What's a long-time folkie, a "pre-boomer" more at home with a century-old mandolin than an iMac, doing on the web? Well, I hope to give you an introduction to my music, a current performance calendar, a few bits of bio, an opportunity to write me or even book me, plus the odd morsel of miscellany. Oddly enough, one of the things I've always loved about folk music, in the 40-plus years I've been playing it, is its intimacy — the lack of distance between performer and audience. Here, in the paradoxical one-on-one closeness of our impersonal electronic community, we can talk directly.

I play folk music — American traditional, Celtic instrumental, a bit of Yiddish, blues, bluegrass, old timey, and contemporary. With varying degrees of expertise, I handle guitar, banjo, mandolins of all sizes, Autoharp, English concertina, harmonica, bass (acoustic and electric), Dobro, Appalachian dulcimer, ukulele, and other odd instruments from tiple to kalimba. I perform in a variety of groups, and coordinate performances by many of my musical friends. I've participated in over a dozen recordings, played many a concert, coffeehouse and regional festival. I put together theme programs, historical and contemporary, and work frequently with special audiences — kids, seniors, etc. I work mostly out of Rochester NY, occasionally elsewhere in the Northeast. I love choruses, sing-arounds, swapping songs, backing up singers, and late-night jams.

Here are some of the specific things I can offer:

Love and Knishes
A trio with award-winning singer-songwriter Bonnie Abrams and Eastman-trained violinist Glenna Chance, presenting music from the Jewish tradition in Yiddish and English, as well as Bonnie's original material. MP3's of the group's music included!
A quartet specializing in Celtic instrumental music on mandolin, accordian, hammered dulcimer, guitar, and concertina. MP3's of the group's music included!
Barbara Jablonski & Allen Hopkins
Performing programs of American traditional music in schools, libraries, museums and historical societies.
Special Programs
Musical programs from our past and our present; songs for special audiences — kids, seniors, et al.
Flint Hill Folk
Organized to provide folk music for Genesee Country Village, FHF perform 19th century music in period costume on restored instruments. MP3's of the group's music included!

