal “Songs and Stories” session on Saturday, January 6 at Noon at the Bakersfield Marriott hotel.  Peter Rowan began his career in bluegrass sixty years ago – in 1964 – as a songwriter, rhythm guitarist and lead vocalist of Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys. Since then, he’s gone on to be a pioneer in bands such as Earth Opera, Muleskinner, Old and In the Way – and blazed trails in folk, country, rock and Tex-Mex music.

He has a lot of stories about this long path, and CBA has arranged for Rowan to stop by the Great 48 on Saturday afternoon.  This will be an informal and intimate chance to meet with Peter as he shares his experiences and wisdom from his six decades as a bluegrass visionary and pioneer, play a few songs, and answer questions.

Rowan is a master storyteller. When he takes part in music camps, he often regales participants with music, life, or cosmic lessons wrapped in stories with characters that have played roles in his own life – and there are many of them. We are especially excited to be able to feature Peter in this special format to go accompany our Great 48 weekend.

This is a separately ticketed event, and seating is limited. Reserve your seats now!

Ad for concert at Crystal Palace Bakersfield Jan 2024

Wernick Method Bluegrass Jamming class

Thursday 7pm, Friday 10am and Saturday 10am
$80 onsite | $70 advance | $30 per session

  • Learn to jam with people like you
  • Hands-on instruction: rhythm, lead, harmony singing
  • Learn standard bluegrass repertoire and etiquette
  • Friendly, supportive teaching, certified by Pete Wernick
  • Intermediates welcome, given extra challenges
  • Only requirement: play G, C, D, A chords (or matching notes on fiddle or bass)

View the flyer

For more info, contact Mike at or 703-727-8491

Friday Master Classes

Bill Evans posing with banjo

The Genius of Earl Scruggs

Banjo Master Class with Bill Evans
Friday 3:30 pm

In this Master Class designed for all levels of banjo players – and even musicians who might not play the banjo! – Bill Evans will cover Earl Scruggs’ many contributions to bluegrass music and to the banjo on the eve of the celebration of Earl’s 100th birthday. From Earl’s essential concepts of how to capture melodies in three-finger style, to his approach to back-up & accompaniment, his boogie-woogie licks (a la “Foggy Mt. Special”) and his other amazing banjo compositions, we’ll explore all things Earl. You’ll come away with ideas as to how to integrate Earl’s approach into your own playing by unlocking the secrets behind his banjo style. Bill will offer an abundance of tab handouts, answer questions and demonstrate all examples. Come with questions! This is a hands-on-and-let’s-pick style of master class, so bring your banjo and let’s pick! Audio and video recording recommended.

Jim Nunally with guitar

Bluegrass Guitar Insights

Flatpicking Guitar Master Class with Jim Nunally
Friday 3:30 pm

In this Master Class workshop for all guitar levels, Jim will present “Bluegrass Guitar Insights” into the rhythm and lead of acoustic guitar in bluegrass music.  Using examples of strumming techniques and comparing them to folk and country rhythms, he will demonstrate examples of lead guitar flatpicking that imitate the sounds associated with the banjo rolls inspired by Earl Scruggs’ style, including Home Sweet Home and Fireball Mail. Jim Nunally played with the David Grisman Bluegrass Experience for 16 years, John Reischman and the Jaybirds for 17 years and performed extensively with Dix Bruce, Keith Little and Nell Robinson, among many others.  Jim was a founding member of the California bands Due West and Heartland, has produced over 100 albums, and played on the soundtrack for the Beverly Hillbillies Movie.

Free Saturday Afternoon Workshops

Learn an Old-time Fiddle Tune with Geff & Masha Crawford

Geff and Masha Crawford playing fiddle and banjoLearn an old-time Appalachian-style tune on fiddle or clawhammer banjo. (Banjos please bring capo & tuner. Guitar, mando, bass, etc also welcome.)

Geff and Masha Crawford play together as the duo “Old Soles,” a celebration of traditional music that doesn’t take itself too seriously. They’ve been playing old-time fiddle and clawhammer banjo for more years than they like to admit, performing and teaching at the CBA Music Camp for the past 10 years, the Strawberry Music Festival for 20 years, the Freight and Salvage in Berkeley, the Winter Night’s Yeow! tour, pubs, restaurants, wineries, and even on a canal boat in Paris for the Sawmill Oldtime Festival.

Geff has a huge repertoire of both fiddle tunes and songs, and has shared stages, music, friendship, and laughter with folks like Ewan MacColl, Peggy Seeger, Tom Paley, Byron Berline, Tracy Schwarz, Earl Murphy, Franklin George, Walt Koken, Clare Milliner, Dan Gellert, and others. Masha was one of the founders of the Chicago Barn Dance Company, studied folklore and ethnomusicology in graduate school, and has been teaching and performing across the US and Europe since… well, let’s just say that several years were spent in a horse-drawn wagon. Is that “old-timey” enough for you?

After many years of separate musical wanderings, fate and fiddles brought them together, and Geff & Masha have been making beautiful, toe-tapping, driving, energetic, red-hot, and adjective-laden traditional music together ever since.

Vocal Skills with Seth and Charletta

Whole Hog Great48_webSeth Andrey and Charletta Erb will co-present this free Vocal Workshop, covering head tones, yodeling, the high lonesome sound, the weeping register, singing throughout your range, and seeking resonance to achieve volume, pitch, accuracy and vocal health!

