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The Winter Solstice Concert with Helicon was a big success!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Helicon's 27th Annual Winter Solstice Concert was held a couple of weeks ago and it was an honor joining them on stage for a few tunes. Helicon is comprised of Ken Kolodner (fiddle and hammered dulcimer), Robin Bullock (guitar, mandolin, cittern, and piano) and Chris Norman (flute and pipes). 

Here are a couple of other videos from the show:

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Playing Since: 2010
Experience Level: Purty Good

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Occupation: Musician

Gender: Male
Age: 34

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Created 7/25/2012
Last Visit 1/10/2013

Rooted in the traditions of Appalachian folk music, Brad Kolodner represents the next generation of old-time musicians pushing the boundaries of the tradition into uncharted territory. Regarded for his delicate touch, expressive style, and original compositions, Kolodner has rapidly gained national attention for his unique approach to the banjo at just 22 years of age. He plays a style of banjo common in American old-time music called “Clawhammer.” This highly rhythmic and driving style of banjo playing predated the more widely known “Bluegrass” style. Clawhammer is experiencing a rebirth in American folk music and Kolodner is helping to lead the charge. Son of Ken Kolodner, a world-renowned hammered dulcimer player and old-time fiddler, Brad grew up in a house full of traditional world folk music. Brad began his musical journey at the age of 17 when he first picked up the banjo in the summer of 2007 at a music camp in Maine. Within a couple of years, he began performing regularly with his father throughout the East Coast and competing in regional banjo contests. Perhaps his most notable performance came in 2009 when he performed on the Millenium Stage at the Kennedy Center with his father. The following year, Brad won the prestigious 2010 Old-Time Banjo Festival Contest in Takoma Park, MD, earning a performance slot later that evening at The Birchmere where he opened for banjo legends Tony Trischka, Cathy Fink, and Adam Hurt. That performance became a launching point for Kolodner's career as an old-time musician. Since then, Brad has shared the stage with Robin Bullock, Chris Norman, Billy McComiskey, Elke Baker, Leah Gilmore, the Honey Dewdrops, Joe Herrmann, Richie Stearns, Rosie Newton, Pete Sutherland, John Kirk, Keith Murphy, Becky Tracy, and Caleb Stine just to name a few. In the summer of 2010, Brad and his father Ken completed their first collaborative studio album, Otter Creek, featuring many of Brad’s originals along with traditional old-time tunes. On the recording, Brad played banjo and an instrument called the banjola which is a cross between a banjo and a mandola. Soon after its release, Sing Out! Magazine hailed the album as “a joyous recording featuring two fine musicians who play excellently together. There must be something special to that father-son thing.” The Old Time Herald said, “Father and son have reached that musical telepathy that family members can sometimes achieve. The blend of the hammered dulcimer and banjo is exceptional.” The album later became the most played instrumental album on the American Folk-DJ Radio charts in 2011. The title track, “Otter Creek,” written by Brad, was the most played instrumental track on the Folk-DJ Charts in 2011. Brad has spent the past four years attending Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY. While he did not study music in college, he immersed himself in Ithaca’s vibrant old-time music scene. He frequently attended concerts and jams in Ithaca while simultaneously working on his degree in Television-Radio. He regularly collaborated with musicians in the music school including a performance with the Ithaca College Choir. His senior “thesis” project was a documentary film about a legendary folk music radio show at Cornell University called “Bound for Glory,” a show he and his father have performed on twice. Brad graduated in May 2012 but he plans to follow in his father’s musical footsteps by pursuing a career in music. Besides performing and recording, Kolodner has developed a passion for teaching banjo. He has taught numerous workshops around the country including Common Ground on the Hill (Westminster, MD), the Mountain Arts Gathering (Paul Smiths College, NY), the Maiden Creek Old-Time Festival (Blandon, PA) and the Florence Thomas Arts School in North Carolina. Currently residing in his hometown of Baltimore, Brad teaches private banjo lessons to over a dozen students. While banjo is Brad’s primary instrument, he also sings and performs on the guitar, fiddle, gourd banjo, ukulele, and banjola.

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