For info, updates, and booking call (585) 482-6062 or e-mail

  • WEB SITE FEATURES include MP3 samples of Love & Knishes, Innisfree, and Flint Hill Folk on their pages; also there's a Booking Form if you'd like to set up a gig — thanx as always to Webmeister Pete Hopkins for his expertise...
  • Well into 2016 now, and the activity level remains high — seniors' jobs, historical societies, coffeehouses, a "winter wonderland" of acoustic music; if you'd like to stay au courant with my musical comings and goings, you can click on theBooking Form page, and sign up for weekly e-mail updates, and/or periodic schedule postcards...
  • The seventh year of Tunes By the Tracks is well underway, with twice-monthly shows at the Clifton Springs Library, and Jim Clare, Cathy McGrath and I acting as co-hosts; next up are Rochester Celtic legends the Dady Brothers February 3, and the folk-gospel duo of Leslie Lee & Steve Gretz February 17...
  • I've developed great respect for Coffee Connection, a local organization that offers employment to women recovering from addiction, or just out of the criminal justice system, putting ideals into action; one of their projects is the Greenhouse Cafe on East Main, where I was featured at their First Friday music and art evening Friday, December 4, and will return Friday, February 12, along with songwriter Olivia Fontana...
  • One of the things I most enjoy about music is performing history-themed programs, generally in costume and using restored period instruments, for schools, libraries and historical societles; I'm already booked for several in 2016, including Railroad Songs at the Wheatland Historical Association February 18, the Ogden Historical Society May 15, and the Cattaraugus County Museum August 11...
  • Enjoyed playing some "socially relevant, progressive, and sometimes downright radical" numbers at the Metro Justice Alternative Fair December 11; this was the 34th iteration of this worthwhile event, and I bet I've played at half of them....
  • Traditional Music & Dance Camp, "TradMaD" for short, at Pinewoods Camp near Plymouth MA, was a wonderful August experience; I taught a harmonica class, led jams and sing-arounds, and put on a few pounds, unfortunately, in the generous dining hall — TradMaD returns August 27 - September 2 next year...
  • Got my acceptance for the 2016 New England Folk Festival (NEFFA), scheduled for next April 15-17; as I have for 20-plus years, I'll be leading workshops — Erie Canal Songs and the Closing Sing-Around, as well as sitting in with other friends, like Autoharp genius Drew Smith...
  • One of my pleasant NEFFA memories is this 2012 "Both Sides Of the Pond" showcase concert, where I joined Lori Fassman, Jeff Keller, John Roberts and Lorraine Hammond; check out this YouTube vid of me backing Lori on Goin' Down This Road Feelin' Bad...
  • Local Press Dept. — as part of preparation for last December's Holiday Hootenanny, I did a little write-up on the subject of hootenannies in general, which made its way into the November 30 issue of the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle; you can read about it here, and can see pics of the event here...
  • I've enjoyed doing some performing over the past year or so with my 24-year music partner Bonnie Abrams, and a number of our collaborations have turned up on YouTube, from our gigs at the "Singer/Songwriters In the Side Room" at Buffalo Bill's Family Restaurant in Shortsville; these monthly concerts are hosted by Canandaigua troubadours Meyer & McGuire, who have graciously posted videos of our performances of Bonnie's songs, including Rainforest Crunch, Ruby's Knishes, I Have No Apps, Hillary & Susan B, and Old Folk Singers Never Die...
  • Since 1990, I've been a "folkie fixture" at reunions of my Harvard Class of 1965, hosting and coordinating sings every five years as we gather in Cambridge; at my 50th (!) in May, I led a "class hootenanny" after the feature concert by Tom Rush (Harvard '62. if you didn't know), and led the spiritual All My Trials at the class memorial service...
  • Every year Mark Deprez, who plays with me in Innisfree, Rochester's longest-running Celtic band, brings some musical friends down to his part of the world (south of Rochester, in the Finger Lakes), for benefit concerts at local venues; we've played at St. Matthew Church in Livonia for their Eat For Heat benefit supper, and for a "post-St. Pat's" dinner at St. Mary's Church in Honeoye, (a bit of which was picked up on YouTube here and here and here) — Innisfree also played our traditional annual St. Patrick's Day early-evening performance at Lima's American Hotel...
  • Discoursed to the Rochester Guitar Club on Dobros, Nationals, and resonator instruments in general a year or so ago; thanx to Kinloch Nelson for hooking me up with them, and here's a little article about it...
  • Some more YouTube videos with my music: this one taken at First Fridays at the Seward House Museum in Auburn, features Jim Clare and me singing Folsom Prison Blues; this one features Bonnie Abrams' song Ruby's Knishes, as performed by Love and Knishes, and is dedicated to the Catskills' legendary Ruby the Knish Man; and this one documents me singing Bill Staines' song at the Westside Farmers' Market last year...
  • Still available in the wondrous world of cyberspace are some neat pictures of my June 28, 2008 performance for Historic Brighton, the town's historical society; you can click here to see me explaining the wonders of the Autoharp to a junior member of the audience at the reconstructed Fort Tryon trading post in Ellison Park...
  • I've listed several of my Special Programs at Performers And Programs, a website used by libraries in New York State to identify and schedule programs; as noted above, libraries have a need for themed programs of historical music, and I'm always glad to oblige...
  • I'm also listing my programs (when I remember to!) with the Rochester Music Coalition...
Updated January 25, 2016
Thursday, January 28*
St. Ann's Home
1500 Portland Ave., seniors' programs on the 9th floor 10 A.M., 7th floor 10:30 A.M.
Friday, January 29*
St. Ann's Care Center
90 Cherry Ridge Dr., Webster, 2:30 P.M., seniors' "happy hour" program
Tuesday, February 2*
Unity St. Mary's Campus
79 Genesee St., 2 P.M., seniors' 2nd floor social hour
Wednesday, February 3
Tunes By the Tracks
Clifton Springs Library, 4 Railroad Ave., Clifton Springs, 7-9 P.M., Dady Brothers featured, Jim Clare, Cathy McGrath and I hosting, also open mic
Monday, February 8
SEEDS Program Supper
Trinity Emmanuel Church, 761 Elmgrove Rd., 6:30P.M., music for group home residents
Tuesday, February 9*
Sage Harbor at Baywinde
100 Kidd Castle Way, Webster, seniors' programs in activity room !:30 P.M., memory care unit 3 P.M.
Wednesday, February 10*
St. Ann's Home
1500 Portland Ave., 10 A.M., seniors' program on 5th floor
Friday, February 12
Greenhouse Cafe
2271 East Main St., 6:30-9 P.M., coffeehouse music wOlivia Fontana
Saturday, February 13
Valentine's Day Dance
Joy Community Church, 890 Goodman St., 7:30 P.M., w/Flint Hill Folk
Sunday, February 14*
Presbyterian Home
256 Thurston Rd., 2:30 P.M., seniors' Valentine's Day program
Monday, February 15*
St. Ann's Home
1500 Portland Ave., seniors' programs on the 3rd floor 10 A.M., 2nd floor 10:30 A.M.
Wednesday, February 17
Tunes By the Tracks
Clifton Springs Library, 4 Railroad Ave., Clifton Springs, 7-9 P.M., Leslie Lee & Steve Gretz featured, Jim Clare, Cathy McGrath and I hosting, also open mic
Thursday, February 18
Wheatland Historical Association
Union Church, 1 Brown's Ave. Scottsville, 6:30 P.M. pot-luck supper, followed by Railroad Songs program
Sunday, February 21*
Seabury Woods
110 Dalajer Dr., 3 P.M., seniors' programr
Tuesday, February 23*
The Hamlet
1471 Long Pond Rd., 2 P.M., seniors' program
Thursday, February 25*
St. Ann's Home
1500 Portland Ave., seniors' programs on the 9th floor 10 A.M., 7th floor 10:30 A.M.
Thursday, February 25*
Clark Manor House
318 Fort Hill Ave., Canandaigua, 1 P.M., seniors' program
Saturday, February 27*
St. Ann's Home
1500 Portland Ave., 2 P.M., seniors' concert in the Activity Center
Sunday, February 28*
St. Ann's Care Center
90 Cherry Ridge Dr., Webster, 2:30 P.M., seniors' "happy hour" program
Wednesday, March 2
Tunes By the Tracks
Clifton Springs Library, 4 Railroad Ave., Clifton Springs, 7-9 P.M., Dave North Trio featured, Jim Clare, Cathy McGrath and I hosting, also open mic
Addresses are Rochester, NY unless otherwise indicated.
* denotes a private function.
Also on
Musical Resume
Where I've been and what I've done
Comments & Clippings
A scrapbook of snapshots and snap judgments, views and reviews
Albums I'm on, and where to get 'em
Booking Form
If you're interested in booking me, go here