July Workshops

We’re still missing face-to-face jam sessions and in-person workshops (definitely too soon for us) but there is a silver lining – we can book amazing artists from around the world to lead our online workshops. In a way it’s easier to book a dream line-up who might not all be able to be in the same place at the same time, in person! All workshops will be delivered on the Zoom platform with class sizes limited – more info and ticket links coming soon.

Sunday 4th July, 2pm UK (9am EDT)

Step dance with April Verch

As well as being an exceptional fiddle player, April Verch is also a sensational dancer! JUNO-nominated artist April has recorded numerous albums, toured worldwide for over 20 years and even featured in the Vancouver Winter Olympics opening ceremony, as one of Canada’s most acclaimed fiddlers. Whether performing with her trio the April Verch Band or in her duo with Joe Newberry, the show always includes some of April’s spectacular Ottawa Valley step dancing, a style which originated in the region of Canada where she was born and grew up. We’re absolutely thrilled that April has agreed to teach an hour long class to introduce aspiring step dancers to this style, and she’ll be accompanied by her musician husband and bandmate Cody Walters on banjo. 

Tickets £12 (£9 for U25s/Student/unwaged). Please note 10% booking fee levied by Wegottickets. 

Step dance workshop ticket link

Sunday 4th July, 3pm UK (10am EDT)

Bluegrass banjo with BB Bowness (intermediate & up)

Catherine “BB” Bowness is one of the most exciting players of the 5-string banjo on the contemporary bluegrass scene. Born and raised in New Zealand, BB became the New Zealand School of Music’s first banjo student, studying jazz performance. After relocating to the USA in 2012, she was one of the founding members of the acclaimed band Mile Twelve, formed in 2014 in Boston. Mile Twelve has toured worldwide and released two albums and an EP to date. The band has received many plaudits, including the IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) Band Momentum Award in 2017 and the IBMA’s New Artist of the Year Award in 2020. BB’s outstanding skills as a banjoist have received recognition including a win at the 2015 Freshgrass Banjo contest and as a winner of the prestigious Steve Martin Banjo Prize in 2020. While Mile Twelve has been off the road over the last year, BB has been building her reputation as a sought-after tutor, and we are delighted to have this star of bluegrass teach a workshop for our online festival!

Unfortunately we have had to cancel the banjo workshop & will try to re-schedule in the future

Saturday 10th July, 11am UK (6am EDT!)

Mandolin with Mike Giverin (intermediate & up)

Mike Giverin is the mandolinist and chief songwriter for the wonderful UK band Jaywalkers, who have been wowing European audiences with their blend of Americana, folk and bluegrass for well over a decade. Since reaching the BBC Young Folk Awards finals in 2008, Jaywalkers have cemented their place as one of the most accomplished young bands on the UK acoustic scene, with four albums and many years of touring under their belts. As well as being an outstanding musician and accomplished songwriter, Mike has built an excellent reputation as a popular mandolin tutor, both in-person and online. He’s developed his Mando Mike teaching practice over the last few years, especially since the pandemic put touring on hold. We are really pleased to have Mike join us to run a Zoom workshop for the online festival this July. 

Tickets £12 (£9 for U25s/Student/unwaged). Please note 10% booking fee levied by Wegottickets. 

Mandolin workshop ticket link


Once again, we acknowledge the generous support of Arts Council England who awarded us funding from the Project Grants: Supporting Grassroots Live Music fund to support what was to be our first real-life Yorkshire Americana & Bluegrass Day, originally planned for May 2020. Having postponed for a year due to the pandemic, and with continuing concerns around international tours and indoor gatherings, we have now adapted the event into the #StreamingAcrosstheSea Online Festival, with Arts Council approval. This funding support has been absolutely vital in helping True North Music survive this time of no real-life tours and concerts and adapt to producing online events. It will enable us to pay all our workshop leaders a reasonable guaranteed fee, but we still need to sell a decent number of workshop tickets (and raise donations for the online concerts) to balance the budget. Workshops are an important part of our programming, as we’re passionate about getting people involved and participating. Learning to play different instruments and getting involved in singing and playing with other people have certainly been life-changing for me, and it’s especially important to keep those connections going through these difficult times.