About Jack Hatfield

Jack has written several highly acclaimed banjo instruction books, published by his own company Hatfield Music and for Mel Bay Publications, the largest publisher of stringed instrument instruction books in the world. Jack has been a columnist for Banjo Newsletter since 1976. He wrote the Scruggs Corner column for five years, analyzing the style of the father of bluegrass banjo. The sixty tablatures and analytical comments he wrote while authoring this column still today constitute the largest and most accurate collection of transcriptions of Earl's recordings available anywhere. Jack then wrote the Beginner's Corner column for seven years, and for twelve years authored a column called Concepts and Systems, which attempts to de-mystify music theory, present alternative banjo techniques, discuss difficult and seldom-taught topics such as arranging and composition, and present other "big-picture" concepts relating to music as applied to the five-string banjo.

Besides performing and selling banjo products though Hatfield Music, Jack teaches and directs various banjo workshops and camps. He has taught banjo workshops all over the USA and in Canada, England, Ireland, Scotland and Australia. Jack was on the staff of the very first major banjo camp, the Tennessee Banjo Academy in 1988, and was Bluegrass Director for all three of Banjo Newsletter's Maryland Banjo Academys. He was banjo director of Chuck Stearman's Nashville Academy of Traditional Music at the Opryland Hotel. For fourteen years he has been director of the SPBGMA workshop every February in Nashville (SPBGMA = Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America). The workshop features top name performers, banjo craftsmen and setup specialists, and frequently Banjo Newsletter columnists. The upcoming SPBGMA workshop wlll feature Joe Mullins, Greg Cahill, and Steve Huber as well as Jack. Click below for more information.

To learn about the upcoming SPBGMA workshop February 5th, 2016, click below:


To learn about previous BNL/SPBGMA workshops click below:













When Banjo Newsletter decided to curtail the Maryland Banjo Academy, Jack decided to take up where they left off. In April 2004 he directed his first three-day banjo camp, the Smoky Mountain Banjo Academy. The first SMBA featured renowned artists like Doug Dillard, Larry McNeely, Butch Robins, Leroy Troy, Dan Levenson and Bill Keith, along with many professional teachers, authors and luthiers along with national champs Gary Davis, Sonny Smith and James McKinney. The 2004 SMBA was a big hit with all who attended, so Jack decided to make it an annual event. Since its inception, SMBA has added to the faculty the likes of Tom Adams, Richard Bailey, Kristin Scott-Benson, Jason Burleson,Greg Cahill, Sonny Osborne, Ned Lubereki, Gerald Jones, Jack Hicks, Charlie Cushman, Ken Perlman, Rik Barron, Joe Mullins, Ron Stewart, Terry Baucom, Butch Robins, Leroy Troy, Herb Trotman, Bill Evans, Snuffy Smith, and Sammy Shelor. Many professional teachers, banjo instruction book authors and Banjo Newsletter columnists have also appeared, including Janet Davis, Eddie Collins, Wayne Erbsen, Andy King, John Lawless, Herb Trotman and Ross Nickerson. Acclaimed setup technicians and builders have also been on hand, such as Tom Nechville, Roger Simpson, Snuffy Smith, Dave Ball, Charlie Cushman, Tom Morgan, Marc Smith and Rick Sampson.
Click here for more about Jack Hatfield

SMBA 2014 merged with the huge new Five-String Fest in Lawndale, NC! This is near where Earl Scruggs was born, and seven miles from the new Earl Scruggs Center museum in Shelby NC. Five-String fest featured acts like are J.D.Crowe, Ron Block, Leroy Troy, Dan Levenson, Rob McCoury, Phillip Stienmetz, James McKinney, Kristin Scott-Benson, Tony Furtado, Terry Baucom, Ned Luberecki, Frank Lee, Noam Pikelny, Don Wayne Reno, and this is only half the roster!

Smoky Mountain Banjo Academy 2015 was May 1-3 in Pigeon Forge, TN. Featured instructors/performers:  Kristin Scott-Benson, Tony Ellis, Jason Burleson, Butch Robins, Rex McGee, Jack Hatfield, RenoFest winner/winfield finalist Jason Bales, and national banjo \James McKinney and Sonny Smith.Old time/minstrel: Marc Smith, Dave Ball, Wayne Erbsen. Setup; Nechville, Ronnie Bales, Dave Ball.  More to be announced. The camp is moving to the Hatfield Music Barn on a ridge overlooking Pigeon Forge, adjacent to the Hatfield Music shop. This is closer to all the area tourist attractions...you can hear the Dollywood steam locomotive from the site. Students will stay in nearby hotels and cabins in campground a few hundred yards away. The barn and lot will be the site for classes, concerts and jamming by the campfire in the barn lot. A full tuition plan is offered that includes hotel and meals,or students can purchase "classes and concerts only" admission and fend for themselves for lodging and meals. There are three campgrounds within walking distance of the barn. Accompanying friends or family members can ride the trolley from the barn or the host hotel to all the area attractions. There are miles of hiking trails adjacent to the property. Students and faculty can stay in the host hotel just a few hundred yards from the barn and eat at their choice in hundreds of area restaurants.  Sponsored by Nechville Musical Products, Ome Banjo Company, and Mel Bay Publications, Inc

To learn about the upcoming 2016 Smoky Mountain Banjo Academy and purchase tickets online, click below:

SMBA 2016

To learn about previous Smoky Mountain Banjo Academys click below:

SMBA 2015

SMBA 2014

SMBA 2013

SMBA 2012

SMBA 2010

SMBA 2009

SMBA 2008

SMBA 2007

SMBA 2006

SMBA 2005

SMBA 2004

Thinking of attending the Smoky Mountain Banjo Academy? Take the video tour:

To learn about Jack Hatfield's Northwest Bluegrass Circle Music Society workshop in Edmonton, Albera Canada in 2010, click below:


To learn about Jack's 2004 Austrailian workshop tour, click below:

Australia, 2004

To learn about the Jack Hatfield/Kyle Smith/Gary Davis/John Lawless workshop in 2003, click below:

Smith/Lawless/Davis 2003

Jack Hatfield Workshops Website by KeithOps. E-mail rck@keithops.us.