Instructors

Instructors

Instructors

We will be adding Academy faculty on a rolling basis as we continue to iron out the fine details. Take a look at who we have on board now!

Guitar Instructors

Instructors

Uwe Kruger

Kruger Brothers

Uwe Kruger, lead vocalist and guitarist, has been playing music since early childhood. When they were very young, Uwe and younger brother Jens would place a guitar on the floor between them and play it together, one brother taking the upper three strings and the other the lower three. Uwe was introduced to American folk music through the brothers’ father, who would bring folk music records when he returned to Switzerland from business trips to the United States. For more than twenty-five years, Uwe has been playing guitar and singing as a professional musician. Over the course of his career, Uwe has developed range and versatility – instrumentally and stylistically.

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Instructors

Jake Eddy

Becky Buller Band

Jake Eddy, who joins the Becky Buller Band as the lead guitar player and harmony/occasional lead singer, was born in Parkersburg, West Virginia, to a family of musicians. Jake began playing professionally at the age of fourteen with Melvin Goins. His guitar playing, influenced by bluegrass and jazz, is showcased on his self-titled debut album of fiddle tunes which features such greats as Bryan Sutton and Kenny Smith. When not on tour with B^3, Jake provides private online instrumental instruction.

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Instructors

Jordan Tice

Hawktail

“The free-wheeling Jordan Tice’s art basks in joyous spontaneity. For one as musically adept as him, the intricacies of his performance are best met by a feeling of irreverence. He meshes his artful intuition with an utterly human quintessence, jubilantly bearing warts and all through the delivery of lyrical wonders that can be as wistful and romantic as they may be earnest or unbecoming.”

— Popmatters

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Instructors

Greg Schochet

Greg Schochet is a full-time performer, teacher and producer in Boulder, Colorado. Equally adept on guitar and mandolin, he is fluent in all manner of acoustic and electric styles, specializing in bluegrass, swing and country. He was the lead guitarist for Halden Wofford and the Hi*Beams for 16 years, Colorado’s beloved and venerable honky-tonk and western swing band. Greg is an integral part of Colorado’s thriving roots music scene, and is a sought after instructor, session player, producer and collaborator.

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Banjo Instructors

Instructors

Jens Kruger

Kruger Brothers

Originally from Switzerland, Jens Kruger began playing North American folk music at an early age and was particularly inspired by recordings of Doc Watson, Flatt and Scruggs, Bill Monroe, and other progenitors of country, bluegrass and folk music. While he has written and continues to write the music for all of The Kruger Brothers’ original tunes, in 2006, Jens began his “official” venture into the themes and forms of classical music when he was commissioned to write Music from the Spring for banjo, guitar, bass and full symphonic orchestra. Since then, he has received three commissions to write classical pieces which The Kruger Brothers have performed with various orchestral ensembles: Appalachian Concerto with string quartet; Spirit of the Rockies with a small orchestra, and most recently in 2013, Lucid Dreamer, a chamber music piece written specifically for and commissioned by the Kontras Quartet* and debuting in 2014.

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Instructors

Ned Luberecki

Becky Buller Band

Ned is the 2018 IBMA Banjo Player Of The Year and an all-around bluegrass legend. Ned is an incredible music educator. Ned is funny. He was a member of Paul Adkins & The Borderline Band, The Rarely Herd and, most recently, Chris Jones & The Night Drivers for over a decade. The Baltimore, MD native, who now makes his home in Nashville, TN, is a partner in the Nedski & Mojo duo and a favored guest on stage and in studio with artists ranging from Jim Lauderdale to Tony Trischka to Ray Stevens to Sam Bush. Since the early 1980s, Ned has maintained a busy schedule of private lessons, along with workshops and camps in the U.S., Canada, U.K. and Europe.

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Instructors

Wes Corbett

Sam Bush Band

There has never been a shortage of prodigious musicians in bluegrass music, especially on it’s signature instrument, the 5-string banjo. Less common are virtuosic players with deep and diverse musical backgrounds that inform their approach to bluegrass. Though the numbers of musically omnivorous bluegrass musicians are on the rise, few have the staggeringly broad musical base of banjo player, composer, and producer, Wes Corbett.

Wes’s skills as a player have kept him on the forefront of acoustic music since he first picked up the banjo as a teenager in the pacific northwest. He would go on to be a key player in Boston’s vibrant music scene, an instructor at the prestigious Berklee College of Music, and today is a rising star in Nashville’s elite bluegrass scene. 

