Fiddle Tunes at Centrum

ProgramMusicFiddle Tunes

About Fiddle Tunes

July 1-July 8, 2024

Fiddle Tunes started in 1977 as the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, maybe the first in the nation. It’s a week-long, total-immersion workshop with a hallmark of presenting an expansive array of fiddle styles from specific geographic regions of the world. The workshop provides an opportunity to be in community with the bearers of fiddle traditions, and you will discover culture through music, learn music in a cultural context, and build lifelong relationships in the fiddle music community.

Workshops, classes, band labs, tutorials, dances, concerts, singing, open jams, hat parties, gumbo – all contribute to participants’ experience. The main teaching emphasis is on the fiddle, but you’ll find day-long instruction on many other instruments. Most of the fiddlers on staff choose their own accompanist, so the instruction on backup instruments varies each year. There will always be banjos and guitars, and often mandolin, button accordion, piano accordion, piano, singing, clogging, string bass, and social dance.

You’ll learn by the time-honored method of the oral tradition – close observation and personal experimentation.

Experience Fiddle Tunes


Check-in starts at 4pm on the first day, followed by dinner in the Commons. After dinner you can listen to an in-house showcase concert, and then attend a welcoming dance on a wooden floor. The next morning there will be an extensive orientation where we’ll introduce everyone who is teaching during the week.

There are two categories of staff – the faculty and the tutors.

FACULTY: During the week each faculty person will teach four classes, lead an afternoon band lab, play for an evening dance, and play in one in-house performance and one public performance. Classes and band labs are open to all. In a band lab, you’ll be a part of a group learning to play in that faculty member’s style. You’ll learn what makes that style sound like it does – slurs, slides, bowing, ornaments, tempo, etc. Each band lab will play in the band lab concert on the last morning.

There is also a Beginners’ Band Lab, which is a band lab for beginning-level musicians, and a Teen Band Lab for younger folks.

TUTORS: Tutorials are offered four times during the week. Tutorials are designed to address the needs of beginning and beginning/intermediate players who wish more individualized instruction on their instrument; they will focus on technique. Intermediate level tutorials include technique, and tend to focus on style. In many cases, the intermediate tutorials will be in the musical styles presented by the faculty. Tutorial sessions are open to all.

You will also find tutors hosting jam sessions with a spirit of graceful encouragement, playing for dances, and generally being a welcoming and helpful presence throughout the week.

General Schedule

9:30 - 10:45: choice of classes
11:15 - 12:30: choice of classes
lunch and siesta
3:00: band labs and tutorials
4:30: wildcard workshops
evenings: showcase concerts and dances 

Other Events During the Week
• In-house concerts showcasing the faculty
• Two concurrent social and couple dances every night
• Public performances
• Multiple hosted jams each night
• Spontaneous workshops in the wild-card slot
• Dance classes
and LOTS of jamming

2024 Fiddle Tunes Faculty

Photo of Carrie Wells Carter

Carrie Wells Carter


Carrie Wells Carter was born and raised in Red Bush, Kentucky, immersed in traditional Appalachian music and art. Learning fiddle from her father, Jamie Wells, from the age of 7, she also spent a good deal of time in her youth learning from her uncle, Robbie Wells, and brother, Jesse Wells. She currently lives in Whitesburg, Kentucky, with her husband, Matthew, and two daughters.…

Photo of Eloise & Co.

Eloise & Co.


Eloise & Co. features the combined creative force of two of the country’s most sought-after traditional musicians, fiddler Becky Tracy and piano accordionist Rachel Bell. These two, sometimes playing as a duo and other times joined by various guest guitar and piano players, crank out concert and dance music with unbridled energy and soaring beauty.…

Photo of Ellika Frisell

Ellika Frisell

with Rafael Sida, percussion

Ellika Frisell was born 1953 and brought up in Stockholm. She later moved to Delsbo, a small village in the North of Sweden, where she cultivated vegetables and worked in a factory. It was during that time, in the middle of the 70´s, that Ellika began playing the fiddle and became village fiddler and dance musician.…

Photo of Alice Gerrard

Alice Gerrard

North Carolina

Simply put, Alice Gerrard is a talent of legendary status. In a career spanning some 50 years, she has known, learned from, and performed with many of the old-time and bluegrass greats and has in turn earned worldwide respect for her own important contributions to the music. Alice is particularly known for her groundbreaking collaboration with Appalachian singer Hazel Dickens during the 1960s and ’70s.…

