Education & Engagement

2018 Guitar Weekend 

June 22, 23 & 24, 2018

Back by popular demand - Guitar Weekend returns this coming June!
Here is what we have planned for the 2018 Britt Guitar Weekend...


Guitar Weekend
Schedule and Location:

Workshop location:
ROGUE PERFORMANCE HALL: 130 East 8th Street, RCC Building C, Medford

Dive into a three-day exploration of guitar styles, as seven virtuoso teachers lead students in techniques of flamenco, Americana, finger style, classical, jazz, blues and improvisation. Each day will include three 2-hour sessions, each focusing on one genre.

Learn the following styles:
Bossa Nova/ Improvisation – Ed Dunsavage | Fingerstyle – Vicki Genfan | Improvisation – Page Hamilton | Blues Slide – Michael “Hawkeye” Herman | Americana – Mark Nelson | Ragtime Blues – Terry Robb | Flamenco/ Classical – Grant Ruiz

For Course Descriptions, scroll down to the Faculty Profiles section.

Download the Guitar Weekend Schedule Here

Britt Guitar Faculty Concert
Date: Saturday, June 23 • 7:30 p.m.
Location: Britt Performance Garden
Free with full Guitar Weekend registration
Tickets: $14 - Adults | Free - Students & Children (13 and under)

The Full Weekend Pass is open to all guitarists who are interested in expanding their knowledge of the guitar through the exploration of different styles and genres. The Auditing Pass is recommended for those who have just started to play the guitar or who just want to learn more about the history and literature of the guitar. See the fees listing in the right column of this page for prices.

Appropriate age and skill level: 
  • Age 13 and older
  • Beginner to advanced (limited experience necessary)
What to bring: 
  • Food is not provided, so make arrangements for lunch
  • Water bottle
  • Recording device, if desired
  • Valid student ID (if you registered at the discounted student price)
  • Acoustic guitars are recommended – no amps, please

Guitar Faculty Information:

Click "Read More" to learn more and see a video introduction

Ed Dunsavage

Ed Dunsavage

Course Description: Ed will introduce you to the unique musical style of Bossa Nova that developed in the late 1950’s in Brazil. You will learn about the origins of this music which is a blend of traditional Brazilian rhythms and American jazz harmony and the authentic bossa nova rhythms and chord voicings used by Brazilian greats including Joao Gilberto, Luis Bonfa, Baden Powell and many others. We'll also explore some repertoire from the great composers Antonio Carlo Jobim and Luis Bonfa.

In the improvisation session, Page and Ed will introduce you to the building blocks that will aid you in your quest to be a successful improviser. You'll have an opportunity to work with scales and arpeggio’s and what chords they work with, playing over changes, modal playing, how to expand your knowledge of the fretboard, learning new patterns, rhythmic concepts, developing good practice and listening habits/routines and much more. We'll have plenty of time for jamming in this hands-on session!

Bio: Guitar instructor Ed Dunsavage picked up his first guitar 50 years ago after hearing and seeing the Beatles. He discovered jazz music in high school, majored in jazz performance and composition at Rutgers University, and has devoted much of his career to studying, teaching and performing in many different settings.

He has worked as a professional musician and educator for more than 35 years and has performed at many venues and festivals in the Pacific Northwest including the Upper Sacramento River Jazz Festival, The Medford Jazz Festival, The Newport Oregon Jazz Festival, West Coast Live, The Jazz Project in Bellingham, Washington among others.

Dunsavage is adjunct guitar instructor at Southern Oregon University, where he teaches both classical and jazz guitar styles as well as jazz theory and improvisation. In addition, Dunsavage is artistic director for the Siskiyou Music Project, a nonprofit arts and education organization based in Ashland, Oregon.

Vicki Genfan

Vicki Genfan

Course Description: Continuing down the path of 'alternative' techniques, Vicki will introduce students to some of today's most contemporary​ ​percussive guitartechniques, while tuning and playing together in multiple 'open' tunings. We'll spend some time in each tuning, playing common chord progressions and exploring some simple 'riffs'. You'll have a chance to hear the special features​ ​inherent in these different tunings, and I'm hoping you'll leave the class feeling empowered and excited to explore further on your own! Bring a tuner, an open mind and heart.

