Join us in Julian, CA * April 11 - 15, 2017

~ Old Time ~ Bluegrass~ Appalachian ~ Texas Style ~ 

A Family Music Camp

The Julian Family Fiddle Camp (JFFC) is a five-day musical immersion program for people of all ages and musical abilities. JFFC is held each April at a rural family retreat center near the historic mining town of Julian, CA. All meals, instruction and evening concerts are provided for a single fee.

The JFFC experience is a celebration of life. It is as educational as it is social. Lifelong friendships often begin here, with many people returning year after year to enjoy a very special break from their usual day-to-day routine.

Our past camps have set a very high standard. Our instructors are the best of the best – a veritable “who’s who” of the top acoustic string musicians from across North America. JFFC 2017 continues this tradition, and is proud to boast a roster of some of the brightest rising stars in the American “roots” music scene.

Something For Everyone

JFFC honors acoustic music traditions as well as musical innovation. Our 2017 instruction will include classes in Appalachian old-time fiddle and banjo, Texas-style fiddle and backup guitar, bluegrass fiddle, flat-pick and rhythm guitar, swing and bluegrass mandolin, new-age jazz fiddle, Hawaiian and swing ukulele, band dynamics, harmony vocals, and other specialized workshops. As long as you can play a couple of simple tunes on fiddle, mandolin, guitar, banjo or ukulele, we have a class and instructor for you!  People from 8 to 88 come to the Camp, and do so for a variety of reasons. While everyone seeks some fun and instruction, we are particularly sensitive to:

  • The interests of classical musicians seeking more comfort playing “off the page”
  • Young musicians who hope to broaden their skills, interests and repertoires
  • Middle-age and senior instrumentalists who wish to rejuvenate their skills and expand their network of musical friends

Our Instructors

Some of the brightest rising stars in the American roots music scene

Joe K. Walsh - Mandolin

Hailed by CBC-Newfoundland as “one of the best mandolinists of his generation” and by Vintage Guitar Magazine as “brilliant”, Portland, Maine-based mandolin player Joe K. Walsh is known for his exceptional tone and taste, and his collaborations with acoustic music luminaries including legendary fiddler Darol Anger, flatpick guitar hero Scott Nygaard, folk star Jonathan Edwards, and pop/grass darlings Joy Kills Sorrow have taken him all over the global and musical map. He’s played with everyone from John Scofield to Bela Fleck to Emmylou Harris, and performed everywhere from festivals to laundromats to Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium. After a number of award-winning years as mandolinist with bluegrass stars the Gibson Brothers, Joe currently splits his time between an inventive string band called Mr Sun (featuring Darol Anger, Grant Gordy and Ethan Jodziewicz) a duo with Grant Gordy, and his own band. An avid educator, Joe is a mandolin instructor at the Berklee College of Music. He teaches regularly at music camps throughout North America and beyond, and teaches online through Peghead Nation.  

More about Joe
Molly Tuttle- Guitar

A virtuoso multi-instrumentalist and award winning songwriter with a distinctive voice, Molly has turned the heads of even the most seasoned industry professionals. She began performing on stage when she was 11, and recorded her first album, The Old Apple Tree, at age 13. Since then, she’s appeared on A Prairie Home Companion and at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, was featured on the cover of Flatpicking Guitar Magazine, won first place in the prestigious Chris Austin Songwriting Competition at Merlefest, and, last May, graduated from the Berklee College of Music, which she attended on a Hazel Dickens Memorial Scholarship. Her lovely voice, impeccable guitar playing, and sensitive song writing make her a star on the rise. She has already received more than two million YouTube views and has recently released two EP’s with The Goodbye Girls and as a duo with John Mailander. She now makes her home in Nashville and spends time touring, writing and recording. 