Photo of John Haywood

John Haywood

banjo and fiddle

John Haywood is a banjo-playing tattoo and folk artist in Whitesburg, Kentucky. He owns and operates the Parlor Room Tattoo and Art Gallery – a tattoo shop that draws visitors from all over the world to Letcher County into the far southeastern corner of Kentucky. “Many come for a tattoo, and some to experience a little bit of our culture,” Haywood says of his shop.…

Photo of Judy Hyman

Judy Hyman

New York State
with Jeff Claus, guitar and banjo uke

From Ithaca, NY, land of lakes, gorges, waterfalls and colleges, Judy is a co-founding member of the alt-trad band, The Horse Flies, who toured extensively throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe (including appearances on eTown, Prairie Home Companion, All Things Considered, World Café, and Mountain Stage), and recorded many albums, including releases on MCA and Rounder Records.…

Photo of Osiris Ramsés Caballero León

Osiris Ramsés Caballero León

Veracruz, Mexico
with Canto a Mi Tierra: Bernabe Hernandez Orozco on quinta huapanguera guitar, and Fernando Hernandez Orozco on jarana huasteca.

Featuring Osíris Ramsés Caballero León – fiddle. Son Huasteco is a traditional Mexican musical style originating in the six states of Northeastern Mexico, typically performed by a trio of violin, jarana huasteca and quinta huapanguera.…

Photo of Tony Mates

Tony Mates


Tony plays fiddle, guitar and bass, sings and calls dances, and has been a part of Fiddle Tunes for quite a long time. An enthusiastic performer, he loves to encourage others in their passion for music and dance.  His choice of music reflects a love of dance music and lively, accessible tunes. For his performances, Tony will be joined by members of his band, Peckin’ Out Dough, including David Cahn, Catherine Alexander, Brigid Blume and Carmen Ficarra.…

Photo of Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh

Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh

with Manus Lunny, bouzouki and guitar

Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh’s name is synonymous with what’s good in the music and culture of her native County Donegal, Ireland. Born in the Gaeltacht area of Gaoth Dobhair, where Gaelic was her main language, she learned her songs and tunes from her family and neighbors.…

Photo of Bruce Molsky

Bruce Molsky

New York State

Grammy-nominated Bruce Molsky transports audiences to another time and place, with his authentic and personal interpretations of rarities from the Southern Appalachian songbook and other musical traditions from around the globe. Best known for his work on the fiddle, Bruce’s banjo, guitar and his distinctive, powerful vocals also resonate with listeners.…

Photo of Lisa Ornstein

Lisa Ornstein

with Sabin Jacques, button accordion, and Rachel Aucoin, piano

Fiddle virtuoso Lisa Ornstein is an outstanding interpreter of the traditional music of French Canada and Appalachia, blending compelling and inventive playing with impeccable tune choice. Befriended by North Carolina fiddle legend Tommy Jarrell while she was in her teens, Lisa quickly became an accomplished fiddler in the Round Peak style.…

Photo of Jerron Paxton

Jerron Paxton

New York

Jerron Paxton is a skilled interpreter of Black traditional music, having spent his life learning the multifaceted musical dialects of blues, old-time, ragtime, and Cajun music and playfully dressing them up in their brightest hues. He is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist, playing guitar, banjo, piano, fiddle and other instruments with deep histories and ties to Black American music — each with a master’s touch.…

Photo of Ed Poullard

Ed Poullard

with Cedric Watson, button accordion

Ed Poullard is regarded as the most significant Creole fiddler of his generation, and he has brought his unique and captivating style of music across the world. Born in Eunice, LA in 1952, the Poullard family relocated to east Texas in search of better work when Ed was still a baby.…

Photo of Luke Price

Luke Price


Luke Price is a multi-instrumentalist performer, composer, and studio musician based in Portland, Oregon. He has his roots in American fiddling and swing traditions, which have influenced his rhythm, taste, and style as they have spread into Soul, Jazz, Pop, and Americana. Luke brings a unique voice to any music he plays, whether he’s on the fiddle, electric guitar, or singing.…

Photo of Wes Westmoreland

Wes Westmoreland


Wes Westmoreland III was born into a family whose musical history goes back many decades. His granddad, H. D. Westmoreland Sr., an accomplished fiddler, began teaching Wes to play at age nine. The fiddle tunes Wes had heard all his life came easy to him and he began to play in contests all over the state of Texas.…

Photo of Earl White

Earl White

with Mark Olitsky – banjo, Adrienne Davis – guitar, and Joseph DeJarnette – bass.

