Ken Perlman
Superb instrumentalist, acclaimed teacher of instrumental skills, gifted performer, award-winning folklorist, browse around this web-site Ken Perlman is surely a welcome addition to any festival or concert-series lineup. Ken is both a pioneer of the 5-string banjo style known as “melodic clawhammer” and a master of fingerstyle guitar. He is considered one of the top clawhammer players in the world, known in particular for his skillful adaptations of Celtic tunes to the style. On guitar, Ken’s sparkling finger-picked renditions of traditional Celtic and Southern fiddle tunes are simply not to be missed. Read more about Ken…


Ken’s fifth season of live instructional clawhammer banjo workshops on Zoom coming up next Fall

Tuition is just $25 for each 90 minute Zoom workshop. Click a topic title below to learn more and sign up…

  • Check back next September for an announcement with the topics of Ken’s next banjo clinics

Clawhammer Clinic Encore Collection

Couldn’t make Ken’s clinic on any of the following topics? No worries! You can obtain a copy of each complete video presentation, along with tabs for all tunes, exercises and musical illustrations.

http://californiawithkids.com/news/201305070246/kyoto-protocol-what-has-it-achieved-infographic/ Special Deal

Order any three topics through this website, and get a fourth title free. Simply email Ken with the name of your fourth topic, and he’ll send you all four at once.

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Suwannee Banjo Camp
Cerveny Conference Center, Live Oak, Florida
Dates for Next Camp: March 14-17, 2024
Now Open for Registration!
Click here for more details
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Midwest Banjo Camp
Location:
Manchester University
(North Manchester, Indiana)
Dates: June 6-9, 2024

Click here for more details

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American Banjo Camp
Port Orchard, Washington
September 5-8, 2024

Click here for more details

Ken directs or co-directs these three annual banjo camps. Be with us for classes, jams, concerts, and smiles!

  ∇  Announcements   

Ken’s Most Recent “Deering Live” Interview

Deering Live is a live stream video series presented by Deering Banjos which features hour long interviews with prominent banjoists. Ken was recentyly interviewed a second time, this time the focus was on collecting tunes on Prince Edward Island and Cape Breton, and translating them to banjo. The occassion was the publication of Ken’s new book, Cape Breton & Prince Edward Island Fiddle Tunes for Clawhammer Banjo (Mel Bay). Click to catch the interview on the Deering website or on on YouTube.

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Listen to Ken’s Interview on the Kitchen Party Ceilidh radio show

Ken was interviewed recently by host David Baghdad on his radio show, Kitchen Party Ceilidh, broadcast on station WICR, Indianapolis. The interview focuses on collecting tunes, arranging tunes effectively for banjo, and the creation of Ken’s new book, “Cape Breton & Prince Edward Island Fiddle Tunes for Clawhammer Banjo.” David also plays more than half a dozen cuts from Ken’s recordings that feature tunes notated in the book. Here are two ways to hear the entire interview.

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Announcing Ken’s Latest Book: “Cape Breton & Prince Edward Island Fiddle Tunes for Clawhammer Banjo”

Here’s announcing the publication of my latest instruction book, Cape Breton & Prince Edward Island Tunes for Clawhammer Banjo (Mel Bay publications). It features 136 tunes collected directly from master fiddlers and skillfully arranged note-for-note for clawhammer banjo. For more details, or to order click on the links below.

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Catch Ken’s Appearance on Deering Live via Youtube!!

Did You Miss Ken’s Recent Appearance on Deering Live? Catch It Now on Youtube!!

Deering Live is a live stream video series presented by Deering Banjos which features hour long interviews with prominent banjoists. On Thurs. Jan. 13, it was Ken’s turn!! If you missed it live, you can still check out the whole thing on YouTube. Just click on this link.

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New Ken Perlman Channel Now on Youtube

I’ve just recently launched the Ken Perlman YouTube Channel featuring videos of my performances and some banjo instruction, too. The channel features recently made videos, of course, but I’ve also “harvested” a few dozen videos from years past that other folks have previously posted on YouTube. I even managed to find maybe a couple of dozen videos featuring the late great Appalachian style fiddler Alan Jabbour and me in concert.

