At the Yosemite Songwriting Retreat, we chose instructors that are not only great musicians but also gifted educators. These individuals bring diverse skills and perspectives to teach practical skills through stimulating curriculum. Previous instructors include Laura Love, Eliza Gilkyson, Laurie Lewis, Peter Rowan, Terri Roche and Joe Craven.

Spring 2022 Instructors

Reggie HarrisReggie Harris

A 2021 winner of both the Spirit of Folk Award from Folk Alliance International and the Great Barrington W.E.B. Du Bois Legacy Award, Reggie Harris is an internationally renowned songwriter, song leader and performer of great flexibility and passion. A world-renowned educator and story teller, Reggie is a creative interpreter of song from the African American spirituals that grounded his understanding of how song builds language, resilience and narrative and how music informs in its ability to give voice and power to transformation.

Reggie writes comfortably from the topical to the personal. His songs “High Over the Hudson” and “Roll On Woody” are recognized around the world as two of the most loved tributes to folk icons Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie. And his stunning song “Hickory Hill” featured in 2020 on CNN’s podcast “Silence is Not An Option” with Don Lemon and in the New York Times is a stunning retelling of his true life experience regarding a 2012 visit to chronicle his connection to slavery as a great-great-great grandson to his ancestor Bibhanna Hewlett and her master Confederate General Williams Carter Wickham.

Reggie’s 2018 CD “Ready To Go” was a top 30 choice for 5 months and voted a #5 CD of the year, with the title song as #1 song for May. His follow up “On Solid Ground” has continued that legacy with 8 new originals showing great versatility of style and context including “It’s Who We Are” which was the #1 song in May 2021.

He is teaching artist in the Kennedy Center’s CETA program (Changing Education Through the Arts) and serves as Co-President and Director of Music Education for the Living Legacy Project, an advocacy group that sponsors Civil Rights pilgrimages throughout the South. He can be reached at www.ReggieHarrisMusic.com and booked through www.loydartists.com.

Cosy SheridanCosy Sheridan

Cosy Sheridan first appeared on the national folk scene in 1992 when she won the songwriting contests at The Kerrville Folk Festival and The Telluride Bluegrass Festival and released her critically acclaimed CD Quietly Led. The Boston Globe dubbed her “one of the best new singer-songwriters in the United States.” 

She is a veteran touring performer of folk concert halls and coffeehouses from Boston to Seattle.  “You can’t make it into double digits, and continue touring for twenty or so years, unless you know what you’re doing, and do it well,” wrote The Chicago Examiner.

She learned guitar when she was nine years old from her babysitter using  an old guitar she found under the family piano. She was a voice student at The Berklee School of music and a guitar student of legendary fingerstyle guitarists Eric Schoenberg and Guy Van Duser. Her recordings regularly chart in the Top 10 on folk radio. Her video of  My Fence & My Neighbor  was an internet sensation receiving more than 35,000 views. Pretty Bird was listed among Sing Out Magazine’s Great CDs of 2014.

Cosy teaches classes in songwriting, performance and guitar at workshops and adult music camps across the country. She is the director of Moab Folk Camp in Moab, Utah.  Visit Cosy’s website to find out more.

Joe Craven Talkin'Joe Craven

An award-winning educator for over 30 years, he has presented at well over 500 schools, universities, civic and community groups. Joe has paneled at the American String Teacher’s Association and he is a keynote clinician at a wide variety of music retreats and school residencies. He is Executive Director of RiverTunes and Vocali Music Camps in California and he’s been a Master of Ceremonies at a variety of events, notably Delfest, Hangtown, Grand Targhee and Telluride Bluegrass.

Whether presenting to communities in Costa Rica, corporate heads in Contra Costa, Goodwill Industries, The United Way, young men in juvenile detention centers, families in homeless shelters, a university lecture in Washington, jamming with Gnawa musicians in Morocco, on stage at Carnegie Hall with Stephane Grappelli, or at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall in Scotland balanced on a 12 foot ladder singing with an angel food cake pan in front of thousands of school kids …no matter who and what Joe’s connected with, he’s at home and loving every minute. ‘Everything Joe touches turns to music,’ says mandolinist David Grisman, with whom Joe played for almost 17 years. Find out more at Joe’s website.

