Matt Brown

Musician, Teacher & Producer

Oct
5
11:00 AM11:00

Old-Time Jam Favorites

Learn an exciting version of a standard jam session tune like "Soldier's Joy," "Mississippi Sawyer," or "Forked Deer." Even if you know a version of the tune we choose, you'll likely gain a new insight into variations you can incorporate as well as new bowing ideas. Matt will pay equal attention to the bowing patterns and to the melody. The tune will be taught phrase by phrase in a call-and-response fashion. Recording is highly encouraged. This workshop is recommended for intermediate players with some experience playing in the key of D.

This workshop will be followed by another focused on John Morgan Salyer’s style.

Each workshop is $25. To pay in advance, send your money via Venmo to @mattbrownsdream. Otherwise, payment can be made in cash or via personal check at the workshop(s).


RSVP via the Contact Page to reserve your spot and receive the address for the workshops and/or the jam. The jam is free!

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Oct
5
1:00 PM13:00

John Morgan Salyer's Style

Learn a piece from the repertoire of legendary Kentucky fiddler John Morgan Salyer. Matt will teach Salyer's melody along with a bowing pattern that fully conjures up Salyer's sound. The tune will be taught phrase by phrase in a call-and-response fashion. Recording is highly encouraged. This workshop is recommended for intermediate players and advanced players who are willing to play in standard tuning as well as ADAE and AEAE.

Each workshop is $25. To pay in advance, send your money via Venmo to @mattbrownsdream. Otherwise, payment can be made in cash or via personal check at the workshop(s).

This workshop will be followed by a free old-time jam from 2:30-5pm!


RSVP via the Contact Page to reserve your spot and receive the address for the workshops and/or the jam.

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Oct
19
11:00 AM11:00

Fiddling for Violinists

Learn an old-time fiddle tune by ear (but walk away with sheet music for it). This workshop is geared towards classical musicians who are eager to try their hands at an authentic American square dance tune. Matt is an experienced teacher who grew up learning old-time fiddle and classical violin simultaneously. He has more than a decade experience teaching classical musicians how to play the fiddle.

Click here to register.

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Oct
19
1:00 PM13:00

Old-Time Fiddle: The Stylings of John Morgan Salyer

Learn how to play one of John Salyer's memorable tunes in cross tuning (he referred to cross tunings as "wildcat keys"). You'll spend time on the bowing sequences and emphasis required to conjure up Salyer's sound, so this workshop is best suited for intermediate to advanced fiddlers who are comfortable learning by ear and are able to retune their instrument.

Click here to register.

Exciting news: this workshop will be followed by a free old-time jam (banjos, mandolins, guitars, and basses are all welcome)!!

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Oct
20
10:00 AM10:00

Beyoncé on the Banjo

Ever wondered what one of Beyoncé's songs would sound like when played on the banjo? Let's find out! This workshop is for intermediate to advanced banjoists (either bluegrass or old-time) who are comfortable reading tab, playing basic chords, and are willing to bring and use a capo. Have a request for a particular Beyoncé song? Send Matt a note by October 10 to have your choice considered: mbrown@brownsdream.us

Prerequisites:
Clawhammer 2, Bluegrass 2, Two-Finger 2, or the equivalent

Click here to register.

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Oct
20
11:00 AM11:00

Two-Finger Banjo Intensive

Get a deep dive into the thumb-lead, two-finger banjo style that Matt loves and taught at the Old Town School for seven years. You'll be plucking the strings with your thumb and index finger. No picks required.

This workshop is well suited for those who didn't have a chance to take his two-finger banjo class as well as those who did ~ Matt will have new arrangements to teach. Comfort in G/A tuning as well as double C/double D tuning will make the workshop way more enjoyable. It will also help to know how to slide, hammer-on, and pull-off.

Prerequisites
Clawhammer 1, Bluegrass 1, or Two-Finger 1

Click here to register.

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Oct
20
1:00 PM13:00

Fiddle & Banjo: Paul Warren & Earl Scruggs

Join fiddler Matt Brown and banjoist Andy Malloy to learn the ins and outs of the Paul Warren & Earl Scruggs duet sound. Fiddlers will spend the first portion of the workshop with Matt learning a tune, while the banjoists will hang out with Andy learning the banjo approach, then we'll all play together at the end! Though we'll focus on one particular tune, the concepts addressed will be applicable to any number of fiddle & banjo duets you'd like to try with your favorite duet partner.

Prerequisites
Bluegrass Banjo 3, Fiddle 3

Click here to register.

