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.
2021 Yosemite Online Retreat Instructors
Keith Greeninger paints intricate portraits of the human condition with powerful melodic images, deep engaging guitar rhythms and warm heart wrenching vocals. He is a multi award winning singer songwriter and this year’s winner of the prestigious Telluride Troubadour National Song Writing Competition. Is it his deep, textured voice, his rich, engaging songwriting, or his deft yet unpretentious playing? With nothing more than a guitar in hand and a song with a story to tell, Keith can completely captivate an audience. His husky heart-felt vocals and aggressive acoustic guitar style offer more than the standard bill-of-fare for most folk singers and more musicality and sensitivity than today’s average rock band. Keith Greeninger is that rare performer for whom people lean forward in their seats, eager to capture every note and every word. Visit Keith’s website to find out more.
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.
Cosy Sheridan has been called “one of the era’s finest and most thoughtful songwriters.” She 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. She has been on the road ever since. “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.
Her CD My Fence & My Neighbor was in the Top 10 of 2018 on folk radio. Her release Pretty Bird was listed among Sing Out Magazine’s Great CDs of 2014.
She plays a percussive bluesy guitar style backed by the strong rhythms and harmonies of her bass player Charlie Koch. She was a voice student at Berklee College of Music, and a guitar student of legendary finger style players Eric Schoenberg and Guy Van Duser. She has performed at Carnegie Hall, The Cowgirl Hall of Fame and on the Jerry Lewis Telethon.
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.
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 is a musician and educator based in Mariposa, California. 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.
We are very excited to have vocal coach Cheryl Lockett on board at the retreat to help us all get the best out of our voices. Cheryl cultivates, curates and presents an eclectic vision of sound that appeals to a diverse listening audience. The roots music that exemplifies her vocal style is a fusion of modern jazz, vintage blues, classic rock, Afro-Latin and Native American rhythms, with minor key tonality. Her riveting voice and warm style promises any listener an aesthetically pleasing and cohesive composition of music that flows like silk.
Visit Cheryl’s website to find out more
David has been in the sound and music business since 1973 as a 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 Sound Design program for the Yale School of Drama. He is a singer-songwriter plays piano, and plays a bit of guitar.