Teresa TuduryTeresa Tudury

Teresa Tudury started writing songs at age 12 and was performing in San Francisco nightclubs by the time she was 15. She has played on and off in the Bay Area for years, and for almost two decades was based in Los Angeles where in addition to music gigs, she wrote comedy and worked as a character actress on stage and screen.

With a deep, sultry voice that magnetizes audiences, and a scathing comedic wit to match, Teresa is a consummate performer who pours out her original songs with power, verve, passion, and disarming humor. Teresa’s voice has been described as a cross between Bette Midler and Bonnie Raitt (LA Weekly). Her vocal stylings are perfectly complemented by her bluesy guitar playing.

Throughout her career, Teresa has recorded or performed with such greats as Leonard Cohen, Rickie Lee Jones, Lyle Lovett, Taj Mahal, Leo Kottke, Charlie Musselwhite and Bonnie Bramlett. Now residing in Sonoma County, Teresa continues to perform and write new material. She has just released Such Fine Things, her latest CD. Her earlier recordings (1992 Teresa Tudury, and the 2002 River Of Life). were recently rereleased. With these recordings and a steady stream of concert appearances, Teresa is a gifted artist in her prime.

Matthew SuttorMatthew Suttor

Can you teach creativity? Matthew Suttor’s research into this question draws on over twenty years of experience in classrooms and rehearsal rooms at Yale University, where he is Professor in the Practice of Sound Design and Director of the Beechman Center for Theatrical Sound and Music. Matthew’s operas, theatre, and dance works frequently combine electronics with acoustic forces. His music has been presented at Bard, BAM, and the Guggenheim in the United States and internationally at the New Zealand Festival of the Arts and the Mozart Prague Festival. A Fulbright Scholar, Matthew received a doctorate in composition from Columbia University.

Matthew Suttor Creativity Bibliography

gail_dreifusGail Dreifus

Gail Dreifus bought her first guitar at“Goodwill” at the age of 14 and has been writing songs since she could string a series of basic chords together. Starting with songs of protest and heartfelt love songs, Gail also writes about nature and history. Inspired by  living in YosemiteNational Park, she developed a program of original songs  about the park which has been performed for over 25 years for children and their guardians. Her songs are catchy, appealing and it is surprising  to note how much information is incorporated in the lyrics.

Gail has  produced seven CDs for National Parks across the United States and has  performed them with her children’s band, “Recycled String Band.” This  band was formed in 1990, and continues to delight audiences with songs about nature and ecology. Her writing credits include an award from the  National Park Service in Washington, DC for her musical Interpretation and  presentation of national parks and monuments.  Gail has performed at  conventions, libraries, schools, museums, radio and television and for her  students.  She teaches English and History in a one-room school in El  Portal, CA. Aside from writing and performing children’s music, Gail is part of Meltwater Bridge Band, which performs Gail’s original music throughout California. Find out more at Gail’s website.

Adam Burns Small

Adam Burns

Adam Burns is a musician and educator based in Mariposa, California. He performs as a solo artist and also as guitarist and beat maker in Little Tiger. Adam draws on art rock, post-punk and new wave influences to create dynamic and melodic songs full of rich imagery and wry humor. His lyrics celebrate the strange and magical things that thrive beneath the surface of everyday life in a world where superheroes, witches and arsonists rub shoulders with bored housewives and small town hustlers. His dynamic and agile guitar playing beautifully compliments his gritty vocal style.

In 2010, Adam launched the Beat Harvest music education program with a mission to inspire people to make music and teach them the skills they need to do so. In his teaching, Adam focuses on unleashing creative potential and collaboration with other musicians. His goal is to teach his students not only to play their instrument, but also how to use music to express themselves and build community.

Visit Adam’s website to find out more.

david-budriesDavid Budries

David has been in the sound and music business since 1973 as sound engineer, sound designer, music producer, business owner, and teacher. He established and ran the Music Production program for the Hartt School, University of Hartford, and the Graduate Sound Design program for the Yale School of Drama. He writes songs, sings, plays piano and a bit of guitar.