Fiddling Earl White has been a mainstay in the old-time, folk and dance community for more than 45 years.  An original and founding member of the famed Green Grass Cloggers, he is one of few Black Americans preserving and playing Appalachian old time string band music, which was an intricate part of Black communities and formed the foundation of American music of today. …

Tutorial Coordinator - Charmaine Slaven

Henry Barnes, Tennessee

Grace Forrest, British Columbia
Nokosee Fields, Louisiana
Leah Meyer, Minnesota (Beginners)
Kelli Jones, Louisiana (Cajun)
Dale Russ, Washington (Irish)
Caley Miranda Schmid, Washington (Celtic)
Hannah Read, California

Candy Goldman, Washington

Barry Southern, Oregon

Ali Kafka, Tennessee

Patrick Gunning, Washington

Mandolin - Caleb Klauder, Washington

Cello - Irene Herrmann, California

Singing - Gina Leslie, Louisiana

Bass - Trey Boudreaux, Louisiana      

Beginner’s Band Lab - David Cahn, Washington
KY Band Lab - Matt Carter, Kentucky

Evening Dance Coordinator - Amy Hofer, Oregon

Adult Beginners - Joyce Beaton, British Columbia

Kid’s Track Wrangler - Sharon McNamara

Kid’s Track
Kristin Smith

Sophie Enloe
Melissa Stolasz
Dina Blade
Melanie Luedders

Kid’s Band Lab
David Romtvedt
Margo Brown
Maggie Lind
Sally Jablonski

Teen Track
Amelia Powell

Annika Brooks
Simon Leone
Annie Davis
Ellie Davis

Deco Crew
Laurie Hampton
Edie Holt
Elena DeLisle-Perry
Jessica Logan
Joanne Pontrello
Ryan Hoffman
Xep Campbell

FT Luthier Collective
Brandon Godman
Jacob Mitas
Jamie Herrmann

Pavilion Backdrop
Martha Worthley
Pilar McCracken

Airport Wrangler - Chris Jong

Photography - Doug Plummer

Catering - Caroline Oakley

Sound Reinforcement
Neville Pearsall

Joseph DeJarnette
McKain Lakey
Lucy Peckham
Mike Sakarias

Stage Manager – Maggie McRae

Archivist - Steven Trampe

Midnight Protein – Chris Miller

Gumbo - Colin Gould

Red Noses
Chris Wright
Luther Black
Craig Shaw
Eileen O'Connor
Bonnie Zahnow
Bruce Reid
Erin Heist
Andrew Heist



Fiddle Tunes has a new tuition structure. We are relying on the honor system, allowing you to choose the tuition fee that best suits your finances. As a result we are not requiring scholarship applications. If you need financial assistance, please choose the Fiddle Nut or Scholarship rate. 

Fiddle Fanatic - $790
Choose Fiddle Fanatic if you are in a good place financially and wish to help support the Youth/Scholarship rate.

Fiddle Aficionado - $625
The standard rate for 2024.

Fiddle Nut - $500
If you can't currently afford the Aficionado price but would still like to be a part of our community.

Youth / Scholarship - $300
Youth/Scholarship is for:

  • Musicians under the age of 22 (Youth) or
  • Individuals requiring financial support (Scholarship)

Teen Track - $100
We curated a track especially for teens and it has been a big success. This program runs all day, each day and includes entry to all public performances.

Kids Track (mornings only) - $50
This popular track is for kids, kids, kids! Classes and fun-making held 9:00-12:00, Tuesday - Saturday with a Sunday morning performance. Parents or guardians, plan to check your student/s in and out each day.

Adult Guardian
This is a no-cost registration type for a parent or adult guardian (21 or older) who does not play music but wishes to provide opportunities for their kids. Youth at Centrum under the age of 18 are required to attend with a registered adult (unless they live locally). The Guardian option makes this possible and affordable. Guardians do not participate in the workshop, rather, they supervise and support their U18 participant.

Room and Board Options

Most participants stay in private dormitory rooms at Fort Worden. You may reserve a dorm room with no meal ticket (there is a limited number of this option). There is also a limited number of double rooms, i.e., rooms with two beds. If you’d like a double, please request one, and list another registered participant who has signed up for room and board in order to share that room. It is first come, first served.

All meals are served at the Fort Worden Commons. The first meal is dinner on July 1; the last meal is breakfast on July 8.

Private Room only: $355
All meals: $430
Lunches only (6): $125


If you are interested in volunteering, or a work trade position, please contact Peter McCracken at peter@centrum (dot) org.

Cancellation policy:
All but $50 is refundable if cancellation is made on or before May31, 2024.

Fiddle Tunes Travel Tips

Book flights to arrive July 1 by 1pm Pacific Time and depart no earlier than noon on the 8th. Port Townsend is two hours from Sea/Tac on a good day.