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Instructors

Tray Wellington

Tray Wellington Band

Tray Wellington, banjo virtuoso, multi-time IBMA Award winner, and 2019 Momentum Instrumentalist of the year. His group, the Tray Wellington Band, pushes the bounds of bluegrass music, incorporating Bossa Nova, Jazz, and Blues elements, to their originals to create a unique, new exciting sound, as well as pay tribute to their Bluegrass heroes before them. They have opened for a number of premiere artists in bluegrass including Dan Tyminski, and Joe Mullins.

Instructors

Special Guest Pete Wernick

Hot Rize

Pete Wernick is renowned worldwide for his accomplishments and contributions to bluegrass music: the hot-picking force in several trend-setting bands including Hot Rize, innovative teacher and author, songwriter, and long-term President of the International Bluegrass Music Association.

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Bass Instructors

Instructors

Joel Landsberg

One can only imagine the number and variety of musical influences – Broadway, classical, jazz, rhythm and blues – that surrounded Joel as he was growing up in New York City. Like Uwe and Jens, Joel began his musical career early in life and picked up the bass at the age of twelve. And like many other musicians, Joel began learning music through classical training on the piano. After several years of piano lessons, he switched to the bass, and as he discovered his love for the instrument, Joel decided to devote all of his attention to playing the bass.

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Instructors

Daniel Hardin

Becky Buller Band

By day, Daniel is a master machine operator and fire fighter at the Jack Daniels Distillery in his hometown, Lynchburg, Tenn., where he has been employed since 2004. Daniel performed professionally for three years with Valerie Smith & Liberty Pike. He also did a stint with the Nashville-based band Cages Bend. Daniel toured extensively with both groups throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe and the U.K. Daniel’s high harmony and low four can be heard on the albums Now I’m Lonely by Cages Bend, Valerie’s No Summer Storm and, as well as on all of Becky’s albums on the Dark Shadow Recording label. Daniel does not have a website, but you can catch him on Facebook.

Instructors

Bryn Davies

Darrell Scott’s Bluegrass Band

Bryn Davies is a bassist, cellist, and occasional pianist. She grew up in Livermore, California. In 1997 she majored in Jazz Performance at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. In 1997, Bryn moved to Austin, Texas and began working with Peter Rowan as the Texas Trio, which toured the US and eventually would become the Peter Rowan & Tony Rice Quartet.

In 2004 Davies moved to Nashville, Tennessee and began working and touring with a variety of Americana and bluegrass artists such as The Tony Rice Unit, Patty Griffin, Darrell Scott, Justin Townes Earle, Scott Miller, and Jack White. Davies has an extensive discography, and has recorded with Guy Clark, The Peter Rowan & Tony Rice Quartet, Old and & In the Way, Guy Clark, Jim Lauderdale, and Jack White.

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Dobro Instructors

Instructors

Abbie Gardner

Best known as a founding member of Americana harmony trio Red Molly, Abbie Gardner is a joyful dobro player and singer/songwriter with an infectious smile. She loves teaching dobro and songwriting, whether in person or with her down-to-earth “Woodshed” YouTube lessons filmed from her home in the shadow of New York City. Abbie goes out of her way to make it fun and achievable, while seeking to forever expand her own knowledge of the instrument. She has taught at Nashville Dobro Camp, Grand Targhee, and Rockygrass Academy as well as several songwriting camps. She specializes in singing while playing, dobro as a rhythm instrument and creating lyrical solos in G tuning or D tuning. 
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Instructors

Rob Ickes

Grammy Award nominee Rob Ickes is one of the most innovative Dobro players on the music scene today with a sound and style that expands the boundary of the instrument. A former founding member of the bluegrass supergroup Blue Highway, Rob has been named IBMA’s Dobro Player of the Year an unprecedented 15 times and has played as an active session player and touring musician with an impressive list of artists, including Earl Scruggs, Merle Haggard, Alison Krauss, Vince Gill, Tony Rice, Alan Jackson, Reba McEntire, and many more.

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Mandolin Instructors

Instructors

Wes Lee

Becky Buller Band

Wes Lee is the 2001 MerleFest mandolin champion from Gainesville, Georgia, who previously performed with Becky in Valerie Smith & Liberty Pike. His picking was featured on Valerie’s That’s What Love Can Do album. For the past 16 years, Wes has worked for the further processing division Springer Mountain Farms and is currently a senior coordinator. He jumped at the chance to play music again with friends he considers family.Visit with Wes on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Instructors

Matt Flinner

Darrell Scott’s Bluegrass Band

Grammy-nominated mandolinist Matt Flinner has made a career out of playing acoustic music in new ways. Whether it’s with his own Matt Flinner Trio or with Phillips, Grier and Flinner, the Frank Vignola Quartet, Darrell Scott, Steve Martin, the Ying Quartet, Tim O’Brien, Leftover Salmon or the Modern Mandolin Quartet, Flinner’s style and compositional ability have established him as one of the most accomplished and musically diverse mandolinists in the world.