Bio: Winning the esteemed Guitar Player Magazine’s ‘Guitar Superstar’ award in 2008, Vicki plays her own percussive technique of 'slap-tap' acoustic guitar, and has been showcased as one of the world’s top guitarists at festivals such as The International Montreal Jazz Festival, Germany’s Open Strings Guitar Festival, Italy’s Soave Guitar Festival and hundreds of venues and Performing Arts Centers across the US and abroad.

In addition to being a dazzling instrumentalist, Vicki is an award-winning singer/songwriter with a high-energy stage presence. Drawing from folk, jazz, pop, soul and world music, whether covering the tunes of others or presenting her own compositions, Vicki’s distinctive style pushes the boundaries of the singer/songwriter genre into new territories.

While hopping between continents for performances, master classes and clinics, Vicki loves teaching and has five Instructional DVDs to her credit and is in high demand at clinics and music camps all over the world. She has two CDs released on Germanys ‘Acoustic Music Records’ and two Self-released CDs.

“If I could play like Vicki, I’d stay home and entertain myself.” - Steve Vai


Page Hamilton

Course Description: In this session, Page and Ed will introduce you to the building blocks that will aid you in your quest to be a successful improviser. You'll have an opportunity to work with scales and arpeggio’s and what chords they work with, playing over changes, modal playing, how to expand your knowledge of the fretboard, learning new patterns, rhythmic concepts, developing good practice and listening habits/routines and much more. We'll have plenty of time for jamming in this hands-on session!

Bio: Page Hamilton (b. 1960) is a composer, guitarist, producer, and the founder / frontman of American hard rock band Helmet. In the mid 1980s, after graduating from the University of Oregon, Hamilton relocated to New York City to complete his Master’s Degree in Jazz Guitar at the Manhattan School of Music. There he joined noise rock band Band of Susans - recording on the band’s 1989 album Love Agenda.

He also spent time in avant-garde composer Glenn Branca’s guitar orchestra, recording on Symphony 6 - Devil Choirs at the Gates of Heaven, before ultimately seeking out other like-minded musicians and forming his own group Helmet.

Helmet has released seven albums over the last 25 years, including 1992’s Meantime which was certified Gold and earned a Grammy nomination. The band has also contributed music to a number of films including Johnny Mnemonic, The Crow, Feeling Minnesota, The Jerky Boys, Gun Crazy and Judgement Night (a collaboration with hip hop group House of Pain). Helmet continues to record and perform live all over the world.

In addition to his work in Helmet, Hamilton has done a significant amount of work as a guitarist - playing lead guitar for David Bowie on The Hours tour, performing on Joe Henry’s album Trampoline, and lending his talents to Elliot Goldenthal’s guitar-based score for the film Heat (Al Pacino, Robert De Niro). Hamilton also played on subsequent Goldenthal scores for the films S.W.A.T., Titus, The Good Thief (w/ Bono), Across the Universe, and The Tempest. In addition to playing guitar on various scores, Hamilton has composed original scores of his own - beginning with 1997’s Chicago Cab and, more recently for a series of independent action films: Skyhook, The Phoenix Rises, Sons of Liberty, and Convergence

Over the last year and a half Hamilton played guitar on the debut album by Lieutenant - a new project from Nate Mendel (Foo Fighters) and recorded with New York jazz / electronica band M’lumbo for a soon to be released album. He also appeared as a featured artist on Linkin Park’s 2014 album The Hunting Party, playing guitar and providing vocals on the song “All For Nothing.”

In 2005, Hamilton produced Distort Yourself, the debut album from Gavin Rossdale’s band Institute. He also produced records for a number of other bands including Bullets And Octane, Classic Case, and Rescue Rangers, to name a few.

