Martin Gilmore Music - January 2024
Happy new year!
Here we are in 2024. That year used to seem fictional to me, but it has arrived and I’m looking -forward to it.
We had a great Christmas and New Years here. We had lots of family visiting, ate a lot of good food, played some music, and caught up with friends far and near. It’s been great to hear from some of our friends we met in Egypt, and I had a nice phone conversation with the great John Nyhan in Cork, Ireland. The gloom of winter is brightened by all these connections, and I’m looking forward to making more of those connections (and new friends) in 2024.
January is full of new classes at Swallow Hill and getting things set for the rest of the year. If you are interested in playing in a bluegrass band I have a couple of options for folks playing at different levels. For folks who are new to the music, my Intermediate Bluegrass Ensemble class meets on Wednesdays at 8pm and starts on January 10th. The class runs eight weeks and during that time the students will focus on four bluegrass songs. They learn to play together, develop solos, sing harmonies, and much more. These classes are a lot of fun and a great way to build some skills, develop a repertoire, and meet people to play music with.
For folks who want more of a challenge, I will be leading the Swallow Hill Bluegrass Band starting Jan 11th. This class requires an audition and meets for sixteen weeks. Participants will learn a full set of music and perform for an audience. This class focuses on advanced ensemble skills including developing repertoire, running a band, equipment, and much much more. This class is for folks who want to play in a band. (possibly these classes could become bands). It’s a big commitment, and a big challenge, but a really rewarding experience.
I also have a few spots for some private lessons in January (either online or in person). If you’re interested in meeting, just respond to this email and we can try to work out a time to meet.
I’m very excited to be teaching a course with the University of Denver’s Enrichment Program entitled “The Big Bang of Country Music: Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family”. The class will focus on the beginnings of “hillbilly” and country music. Jimmie Rodgers and The Carter Family were both recorded by Ralph Peer in Bristol, Tennessee in 1927 and went on to be some of the earliest and most important musical figures in American Music. Their influence was widespread across various genres of American and even world music. The class sessions are on February 7th, 14th, 21st, culminating in a concert at Swallow Hill on February 24th. Enrollment is available now, and I’m very excited for this class. Please sign up!
You do not have to be part of the class to attend the concert on Saturday, February 24th, 2024. The concert will feature myself and The Cody Sisters playing the music of Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family respectively. It will be a great concert of traditional and contemporary versions of their music. The Cody Sisters are great musicians and I’m excited to hear what they do with the Carter Family’s timeless catalog. It would be wonderful to have a big crowd for this show, so please get your tickets to come and see us. There’s a bit of a discount for buying tickets early. You can purchase tickets here: www.swallowhillmusic.org.
Also in February, the Martin Gilmore Trio will be performing at the Midwinter Bluegrass Festival at the Delta By Marriott at 120th, and I-25 in Northglenn, Colorado. This is a fantastic Colorado festival featuring some of the best in the business. I’m very excited to be part of the lineup. This festival has been one of the staples of my music career and I’m always glad to be back. Tickets are available now and It would be fantastic to see you there. The festival is February
Finally, If you’re interested in learning to play bluegrass guitar I will be offering a new session of Progressions starting in February. This is a sixteen week class focused on developing advanced skills on bluegrass guitar. We learn to play solid rhythm in the bluegrass style, develop solos, improvise, play in ensembles, and much much more. It’s a big commitment, but each of these classes have been some of the best teaching experiences I have ever had. It’s amazing to see everyone’s improvement from the first class to the last. We meet twice each week, once online and once in person. If you want to play bluegrass guitar this is a great class to develop and hone those skills. Sign up now!
Classes at the University of Northern Colorado begin in January, and my bluegrass ensemble group will be playing on Saturday morning of the festival. I’m excited and nervous about that, but these kids are wonderful folks and work so hard I’m excited that they have this opportunity. The program at UNCO has been so rewarding and some of our students have gone on to start bands or play with some of the biggest in the business. It’s exciting to be part of that legacy. If you’re at the festival, come and see them.
I hope you had wonderful holidays, and I’m hoping to cross paths with you in 2024. There’s a lot of exciting things in the works and lots of work in those things. I hope you have a happy and musical 2024!
P.S. Come see me at Swallow Hill on February 24th!