If you’re interested in transportation from SeaTac Airport to Fort Worden, choose the shuttle option for when you register. The shuttle costs: $120 round-trip or $60 one-way.

Fiddle Tunes shuttle schedule:

Arrive – Monday, July 1, 2024, pick-up at SeaTac airport, 2:30pm, Pacific Time.

Depart – Monday, July 8, 2024, depart Centrum at Port Townsend, 9am, Pacific Time.

If you have any further questions, please contact Peter McCracken at 360-385-3102, x127, or peter@centrum (dot) org.

Find more answers - Centrum FAQs


What might a beginning musician expect at Fiddle Tunes? The gathering welcomes people of all abilities, but it’s not uncommon for beginning musicians to feel frustrated at Fiddle Tunes. Here’s what to expect.

The morning classes are dedicated to workshops led by the faculty (and the tutors as well). These players were invited to the festival as representatives of a certain style of music, one that they learned from their family and neighbors. Some are experienced teachers, many are not. In an effort to present them appropriately, they receive no guidelines from Centrum as to what level they should teach – it’s their choice. Most teach at an intermediate and above level.

Even though most of these classes are not geared towards beginners, we think it’s critically important that you attend these sessions. The people on staff are active tradition-bearers, and they share more than their music. You might not open your case at these sessions. Rather, you’ll be in listening mode, soaking your head in a certain style, hearing to stories, understanding the context in which this person’s music is played “back home.”

In the afternoon you have a few choices. You can join the Beginners Band Lab – all beginning-level players of any instrument are invited. You’ll get an idea about how exciting it is to play with other people. The Beginners Band will play in the Band Lab concert on Saturday morning.

You can also choose to take a tutorial. Beginning-level tutorials are designed to address the needs of beginning and beginning/intermediate players who wish for more individualized instruction on their instrument; they will focus on technique. Intermediate level tutorials include technique and tend to focus on style. In many cases, the intermediate tutorials will be in the musical styles presented by the faculty.

We hope this information is helpful to you in deciding whether the workshop might be a good fit. Being among so many players can be overwhelming, but it helps to know what to expect. If you have any more questions, feel free to call Peter McCracken at 360-385-3102, x127, or peter@centrum (dot) org.


Fiddle Tunes is proudly an inter-generational gathering, welcoming musicians of all ages to participate. 

The Kids Track

The Kids Track is a morning-only program geared towards people from the ages of five to twelve, running from 9am to noon, Tuesday through Friday, with a Saturday performance.

9–10:30am: Fiddling for Kids. (On Tuesday this class meets from 10:30am-12pm)
Young participants are broken into groups based on ability, starting at the VERY beginning (“here’s how to hold a bow”). Every effort is made to integrate the more advanced groups with the styles of music of the faculty at Fiddle Tunes.

10:30am–12pm: Play Party Games or Kids Band Lab (this class does not meet on Tuesday) 
Kids have two choices in this time slot: either play party games, or join the Kids Band Lab. The Kids Band is directly aligned to one of the faculty members’ styles, and will play for a dance and in the band lab concert at the end of the week. All instruments are welcome in the Kids Band Lab.

Participants who are registered in the Kids Track receive free admission to all performances, public and private, and are welcome at the evening dances as well.

The Kids Track is only available to children of registered participants, or to kids with a local zip code (98368, 98339, 98358, 98365, 98325). There is a limit of 50 Kids Track slots. Parents considering registering their child in the Kids Track should be prepared to check in their child between 8:45am and 9am, and check out their child at noon.

The Teen Track

The Teen Track is designed for players age 13-18. All abilities are welcome. This track is intended for players who want to learn with their peers, or for players too advanced for the Kids Track. Teen Track tuition includes admission to everything – workshops, in-house concerts, dances, etc., and great seats at all public performances.

Teen Track participants must be accompanied by a registered adult with the following exception: if you are local and your teen won’t be staying at Fort Worden, you may come in to the Centrum office and sign a waiver.

The schedule looks like this:

Tuesday, July 4:
9–10am: All-camp orientation in McCurdy Pavilion
Fiddle Tunes faculty introductions. Faculty members demonstrate their style and give a brief talk about what they’ll be teaching.
10:30am-12pm: Fiddling for Teens (exclusive to the teen track)


1:30pm – Public Performance in McCurdy Pavilion
7:30pm – Faculty Showcase Concert

Wednesday-Friday, July 5-7
9:15am–10:15am – Tutorials: technical instruction on fiddle, banjo, guitar
10:45am–12pm – Fiddling for Teens (exclusive to the teen track)


1:15–2:30pm – Choice of workshops (experience other styles!)
3–4:30pm – Teen Band Lab (exclusive to the teen track)
4:45–5:45pm – Wild card workshops (optional)