Twin Fiddling with Annie Staninec and Dennis Fetchet

Annie Staninec Twin Fiddling book cover Want to learn the ins and outs of twin fiddling? Annie Staninec wrote the book! She has been playing fiddle since she was four, performing since she was 11, and taught at the world’s most prestigious bluegrass camps. Bakersfield’s Great 48 is delighted that she’s coming down from her Portland, Oregon home to perform in our Friday night Showcase, and teach on Saturday this twin fiddling workshop with Dennis Fetchet. This workshop is free and open to all.

Dennis Fetchet, is a Southern California bluegrass musician who plays fiddle and mandolin and sings baritone, tenor, and lead. He’s played with the Grateful Dudes Bluegrass Band, was formerly with Disneyland’s Billy Hill and the Hillbillies, a formerly played with Krazy Kirk and the Hillbillies Band at Knott’s Berry Farm. He taught the Great 48 Fiddle Workshop in 2022 and is back to fire up his bow with Annie Staninec.

Banjo Workshop with Julio

Julio Boysenberry jamming If you’ve been to the Great 48 in the past few years, you’ve probably jammed with Julio Boysenberry. Throughout the Great 48 event, Julio gives free banjo lessons (contact him at 805-459-6019 or email to arrange a time). Along with hosting some of this year’s slow jams, Julio will give a free Banjo workshop Saturday afternoon. Banjo players, if you’ve never seen Better Living through F Shapes demonstrated, come prepared to see how you can find the 1 Chord down and up the banjo neck, and immediately be able to locate the 4 and 5 chords in that key! If you lose your capo you haven’t lost your ability to play in any key that’s called in the jam.

Bass Workshop

Details coming soon!

Find your Jam at the Bakersfield Great 48

The goal of this event is for you to play music with other people through a wide variety of jam opportunities.

Mike & Gail’s Wernick Method Jam Class will give you confidence in the basics of jamming as well as demystify the etiquette of joining and leaving jams. The Wernick Method Jam Class will be held in an area that will be a designated “beginner/intermediate slow jam” area.

When the class is not in session, you can join or initiate a jam without feeling overwhelmed. It’s where you’ll also find the following special “hosted” slow jams.

Where else can I jam at Bakersfield’s Great 48?

You are not only welcome to jam, but encouraged to do so, in the Lobby Great Room, Business Center, any floor designated JAMMING FLOOR, and especially on the 9th floor! There you’ll find The California Bluegrass Association jamming suite, the Southwest Bluegrass Association jamming suite, Bluegrass Music Society of the Central Coast jamming suite, the Central San Joaquin Chapter jamming suite, and the combined San Diego bluegrass associations’ (San Diego Bluegrass Society and North County Bluegrass & Folk Club) jamming suite. These suites are open for anyone to come and jam with the hope that you’ll meet new friends and learn about the exciting acoustic music events these groups have planned for 2024!

There’s no guarantee but sometimes Bakersfield’s January weather is pleasant, and the Marriott will turn on the poolside heaters for those who want to jam outdoors. There is also space to jam outside by the South Side parking area, and the North Side pre-function area across from the ballroom salons.

This year, we’ll have an area designated for Old Time all-the-time where you can find others who know your tunes!

If you’ve made your reservation for a jamming floor, prop open your door and your room becomes jam central for your friends, old and new!

We know jams form just about anywhere, but for safety considerations, please do not jam in the elevator landings or the stairwells. There’ll be folks with instruments coming through!



Geff and Masha Crawford playing outdoor under a tree

12:30-2pm "Friendly Old-time Jam"

Join Geff & Masha Crawford to play some familiar old-time Appalachian-style fiddle & banjo tunes at a friendly pace. We’ll all play together, no solos, everyone welcome.

Gospel Jam at Great 48<br />

2-3:30pm “Intro to Gospel Songs” Slow Jam

Sometimes the songs we learned in childhood are the easiest to remember when learning an instrument. Many Gospel songs and Spirituals have only two or three chord changes! Rich and Debra Ferguson invite you to come explore the rich musical heritage of hymnology and praise songs at a relaxed tempo. No pressure, just praise!
Banjo with twinkle lights

10:00-11:30 pm “Late night Slow Jam” with Julio Boysenberry

Bakersfield’s Great 48 Jam Event will be in full swing after Showcase concerts and there will hardly be a square foot of the Marriott that doesn’t have tight-knit groups of incredibly talented pickers blazing through old favorites of the bluegrass repertoire. But if you’re new to jamming, don’t just lug your instrument about the hotel feeling there’s no place for you to play! Join Julio Boysenberry and Sandy DeVera in a gently guided bluegrass jam where you can learn the classics and experience the fun of late-night jamming!



Julio Boysenberry with banjo

3-4:30 pm “Saturday Slow Jam” with Julio Boysenberry

Sometimes you only get one day of Great 48! Others have come to check it out on their free Saturday afternoon. So come to the Saturday Slow Jam and process what you’ve learned in the previous workshops. Get your picking in with Julio and friends, at a reasonable tempo!


dobro and flag banjo great48_web

9:00-10:30 am Gospel Jam with message

Come for a last dose of inspiration before heading home! Rich and Debra Ferguson will lead a Gospel jam, open to all who play and those who just want to listen and enjoy.