Mandolin and Guitar
Jim is originally from Montevallo, AL, where he grew up playing guitar and writing songs that told the true stories he heard from his parents’ rural upbringing. He learned music theory during six years of band, where he performed on trombone with marching, concert, brass choir, and jazz bands as first chair.
Having always loved the sound of the mandolin, Jim added it to his repertoire in 2006 and founded the bluegrass band The Grassifieds. In their time together, The Grassifieds have won numerous awards from fiddlers’ conventions in North Carolina and Virginia and have performed all over the Southeast – including appearances in the MerleFest outreach program in 2014 and 2015. Jim is an award-winning mandolinist with a passion for the traditional mountain music of the Appalachians. His original songs resonate the same messages that make bluegrass such a uniquely American genre.
Jim will be teaching bluegrass mandolin and flatpicking guitar using a combination of sheet music and tablature to communicate the songs, which will be memorized and then personalized by the student. Students will learn to play as part of a “virtual” bluegrass band, preparing them to enjoy jam circles if they choose. In the process, each student will learn a wealth of music theory that will equip them to not only perform on their selected instrument, but to learn any additional instrument more easily.