Starting out as a banjo prodigy who was playing bluegrass festivals before he entered his teens, Flinner later took up the mandolin, won the National Banjo Competition in Winfield, KS in 1990, and won the mandolin award there the following year.

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Instructors

John Reischman

Grammy Award-winning musician John Reischman has been a foundational mandolinist, composer, bandleader, and musical educator in bluegrass and North American roots and folk music since emerging from the vibrant “new acoustic” bluegrass music scene of the Bay Area in the 1980s. A member of the groundbreaking Tony Rice Unit, Reischman’s mastery of bluegrass, old-time, swing, and multiple Latin American musical styles, coupled with an Old Master’s sense of tone, taste, and musicality, has brought him a global reputation as one of the finest mandolinists of his era.

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Fiddle Instructors

Instructors

Becky Buller

Becky Buller Band

Becky Buller is a multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter from St. James, Minn., who has traversed the globe performing bluegrass music to underwrite her insatiable songwriting habit. Her compositions can be heard on records by Ricky Skaggs, Rhonda Vincent and Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, to name just a few.

Becky has written songs for Grammy award-winning albums: she co-wrote “Freedom,” the lead-off track of The Infamous Stringdusters 2018 Grammy-winning album Laws of Gravity as well as “The Shaker” on The Travelin’ McCoury’s self-titled release that brought home the 2019 Best Bluegrass Grammy.

Becky is the recipient of 10 IBMA awards, including the 2016 Fiddler and Female Vocalist Of The Year as well as the 2020 Collaborative Recording Of The Year for “The Barber’s Fiddle” and the 2020 Song Of The Year for co-writing and fiddling on Special Consensus’ “Chicago Barn Dance.”She was a 2020 nominee for SPBGMA’s Fiddle Player Of The Year as well as being involved as a musician and songwriter on three albums nominated for 2020 Grammys.She was a nominee for the 2021 IBMA Songwriter Of The Year.

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Instructors

Shad Cobb

Darrell Scott’s Bluegrass Band
Shad grew up in Wisconsin and started playing fiddle at 13 in his family band. He moved to Nashville in 1995. Since then he has worked with the Osborne Brothers, Mike Snider and John Cowan. As of late he can be heard playing with the Tim Obrien Band, Robbie Fulks and Darrell Scott. He also plays twin fiddles and sings with dynamic fiddler and vocalist Jenny Obert, performing a mix of traditional music and a lot of original material.
Instructors

Phoebe Hunt

Phoebe Hunt & The Gatherers

Like all troubadours, singer-songwriter Phoebe Hunt is a rambler. Recent years have seen the Texas native relocate from Austin to Nashville to her current residence in Brooklyn. This wanderlust is evident in the variety of projects she is a part of, moving in and out of multiple styles and genres of music with an effortless grace. You may find her performing completely solo, with her violin and her voice, drawing you into her memorizing vortex, or surrounded by a group of young musicians from all around the world as a part of The One Village Music Project, playing songs written and recorded at a program that Phoebe initiated out of her desire to play her role in healing the world with music.

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Songwriting Instructor

Instructors

Darrell Scott

Darrell Scott’s Bluegrass Band

Multi-Instrumentalist and Singer-Songwriter Darrell Scott mines and cultivates the everyday moment, taking the rote, menial, mundane, and allowing it to be surreal, ever poignant, and candidly honest, lilting, blooming, and resonating. The words he fosters allow us to make sense of the world, what is at stake here, and our place in it. And ultimately, Darrell knows the sole truth of life is that love is all that matters, that we don’t always get it right, but that’s the instinctive and requisite circuitous allure of things, why we forever chase it, and why it is held sacred.

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Vocals Instructor

Instructors

Stephen Mougin

Sam Bush Band

Stephen Mougin has been a vocalist and guitar player for the Sam Bush Band since 2006. He owns and operates Dark Shadow Recording, an independent record label and recording studio, where he produces and engineers albums for clients and label artists including Becky Buller, Rick Faris, The Stillhouse Junkies and more.

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Kid’s Camp Instructors

Instructors

Justin Hoffenberg

Long Road Home

Originally from Northern Illinois, Justin Hoffenberg currently makes his home in Boulder, CO. Growing up in a musical household, he attended many concerts as a child and was drawn towards music. At 10 years old Justin joined his 5th grade orchestra, where he played the violin for one year before beginning Suzuki lessons, which he pursued until graduating high school. The summer between 5th and 6th grade proved a fateful one, as a family friend recommended attending the Rockygrass festival in Lyons, CO, as well as the camp that precedes it. Justin ventured to the camp not knowing anything about Bluegrass, but was immensely changed by the experience.