Hamilton continues to perform live in orchestral settings as well. In 2015, he was invited by Elliot Goldenthal to perform the score from the film The Tempest with the Beethoven Academy Orchestra at The Film Music Festival in Krakow. Later in the year, he performed at the 2015 Britt Festival near his hometown of Medford, Oregon: as soloist for Mason Bates’ Mothership and as a guitarist in the Britt Orchestra’s all-Bernstein program conducted by Teddy Abrams.

Hawkeye Herman

Hawkeye Herman

Course Description: Learn to express yourself freely & creatively on blues slide guitar. In this class you'll learn blues slide guitar techniques that will allow you to comfortably play with confidence, originality, and satisfaction. Hawkeye will help you to gain understanding & skills that will expand your playing and personal creativity for years to come.

Bio: With over 50 years of performing experience, Michael "Hawkeye" Herman exemplifies the range of possibilities in acoustic blues, and personifies versatile musicianship, originality, and compelling artistry as a blues storyteller.

His dynamic performances have won him a faithful following, and he leads a very active touring schedule of performances at festivals, concerts, school programs, and workshops. Hawkeye performs a wide variety of traditional blues, ballads, swing, and original tunes, on six-string and twelve-string guitar, and is an adept and exciting practitioner of slide guitar and slide mandolin. His music has been included in video documentaries and in three hit theatrical productions, and his solo CD, Blues Alive!, released in 1998, was greeted by rave reviews and greatly increased the demand for his live performances at major blues and folk festivals. His newest CD, It's All Blues To Me!, was released in May of 2005.

Hawkeye was born in Davenport, IA, on January 11th, 1945. As a teenager, he discovered a broad variety of blues music in late night radio broadcasts from Memphis, Shreveport, Dallas, New Orleans, Little Rock, Chicago, Detroit, and other points beyond the Iowa/Illinois Quad Cities, in the upper Mississippi River Valley area where he was growing up. Hawkeye got his first guitar in 1959, at the age of fourteen, and was performing two years later. Seeking to broaden his musical horizons, he relocated in the San Francisco Bay area in 1968. He sought out, and learned at the feet of many icons of the blues, including: Son House, Brownie McGhee, Bukka White, Mance Lipscomb, Furry Lewis, Lightin' Hopkins, John Jackson, K.C. Douglas, and Sam Chatmon. He became a staple in the Bay Area blues scene as both a solo artist and a back-up guitarist and worked with Charles Brown, Haskell "Cool Papa" Sadler, Sonny Rhodes, Jimmy McCracklin, Buddy Ace, Charles Houf, Little Joe Blue, Boogie Jake, and many others.

Hawkeye began touring outside of California in 1984, and has performed at blues and folk festivals, and in concert, across the US/Canada and Europe. His dynamic performances have won him a faithful following and he leads a very active touring schedule. Hawkeye performs a wide variety of traditional blues, ballads, swing, and original tunes, on six-string and twelve-string guitar, and is an adept and exciting practitioner of slide guitar and slide mandolin. His 1989 album, Everyday Living, featuring Charles Brown and Cool Papa, received much critical acclaim. His song, The Great Flood of '93, has been used on the sound-tracks of two video documentaries on that Midwest disaster, and has been included in a compact disc anthology of singer/songwriters produced by the New York based music magazine, Fast Folk.

Terry Robb

Terry Robb

Course Description: W​e will be​ ex​amining​ the style of Blind Blake, Gary Davis and other​ Ragtime guitarists through traditional chord progressions and fingerstyle techniques. Terry will also delve into the alternating thumb work of folks like John Hurt and how it was used by players like Merle Travis​.​

Bio: Terry Robb is one of the top acoustic blues guitarists of our time. His signature fingerpicking style has earned him international acclaim from worldwide audiences, music critics and his distinguished peers. Incorporating elements from the Mississippi Delta music tradition, ragtime, country, swing and free jazz,& Robb has built a unique blues sound that has made him a legend in his prolific music career spanning more than four decades.

