9th Annual Julian Family Fiddle Camp | April 15-19, 2020

After thoughtful deliberations between myself, our Program Coordinator, Luke Price, and members of JFFC’s Steering Committee, I made the difficult but necessary decision to cancel Julian Family Fiddle Camp (JFFC) 2020 set for April 15 – 19 at Camp Cedar Glen in Julian, California.  

I know how much JFFC means to everyone, and you can be sure I did not make this decision in haste. The health and safety of music campers, instructors, and concert attendees are – and must be – the top priority.  

As you know, JFFC is held at Camp Cedar Glen, with most attendees sharing rooms in cabins with a common bathroom, and all meals served family style in a community dining hall.  Music instruction is generally in group classes, with the sharing and playing of music necessarily done and enjoyed through close contact with other campers.  While “social distancing” might be an approach to minimizing transmission of a contagious virus, it would be extremely difficult to realize this in our camp situation, and efforts to do so would impede the realization of one of the camp’s main objectives, i.e., the building of new relationships. Out of concern, I have been constantly monitoring the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus disease), and based on the latest guidance from public health officials, the travel bans implemented by a variety of institutions, and the state of emergency declared in California and many other states, it became clear that canceling was undisputedly the right course of action.

I thank the entire acoustic music community for understanding the extreme difficulty of this decision, and appreciate all who have shared time, and made arrangements to attend our 2020 camp.  There is every reason to believe efforts to combat and address the spread of Covid-19 will, in time, be successful, and I fully expect and plan to hold JFFC in April of 2021. 

I thank you for your patience and understanding, and look forward to a great celebration of life through music at JFFC 2021.

R. Avery Ellisman, Founder/Producer/Director

Julian Family Fiddle Camp

Guitar • Mandolin • Vocals • Fiddle • Upright Bass • Cello • Banjo • Dobro


Bluegrass • Appalachian Old-time • Texas Style • Jazz 

(760) 522-8458 or

An Acoustic Music Camp for Individuals & Families

The Julian Family Fiddle Camp (JFFC) is a five-day acoustic music camp 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 2020 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

As long as you can play a couple of simple tunes on fiddle, mandolin, guitar, bass, banjo or cello, we have a class and instructor for you! Our 2020 instruction will include classes in Appalachian old-time, Texas and bluegrass style fiddle; flat-pick and rhythm guitar; swing and bluegrass mandolin; bluegrass and old-time banjo; dobro (resonator guitar); upright bass; cello; band dynamics, harmony vocals, Appalachian flatfoot dance, and many other specialized workshops. 

Julian Family Fiddle Camp honors acoustic music traditions as well as musical innovation. People from 8 to 88 come to the Camp for a variety of reasons. While everyone seeks fun and instruction, we are particularly sensitive to:
• Classical musicians seeking more comfort playing “off the page”
• Young musicians hoping 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


A Family Music Camp

The Julian Family Fiddle Camp knows there’s much to raising good people and fine musicians (yes, in that order). Indeed, in our view, a positive music camp experience is one that stimulates the interest in music by exposing us to musical sub-cultures that exemplify patience and generosity through the sharing of traditional and accessible tunes – an experience that enhances, encourages and represents an ageless participation in a uniquely human celebration. 

While musicians young and old may share their favored tunes, parents and/or chaperones coming to a music camp may have additional things to talk about with others in the same boat. This parental “sharing of notes” is not only inevitable, at JFFC it’s encouraged. Indeed, we make a point of introducing parents to one another, and have built into our program a special time for them, chaperones and interested others to meet and get to know one another. 

Read more about what to expect at Julian Family Fiddle Camp