Tuesday & Thursday, July 4 & 6
7:30pm – Faculty Showcase Concerts in Wheeler Theater

Friday, July 7
7:30pm – Public performance in McCurdy Pavilion

Saturday, July 8
9:30am – Band Lab Concert (including Teen Band) in Wheeler Theater
1:30pm – Public Performance in McCurdy Pavilion


Monday, July 1
4:00: Check-in begins at the Centrum office.
6:00: Dinner in the Commons.
7:30: Faculty Showcase Concert #1
Then, "First Time to Fiddle Tunes" orientation
After: welcoming social dance

Tuesday, July 2
9am – An extensive welcome and orientation session begins in McCurdy Pavilion. We introduce the faculty and tutors and ask them to play some music. We’ll also talk about the workshop schedule, bring any fresh information, and try to get all of your questions answered.
10:15 -11:15 – choice of workshops
11:30 - 12:30 - choice of workshops
12:30 - 1:30 – Lunch
3:00 - 4:00 - tutorials
3:00 - 4:30 - band labs
4:30 - wildcard workshops
Evening – Faculty Showcase Concert #2
dancing and jamming

Wednesday July 3
9:30 –10:45 – choice of workshops
11:15 –12:30 - choice of workshops
12:30 - 1:30 - lunch
3:00 - 4:00 - tutorials
3:00 - 4:30 - band labs
4:30 - wildcard workshops
Evening – Faculty Showcase Concert #3
dancing and jamming

Thursday, July 4
9:30 –10:45 – choice of workshops

11:15 –12:30 - choice of workshops
12:30 - 1:30 - lunch

1:30 - public performance in McCurdy Pavilion

Friday, July 5
9:30 –10:45 – choice of workshops
11:15 –12:30 - choice of workshops
12:00 - Free Friday concert on Commons Lawn
12:30 - 1:30 - lunch
3:00 - 4:00 - tutorials
3:00 - 4:30 - band labs
4:30 - wildcard workshops
dancing and jamming

Saturday, July 6
9:30 –10:45 – choice of workshops

11:15 –12:30 - choice of workshops
12:30 - 1:30 - lunch
1:30 - public performance in McCurdy Pavilion
4:30 - band labs and tutorials

Sunday, July 7
9:30am – Band Lab Concert in Wheeler Theater

1:30pm – public performance in McCurdy Pavilion

Monday, July 8
8am – Breakfast and goodbyes
9am – Shuttle leaves for airport from Centrum office.
11am – Check-out of housing

No online classes are scheduled at this time.

Honoring the Legacy of Lucas Hicks

Centrum and the greater family of Lucas Hicks are proud to offer the Lucas Hicks Shining Light Front Porch Fellowship.

Composer, teacher, and multi-instrumentalist Lucas Hicks left a hefty legacy when he passed in October of 2017, and his family and friends have created, in his honor and at his request, a fellowship to be awarded to a person who might embody the spirit and character of Lucas Hicks’ approach to music and to community. The Front Porch Fellowship grew out of the notion of folk music as a shared experience—passing along tunes, songs, and stories person-to-person, or as Lucas would say, knee-to-knee, and in a spirit of revelry. At the end of the day, folk music is about sitting around on each other’s porches, sharing music until the sun comes up.

The Front Porch Fellowship is awarded annually to a curious musician who embodies some of the most essential attributes of Lucas Hicks’s musical ethos. The fellowship is available to anyone from anywhere, of any age, playing any instrument. 

Essential criteria are that the recipient is passionate about traditional music; is eager to learn, and to share; and is fond of people.

In return, the Fellow agrees:

  1. to seek out and learn one tune a day during the week, “knee to knee” from someone outside of scheduled classes;
  2. the Fellow will learn three new jokes;
  3. the Fellow will pass on one tune to another player;
  4. and the Fellow will record these things in the Shining Light Bible.

The Fellow receives tuition, room, and board at Fiddle Tunes.

To apply, all you need to do is describe why you think you are deserving of this fellowship. Send this in an email to, with "Lucas Hicks" in the subject line. Deadline to apply is February 29, 2024.


Fiddles on the Fourth
Thursday, July 4, 1:30 p.m.
McCurdy Pavilion Tickets: $35, $26, $18
Buttons and Bows
Saturday July 6, 1:30 p.m.
McCurdy Pavilion Tickets: $35, $26, $18
Fiddle Tunes Finale
Sunday, July 7, 1:30 p.m.
McCurdy Pavilion Tickets: $35, $26, $18

Fiddle tunes on grass at Fort Worden

Registration is Now Open!

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