More about Molly
John Mailander - Fiddle

San Diego native John Mailander is an acclaimed multi-instrumentalist and graduate of the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. As an accomplished performer, composer, teacher and recording artist, John has become known for his soulful voice on the fiddle, mandolin and various other stringed instruments. John has shared the stage with renowned artists including the Alison Brown Quartet, Victor Wooten, Tim O’Brien and Christopher Guest. He was one of sixteen musicians selected to participate in the Savannah Music Festival’s Acoustic Music Seminar in both 2012 and ’13. John played fiddle in Steve Martin & Edie Brickell’s musical, Bright Star, for it’s premier run in New York. John currently maintains a busy performance schedule with artists including Joe K. Walsh, John Reischman, Molly Tuttle, Tony Trischka, Laurie Lewis, Front Country, Darol Anger and many others. As an instructor, John has taught at events including the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, Augusta Heritage Center Bluegrass Week, CBA Music Camp and Nimblefingers Bluegrass & Old Time Music Workshop. He is a dedicated private instructor, teaching students all over the country in person and over SkypeJohn currently lives in Nashville, TN.


More about John

An Overview

What To Expect At Camp

General Schedule

Registration / Orientation
The camp will kick off with registration, orientation and a welcome dinner. After dinner we’ll have presentations and demonstrations by each of the camp’s instructors followed by a good old-fashioned barn dance led by the region’s preeminent contra dance caller, Martha Wild. Then the instructors will join up with some local acoustic music organizations to host facilitated jams at different locations on the facility.

Classes – Special Topic Tutorials – Master Classes
Music instruction begins after breakfast on Wednesday and continues on through the following Sunday. Thursday, Friday and Saturday schedules include substantive morning and afternoon self-selected group classes, with additional tutorials, master classes, and/or special topic presentations for those interested.  

Hosted Jams / Evening Concerts
Wednesday and Thursday evenings after dinner and post-dinner dance, the instructors will join with local acoustic music organizations for hosted and facilitated jam sessions.  On Friday and Saturday evenings we’ll have formal performances by one or more of the camp’s lead instructors.  While free for all Julian Family Fiddle Campers, the public is invited to purchase tickets to our Friday and Saturday night performances.  

Wrap-up and Julian Flash Jam
Classes will convene promptly after breakfast. Campers will review material then demonstrate what they’ve learned for all attendees. There will be a brief closing ceremony. Then we will convene at Julian’s historic Town Hall for the flash jam – an extremely popular event draws hundreds of jammers from all over, with the local townsfolk and merchants providing a very special Julian welcome.

Special Topics & Tutorials

While music campers will select a primary instructor to study with for the camp’s morning and afternoon classes, there will be additional special topic seminars that each student will be free to attend if they wish.  These topics will vary and may include:


  • Instrument set-up and maintenance

  • Specialized bowing and/or picking techniques

  • Intro to Texas swing 

  • Jam ettiquette 

  • Improvising (playing off the page)

  • Selecting tunes for fiddle competitions

  • Bluegrass “licks” on fiddle, mandolin, guitar and/or banjo

  • Introduction to the Electric Fiddle

  • The “Care & Feeding” of Young Musicians

  • Guitar Backup for contest fiddlers


Music camps attract and cater to students of varying  abilities, with the highly advanced players warranting special attention.  In response, the Julian Family  Fiddle Camp will include special times for select students to participate in master classes as taught by the camp’s lead instructors.   While time and student ability will restrict the number of the students participating in master classes, all campers are free to attend as audience and, through listening and observing, gain as well from the experience.


The Julian Family Fiddle Camp is held at Camp Cedar Glen, an ACA-accredited retreat center and family camp located in Julian, CA.  It offers a variety of accommodations, excellent family-style meals, and is the perfect setting for intimate classes, concerts, dances and jams.

Camp Cedar Glen, is well known for its quality, family-style meals.  The camp’s head cook, Steve Smith,  takes great pride in using only the best ingredients in all camp meals, going to great lengths to secure fresh vegetables and quality meats.  Vegetarian meals are always available, with interest and ability to respond upon adequate notice to most dietary concerns (e.g., diabetics, gluten allergies). Starting off with dinner after Wednesday’s registration and orientation, the camp will include three hearty meals the following three days, with coffee and snacks available around-the-clock.  A full  breakfast will be served the morning of the camp’s last day.  Desserts?  AND HOW! 

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