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Jul
8
to Jul 12

CBMF Bluegrass Kids Camp

The Crested Butte Music Festival Bluegrass Kids Camp is a fun, 5-day music camp in Crested Butte that provides kids (ages 7-14) an amazing experience in bluegrass music education. Students learn to play in a bluegrass band with other students, write songs, and advance their individual skills through instrument break-out sessions. The day camp offers training for first-timers as well as intermediate players. Register here.

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Dec
22
9:00 PM21:00

Big Sadie Country Christmas

We are returning to the Hideout for our second annual Big Sadie Country Christmas. The quartet (fiddle, banjo, guitar, and bass) will be augmented by electric guitar, pedal steel, and drums. This was such a blast last year, I can only imagine it will be even more fun this time!! Come celebrate the cold months with a cheap drink and warm friends! Tickets here or at the door.

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Dec
2
7:00 PM19:00

On Big Shoulders release show

Concocted in 2016 by executive producer Matt Brown as a showcase of Chicago's rich musical history, On Big Shoulders is a grant-funded Americana album Matt co-produced with GRAMMY-nominated producer Liam Davis in the summer of 2017. The album was recorded at I.V. Lab Studios in Chicago and features a dozen of the city's busiest musicians. The core band comprises Steve Dawson (vocals & guitar), Brian Wilkie (pedal steel & guitar), Aaron Smith (bass), and Gerald Dowd (drums), with guest appearances from Elise Bergman (background vocals), Gia Margaret (lead & background vocals), Keely Vasquez (lead & background vocals), Liam Davis (lead vocals), Liz Chidester (background vocals), Anna (trumpet) & Evan (trombone) Jacobson, and Matt Brown (fiddle).

Each song on the album was written by a Chicagoland artist or was previously recorded in Chicago. Repertoire includes "I'm Mississippi Bound" from Grand Ole Opry stars The Delmore Brothers (who recorded in Chicago in 1933), "Heavy Traffic Ahead" from the seminal formation, with Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs, of Bill Monroe & His Blue Grass Boys that recorded in Chicago in 1946, "Shake Your Head" from Barbara Carr's Chess Records output, "Long Tall Mama" from Big Bill Broonzy, "It's Just That Simple" from Wilco, and new songs from Collin Moore, Steve Dawson, and GRAMMY-nominated Chicagoland resident Robbie Fulks (an exclusive commission). This album release concert will feature all of the material from On Big Shoulders as well as a slew of additional songs with notable Chicago connections. Buy tickets here.

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Aug
31
to Sep 3

American Roots Music Program

  • Rocky Ridge Music Center (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

I'm excited to be returning to teach at the American Roots Music Program at Rocky Ridge in beautiful Estes Park, Colorado. In addition to director Stephen Wade, this year's faculty comprises Val Mindel, Chris Walz, Harry Tuft, Mary Flower, Dick Weissman, Larry Edelman, Peggy Browning, yours truly, and Sharon Arms. This is a truly remarkable weekend immersion in traditional music with the ideal student to teacher ratio. Details and registration can be found here.

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Mar
24
8:00 PM20:00

Kaia Kater / Big Sadie at the Old Town School

Join Big Sadie as we share a night of music with Kaia Kater at the Old Town School of Folk Music.  Born of African-Caribbean descent in Québec, Kaia's old-time banjo skills, jazz-fueled voice and deft songcraft have garnered acclaim from Rolling Stone, BBC Music, and No Depression.  Big Sadie is a Chicago-based acoustic band fronted by Elise Bergman (upright bass, vocals) and Collin Moore (guitar, vocals) and featuring yours truly (fiddle) and Andy Malloy (banjo). Learn more and snag your tickets here.

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Mar
14
8:00 PM20:00

Ed Haley Tribute & Old-Time Fiddle Night

I'm playing the Station Inn! Ed Haley's music will be fiddled by Matt Combs, Brittany Haas, Tim O'Brien, Matt Brown, Rayna Gellert, Clelia Stefanini, Tyler Andal, Casy Meikle, and Austin Derryberry, each of whom will be accompanied by the band of Mike Compton, John Fabke, Dan Margolies, and my favorite guitarist, Greg Reish. Snag your tickets at the door or watch online here: https://stationinn.com/event/20180314-ed-haley/

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Dec
17
7:00 PM19:00

Matt Brown & Greg Reish at SPACE

Matt & Greg take their duo sound to SPACE in Evanston, IL, for their first Chicagoland show since selling out their CD release concert at the Old Town School of Folk Music in 2015. They'll play favorites from that album, "Speed of the Plow," as well as a diverse array of hand-picked music from across rural America. For tickets and more, click here.

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Sep
8
to Sep 10

Intermediate/Advanced Old-Time Fiddle Workshop

Matt is teaching a weekend fiddle workshop at the 3rd Annual Sustainability Weekend at Folklore Village. With the backdrop of cultural sustainability unifying the weekend, individual workshops will incorporate traditional knowledge, strategies and DIY tools for sustainable and historic architecture, traditional crafting, healthy eating, and community music making. Click here for more details and registration.