The multitude of awards Terry Robb has received speak to his seminal talent as a blues guitarist. Robb has been inducted into both the Oregon Music Hall of Fame and the Cascade Blues Association Hall of Fame. He single-handedly defined the Muddy Award for Best Acoustic Guitar, winning the honor 19 consecutive years from 1992 until 2011. Upon his retirement from the competition in 2011, the award was renamed the “Terry Robb” Best Acoustic Guitar Muddy Award to honor his landmark contributions to blues music. In 2017, he received the “Paul deLay” Muddy Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Robb was born in British Columbia, raised in the United States and currently resides in Portland, Oregon. He achieved greatness at an early age, performing with Ramblin’ Rex of Frank Zappa / Captain Beefheart fame, Canned Heat’s Henry Vestine, and steel­ string guitar icon John Fahey. At age twenty-four, Robb produced and played accompaniment on Fahey’s album “Let Go,” which garnered a four-star review by Rolling Stone and led to numerous subsequent collaborations for which Robb served as Fahey’s producer and session guitarist.

As an acclaimed producer and session guitarist, Robb has contributed to many award-winning projects. He produced Alice Stuart’s album “Can’t Find No Heaven,” nominated for Grammy and W.C. Handy awards. With more than 15 releases under his name, Robb’s recordings feature collaborations with John Fahey, Eddy Clearwater, Maria Muldaur, Ike Willis, Curtis Salgado, and Glen Moore. He has toured nationally with Buddy Guy and Steve Miller, performed on NBC’s “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” and shared the stage with B.B. King, Albert Lee, Joe Cocker, Bo Diddley, Robert Cray, George Thorogood, Leo Kottke, Rick Wakeman and many more all-stars.


Mark Nelson

Course Description: The Carter Family - A.P. Carter, his wife Sara and sister-in-law Maybelle- were America’s first country music superstars. Between 1927 and 1956 they recorded hundreds of songs, many of which have become classics. Maybelle’s distinctive lead & rhythm style — the “church lick” — and her masterful finger picking has influenced generations of folk, country and bluegrass guitarists. ​Mark will also introduce you to some other influential players like Elizabeth “Libba" Cotten and Mississippi John Hurt.

Bio: During a career that started well before he could drive, Mark Nelson has picked up music from places as far afield as the South Pacific, the Irish Sea and Alta California. A gifted multi-instrumentalist, he is equally at home in a wide variety of traditional music settings and a number of interesting folk instruments.

Mark began playing guitar at the tender age of 12 by copping licks from records: Mississippi John Hurt, Mance Lipscome, Woody Guthrie, Jimmy Reed, and Dick Dale, among many others. Since then he’s branched out into a bewildering array of guitar styles–everything from Celtic to Hawaiian Slack Key, Western Swing, Jug Band, and old time American flat- and finger-picking.

He won the 1979 National Championships on the Appalachian Dulcimer and has released numerous recordings and instruction books for that instrument, as well as guitar and ukulele. He’s performed just about anywhere you can fit a stage and taught at workshops and music camps on three continents and quite a few islands.

He once worked as a banjo-playing gorilla in Dublin, but that’s another story….


Grant Ruiz

Course Description: Classical guitar technique has much to offer for improving efficiency, stamina, speed, and health. You will learn a general approach for both the left and the right hand, as well as specific ideas that will help you build all of these qualities as you develop your own uniqueguitar style.

Flamenco is known for its driving rhythms and sudden breaks, with the guitar moving in lock step with fiery footwork and soulful singing. Grant will show you the four rhythm families of flamenco, including the “Mother of Flamenco.” In the process, you will learn strong right hand strumming techniques along with the keys to understanding the vast majority of world rhythms. Prepare to get your groove on, Flamenco style!

Bio: The son of a bebop saxophonist, Grant Ruiz has played classical guitar since he was 10 years old. After studying flamenco in Spain and with several renowned artists in the U.S., he became an active performer and teacher in southern Oregon.

He has performed in several productions at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and has been a member of Amor Flamenco, Alba Flamenca, the Dark Rose Trio and currently Dúo Flamenco with percussionist Terry Longshore. He is an adjunct guitar instructor at Southern Oregon University and is on the Board of Directors of the Jefferson Classical Guitar Society, currently serving as president.  


For more information contact Britt Education Director Kay Hilton at