Happy Holidays! I can’t believe the year is almost over. What a whirlwind it has been. I enjoyed attending Folk Alliance International in May, and had a wonderful mini-tour of Montana and Wyoming in June. I was also happy to be back to a busy gigging schedule all summer, and grateful that it lasted all the way to October. My class on the history of cowboy music for the Enrichment Program at the University of Denver was fun to prepare and present, and my Progressions classes at Swallow Hill remain inspiring and challenging. My son is four years old now and loves music (probably more than I did at his age). He wanted a mandolin cake for his birthday because he is enjoying Nickel Creek and Chris Thile these days. It has been a great year, and I’m very much looking forward to 2023. I don’t have many shows this month, but I am playing at the Gold Hill Inn on December 4th at 7:30pm for their annual tribute concert benefiting Boulder County Hospice Care. This year’s tribute features the music of Tom Waits. I’ll be playing “The Heart of Saturday Night” and “Downtown Train”. It’s usually a very fun night of music and fun to hang out with so many other great musicians and this year is no different. Other performers include Foxfeather, Danny Schafer, Kate Farmer, Bonnie and Taylor Sims, The Gasoline Lollipops, and many more. It’s a bit short notice, but if you’re free on Sunday evening, I highly recommend this show (which I would recommend even if I weren’t part of it.) Also, My Progressions students will be playing a showcase at Swallow Hill on December 15th at Swallow Hill Music in Denver. The show starts at 6:30pm. Come and here what these folks have been working on! I’m going to be playing a few more livestream events this month on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. I don’t have those scheduled yet, but if you follow me on any of those platforms there will be announcements about when those will be happening. Those are also good places to keep up with my music and where I will be performing in 2023. If you haven’t followed me there please do! There are a lot of things in the works for 2023. Speaking of those things, I have a bunch of cool classes at Swallow Hill coming up. I’ll be offering my Progressions: Songwriting class again starting in February. This fall was the first time I have offered this class and it has been an inspiring session with three great songwriters who have really progressed over the four months. Their experience has ranged from beginner to advanced and I have been so impressed with the work they have done. They had to write something new each week to present and they really seem to have found their stride. If you are interested in songwriting at any level, I would highly recommend this class, it has been a wonderful supportive group, full of creativity and ideas. It starts on February 14th! Also in February I will be offering a new Progressions class called Progressions: Bluegrass Guitar. This will be an in-depth class lasting 16-weeks with two classes per week (one online and one in person). We will focus on playing rhythm, developing solos, flat picking fiddle tunes, playing in bands and ensembles, and much more. We will explore the styles of Doc Watson, Tony Rice, Clarence White, Billy Strings, David Grier and others. This class will help you hone jamming skills, ensemble playing, solo accompaniment and so much more. I’m very excited to teach it, and if you are interested in bluegrass guitar this class will be right up your alley. It also starts in February. Another new opportunity I am offering is an extended bluegrass ensemble class called Swallow Hill Bluegrass Band. It will be a sixteen week class with a set ensemble. I’m requiring auditions for this group so there won’t be redundant instruments. The goal is to give folks the opportunity to play in an ensemble setting, develop a repertoire, apply their skills, and perhaps even start a band (or at least continue picking together) after the class is over. It’s a perfect opportunity to prepare for the summer bluegrass session. Auditions are happening now so practice a song or two and send me a video of you playing. I'll choose five folks who I think will be a good match and get them enrolled. If you would like to play in a committed group this would be a great class for you! Starting in January, I will be offering a Wernick Method Jam class at Swallow Hill. The class will take place over four Sundays in January and February and we will work on developing jamming skills in a fun and supportive atmosphere. By the end of the class you will be able to lead a song in a jam, and follow along in almost any bluegrass jam session around. This class is perfect for folks new to bluegrass music or anyone who considers themselves a “closet picker” who wants to get out and play music with others. Finally, I will continue my Intermediate Bluegrass Ensemble class on Wednesdays starting in January. This class is eight weeks and we usually learn four bluegrass songs, work on singing, soloing, and performing. These classes are a great opportunity to apply your musical skills but a lot less pressure than the other ensemble class I am teaching. Also, there’s no audition for this one, so there are usually other folks who play your instrument which means you will have some extra support. Whew, so much going on, but I am really looking forward to all of those classes. If you are interested in any of those opportunities but have questions please feel free to send me a message through my website www.MartinGilmore.com or through my social media. Thanks for a great year in 2022! I really appreciate all my fans, students, and supporters. I feel lucky to get to do what I do and have a life so full of music and community. I hope you had a good year as well. I hope to see you all in 2023! Martin P.S. Recipes will be back in January!
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