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Sep
1
to Sep 4

American Roots Music Program

  • Rocky Ridge Music Center (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

I'm excited to be returning to Stephen Wade's American Roots Music Program for the second year in a row. Now in its third year, this weekend workshop welcomes singers, banjo pickers, fiddlers, guitarists, and mandolinists—players interested in many facets of roots music. Along with private and group instruction, students learn to craft vocal and instrumental music arrangements of their own. The program probes blues, bluegrass, Cajun and Creole, old-time mountain ballad and song styles, honky-tonk fiddling, and works by newer singer-songwriters and instrumentalists who draw their inspiration from traditional music. Events include a live dance with caller, a banjo seminar, a student and faculty sing-around, and a workshop on Rio Grande fiddle tunes from Native American and Spanish colonial traditions. Details, faculty, and registration can be found here.

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Aug
7
to Aug 11

Fiddle Camp

  • Old Town School of Folk Music (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

Fiddle Camp is a wonderful week-long musical immersion at the Old Town School of Folk Music. The camp is open to kids ages 7-14 who have completed Suzuki Book 1, Old Town School's Advanced Fiddle class, or have received a teacher recommendation. It features old-time and New Mexican fiddling and a Kodály singing class. Details and registration can be found here.

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Jul
5
to Jul 8

15th Annual Midwest Fiddle & Banjo Championship

  • Old Town School of Folk Music (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

The purpose of this contest is to promote the many sounds of fiddle and banjo in the Midwest. It is being organized in the spirit of fun and musical conviviality that accompanied two huge fiddle contests held in Chicago nearly 80 years ago. Players from all traditions are welcome: old-time, bluegrass, Norwegian, Scottish, Irish, Cajun, Mexican, Polish, Swedish, etc. Judging will be done on the basis of musicality. Schedule and registration can be found here. All three days of the contest are free and open to the public. #mfbchamp

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May
19
9:00 PM21:00

Big Sadie album release show

Big Sadie's debut album 'Keep Me Waiting' is coming out on Friday, May 19th. We'll be celebrating with a release show and party at The Hideout. Our good friend Gia Margaret will kick off the evening at 9pm. Grab your tickets here. I invite you to stay connected to the band via FacebookInstagramTwitterBandsintown, and the World Wide Web

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Apr
14
5:30 PM17:30

American Roots Music with Stephen Wade

Members of the American Roots Music faculty host a free workshop at the Old Town School of Folk Music introducing this year's American Roots Music Program that will occur on Labor Day in the Colorado Rockies. The OTSFM's very own Stephen Wade will head up the workshop with the help of teaching artists Matt Brown, Peggy Browning, Maria McCullough and Aaron Smith. We'll learn a little about songs and people that came to life in Stephen's book "The Beautiful Music All Around Us." We'll work on some tunes to get us playing together, and finish with a short presentation highlighting both offerings and activities at the renowned Rocky Ridge Music Center. The workshop will be followed by an old-time jam session.

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Apr
9
4:00 PM16:00

A John Hartford Tribute

Big Sadie shares the bill with Colin O'Brien & Curtis Burch for a tribute to the one and only John Hartford. Show up at 1.30pm for a Hartford style dance workshop! $10 donation for the workshop, concert tickets are $20 for the general public or $15 for seniors & kids. Doors open at 3pm. Click here for info and reservations.

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Mar
19
6:00 PM18:00

Folk Fights Back Chicago: For Immigrants And Refugees

Folk Fights Back is a global musician-led organization that seeks to raise money and awareness for critical issues during the Trump presidency. Our second event, Folk Fights Back for Immigrants and Refugees, will raise money for local organizations that are doing litigation or other support work for refugees and immigrants. These concerts also seek to raise awareness about these critical issues, and will feature representation and information from the non-profits being supported. All proceeds of this Folk Fights Back Chicago show will go to RefugeeOne (refugeeone.org).

RefugeeOne is the largest refugee resettlement agency in Illinois. 
The agency resettles hundreds of refugees from around the world who are fleeing war, persecution, violence, or genocide. Resettlement is often difficult and stressful. To assist, RefugeeOne provides a comprehensive and multi-faceted range of programs that empower newly-arrived refugees with the support and the skills necessary for successfully rebuilding their new lives.

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LINE-UP

Vidar Skrede - Nordic Folk Musician
Tim O'Sullivan
Campeau & Craig
Bubbly Creek Bluegrass Band
George Jackson & Patrik Ahlberg
Spitzer & Mareva
Chris Kimmons
Big Sadie

$20 suggested donation at the door (cash only)

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