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Now Offering Online Banjo Clinics

Ken offers his third season of live instructional clawhammer banjo workshops on Zoom

Tuition is just $25 for each 90 minute Zoom workshop. Click a topic title below to learn more and sign up…

  • Monday May 6, 2024, 7:30-9:00 PM Eastern. Learn some Tunes from Ken’s New Book, Cape Breton & Prince Edward Island Fiddle Tunes for Clawhammer Banjo
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The PEI Traditional Fiddling Website, Bowing Down Home Now Online

The PEI Traditional Fiddling Website (known as Bowing Down Home), based on the field recordings Ken collected in 1991-92 and 2006 is now online. There are well over 1500 musical selections and 400 oral history selections available on the site, hundreds of photographs and video clips, and a host of expository materials. Bowing Down Home is hosted by the Robertson Library at the University of Prince Edward Island in Charlottetown and was constructed by Rosie Lefaive and a team at Robertson under the leadership of Mark Leggott using a state of the art program called Islandora, which was pioneered at UPEI under Mark’s direction. Check it out at bowingdownhome.ca.

  ∇  Milestones   

Ken Interviewed in “Making Music Magazine”

Ken was just interviewed for Making Music Magazine. The piece is accompanied by a 15-minute video in which Ken demonstrates how to master the arts of drop-and-double-thumbing. View the interview here.

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Ken Interviewed in “Clawhammer Rules”

Ken was just interviewed by moderator Martha Yakovleff Stone for the Facebook group, “Clawhammer Rules.”  Read it here. . .

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Ken Interviewed on CBC Charlottetown, PEI on “Frails & Frolics” CD

Ken was recently interviewed on the afternoon-drive Mainstreet Show by host Angela Walker on March 5, 2018. In a 15-minute segment, Ken talks about the background of his interest in Prince Edward Island fiddling and describes some of the challenges of putting the Frails and Frolics project together. Angela also play a couple of cuts from the recording. Listen to the Mainstreet Show interview.

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Read This Great Review of Frails & Frolics from Bluegrass Unlimited…

Ken Recently Featured on the Cover of the British Mag BMG (BanjoMandolinGuitar)

In the Summer 2018 issue of BMG; Ken is featured in a biographical cover story and there’s a very nice review indeed of Frails & Frolics:

Ken Perlman plays an astonishing selection of tunes which any self-respecting clawhammer player knows are impossible to play on the banjo. That is to say, Perlman is obviously a wizard, using spells and incantations to conjure up these tunes which are too difficult for the average player to contemplate and yet he dashes them off with verve, joie de vivre and above all, great musicality.

About BMG: BanjoMandolinGuitar is the world’s oldest fretted instrument magazine, founded in 1903 by British banjo builder Clifford Essex; it has subscribers all over the world.

Ken Honored at “Clifftop”

Ken judged the old-time banjo contest and “neo-traditional” band contest for the second time this past August at the Appalachian String Band Festival, popularly known as “Clifftop.” In 2017, Ken was asked to give a Masters’ Showcase at Clifftop. According to organizer Bobby Taylor, these Masters’ events are set up to “showcase the legends who have dedicated their lives to the preservation and presentation of old-time music.”

Ken Toured with Fiddler Bobby Taylor in Kentucky & Tennessee: March 2017

Ken and renowned West Virginia fiddler Bobby Taylor toured together as a duo in March 2017 in Kentucky & Tennessee. Bobby “apprenticed” with roots legend Clark Kessinger, is considered one of the finest old-time fiddlers around, and is a founder of the Appalachian String Band Festival (commonly known as “Clifftop”). On the itinerary were East Tennessee State University, Union College, Middle Tennessee State and a music school called Fiddle & Pick.

New Honors For Ken

  • Ken was awarded a Masters’ Showcase at the 2017 Appalachian String Band Festival, popularly known as “Clifftop”.  According to organizer Bobby Taylor, these Masters’ events are set up to “showcase the legends who have dedicated their lives to the preservation and presentation of old-time music.”
  • Ken has a selection featured on a new anthology called Classic Banjo from Smithsonian Folkways. Since the CD also features the likes of Pete Seeger, Mike Seeger, Hobart Smith, Wade Ward, Dock Boggs, Rufus Crisp, and Roscoe Holcomb (not to mention such contemporary bluegrass wizards as Bill Keith and Tony Trischka), this is quite an honor.
  • Ken’s book, Advanced Fingerstyle Guitar, was included in a book by Shawn Persinger called The 50 Greatest Guitar Books (Quixotic Music Co.).

Tribute To Pete Seeger

The acoustic music world lost a giant a few years ago with the passing of Pete Seeger. Read Ken’s eulogy and his two-part interview of Pete from September and October 2000 on the Banjo Newsletter website.