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Instructors

Gina Marie Leslie

Colorado-raised songstress Gina Marie Leslie is a longtime RockyGrass Academy student, now living in New Orleans. Born into a family of musicians, she grew up in a culture of jamming that uplifts all players involved and creates a welcoming atmosphere. A multi-instrumentalist (guitar, fiddle, bass, voice, ukulele) and songwriter, Gina has the tools to guide a musician at any level to feel the joy and beauty of connection through music. She plays with Damn Gina, The Bad Bad Leslie’s, Mean Gina Jazz Band, and as a side musician for other projects.

OMGina.com

Instructors

Brad Murphey

“Murph” first fell in love with bluegrass music while living in Chicago and immediately started studying it with the great Czech guitar player Slavek Hanzlik as well as Don Stiernberg and Greg Cahill. After living in Chicago he moved to Colorado and founded the band Slipstream which performed at many notable festivals such as Grey Fox in New York. He then toured the country performing with Nashville singer/songwriter Rorey Carroll and has performed with such bluegrass luminaries as Noam Pikelny, Matt Flinner, the Infamous Stringdusters, Crooked Still, Darol Anger as well as many others and has been an endorsed artist for Elixir Guitar Strings for 14 years. Currently Murph is living in Shanghai, China, performing with mandolin virtuoso Tom Peng and teaching guitar lessons while exploring as much of Asia as possible.

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Instructors

Leslie Ziegler

Hailing from both Michigan and West Virginia, Leslie has been studying the upright bass since she was just a little girl. As she got older she decided to further her music education at Western Michigan University where she focused on Music Education. While in college, Leslie also toured the midwest with the many orchestras and string ensembles she represented. Outside the classroom, Leslie immersed herself in Kalamazoo’s local music scene where she discovered her deep love for Bluegrass and folk music.

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Instructors

Sam Leslie

Born in Evergreen, Colorado, Sam Leslie is a composer, multi-instrumentalist, and sound engineer. After five formative years in Boston, Massachusetts studying at the Berklee College of Music, Sam now lives in Nashville, Tennessee. 

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Instructors

Dominick Leslie

Hawktail

Colorado native Dominick Leslie has been around live music all his life, having attended his first bluegrass festival when he was just five months old. Growing up he was surrounded by music, listening to and jamming with his dad’s bluegrass band, and thanks to his Dad’s influence, he has been playing instruments since he was old enough to hold one. At the age of four, Dominick acquired a ukulele tuned like the bottom four strings of a guitar, igniting a deep passion for music that still burns brightly. Dominick’s abilities progressed rapidly on guitar, fiddle and mandolin, but eventually the mandolin became his obsession and demanded his total focus.

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Instrument Building Instructors

Instructors

Michael Hornick

Shanti Guitars

Michael Hornick is the builder of Shanti Guitars. After building his first guitar in 1985, he worked at Santa Cruz Guitar Company, and presently works alone in his shop in Missoula, Montana, building about twelve instruments a year. Michael has built the first place guitar prize for the nationally recognized Telluride Troubadour contest from its inception in 1991, and helped design the original mandolin and mandola kits.

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Instructors

Brody Klemer

Brody has been apprenticing under Michael Hornick since March of 2012. Under Michael’s tutelage, Brody is primarily assisting with the guitar building process at the RockyGrass Academy. He has also recently completed his first full-size guitar under Michael’s wing.

Instructors

Chuck Midgley

Chuck has known Michael Hornick since 1992, owns a Shanti guitar, and has assisted Michael with the mando building class since 2002. Each year Chuck produces a mandolin while assisting other students with theirs. In his other life, he is a master mechanic building hot rods in California.

Instructors

Dan Roberts

Daniel Roberts Stringworks

Dan Roberts began his instrument making career with Flatiron Banjo and Mandolin Company in Bozeman, MT. He was production manager for Gibson Montana Division before moving to California as luthier and production manager for Santa Cruz Guitar Company. Dan lived in Santa Cruz for 6 years before moving back to Montana to work for Santa Cruz out of his own shop. There he built the SCGC archtops, did new model design and some prototypes, and was the warranty repairman, service manager, and production manager with the help of an on-site shop foreman.

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Instructors

Bobby Wintringham

San Juan Mandolins

Bobby Wintringham is returning for his sixth year as an instructor at the Academy’s mandolin building experience. He is a full time luthier building San Juan Mandolins in his shop in Dolores, Colorado. Says Bobby, “The only thing more rewarding than building instruments is being able to share that knowledge with others.”

SanJuanMandolins.com