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 Fin Hopkins for his expertise...
  • Wow! Long time since I've updated (apologies to all); Fall almost over, holidays closing in, many interesting musical events ahead — and you can keep up with all of them by merely clicking on the Booking Form page, and signing up for weekly e-mail updates, and/or periodic schedule postcards...
  • We're now pretty well established, Bill Destler, Rebecca Johnbson, and I, with our new Rochester Folkus series of twice-monthly concerts, at the Downstairs Cabaret on Windsor Street; we've had shows with Sally Rogers & Howie Bursen and Magpie, and the next one's Wednesday, December 13 with local faves the Dady Brothers...
  • Received a "faculty appointment" at the Hochstein Music School in downtown Rochester — I'm now the sole member of the Harmonica Department there, taught a Harmonicam Horizon course there this Fall, and will be working with the school faculty to perhaps add some other "folk" instruments to their curriculum...
  • Tunes By the Tracks, enters its eighth year of twice-a-month shows at the Clifton Springs Library; our annual Celtic Christmas with Cuisle Mo Chroi will be held at the Wellspring Church on Teft Ave. December 20, and the new year kicks off with an evening with local songwriter Jed Curranh January 3...
  • In addition to teaching harmonica at Hochstein,. I've been booked by Rebecca Curran of Brighton Recreation for a Beginning Ukulele class starting February 26 in the new year; registration will be avaiable soon on the Brighton Rec website...
  • Sent in my workshop proposals to the New England Folk Festival (NEFFA), to be held April 20-22, 2018 in Mansfiled MA; at the 2017 festival I led an Erie Canal Songfest, as well as the Closing Sing-Around, and joined Jan Maier to lead a Playing For Senior Audiences symposium — I expect to return in 2018, for what may be my 23rd year performing there...
  • One of my pleasant NEFFA memories comes from five years ago — 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...
  • Leslie Lee & Steve Gretz, husband and wife singer/songwriters, have been valuable contributors to our local folk scene, since Steve took the pastorship of the Greece Baptist Church; one of their contributions has been monthly Sunday Old-Time Music Nights at the church (I featured there January 8, and Steve's already booked me for March 2018...
  • Had a good time helping to lead the Holiday Hootenanny for Golden Link, our local folk club, a coupte Decembers ago; (you can see pics of the event here); the local paper asked me to do a little write-up on the subject of hootenannies in general, for the November 30, 2014 issue of the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle; you can read my thoughts here, ...
  • 2017-25 mark the Erie Canal Bicentennial and I'm hoping that tne next few years bring opportunities for programs of canal-related songs; I'll be reaching out to local libraries and historical societies, for chances to present the rich musical history of the E-ri-ee, as I did this Spring at NEFFA and in Lyons...
  • I've enjoyed doing some performing over the past year or so with my 25-year music partner Bonnie Abrams, and a number of our collaborations have turned up on YouTube, from our gigs at 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...
  • For years Mark Deprez, who plays with me in Innisfree, Rochester's longest-running Celtic band, has brought 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 will be back there January 28; we also played a "post-St. Pat's" dinner at St. Mary's Church in Honeoye several years ago, parts of which were picked up on YouTube here and here and here ...
  • 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 Place In the Choir 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 Secember 9, 2017
Sunday, December 10*
St. Ann's Care Center
900 Cherry Ridge Blvd., Webster, 2:30 P.M., seniors' program
Monday, December 11*
Seabury Woods
110 Dalaker Dr., 2:30 P.M., seniors' holiday music program
Tuesday, December 12*
Sage Harbor at Baywinde
100 Kidd Castle Way, Webster, seniors' programs in the lobby, !:30 P.M., and memory care, 3 P.M.,
Wednesday, December 13
Rochester Folkus
Downstairs Cabaret, 20 Windsor St., 7-9 P.M., Dady Brothers featured
Thursday, December 14*
St. Ann's Home
1500 Portland Ave., 5th floor residents' holiday party, 2P.M. in Bishop Kearney Auditorium
Wednesday, December 20*
St. Ann's Home
1500 Portland Ave., holiday party in WTCC rehab senter, 11 A.M.
Wednesday, December 20
Tunes By the Tracks
Celtic Christmas celebration featureing Cuisle Mo Chroi et. al, 7-9:30 P.M., Wellspring Church, 22 Teft Ave., Clifton Springs
Thursday, December 21*
St. Ann's Care Center
900 Cherry Ridge Blvd., Webster, 2:30 P.M., seniors' holiday program
Saturday, December 23*
Presbyterian Home
256 Thurston Rd., 2:30 P.M., seniors' holiday program
Tuesday, December 26*
St. Ann's Home
1500 Portland Ave., seniors' programs, 9th floor 10 A.M., 8th floor 10:30 A.M.,
Friday, December 29
Highlands at Pittsford
400 Hahnemann Dr., 2:30 P.M., seniors' program
Tuesday, January 2*
Unity St. Mary's Campus
79 Genesee St., 2 P.M., seniors' 2nd floor social hour
Wednesday, January 3
Tunes By the Tracks
Clifton Springs Library, 4 Railroad Ave., Clifton Springs, 7-9 P.M., Jed Curranh featured, also open mic
Thursday, January 4*
Heather Heights
160 West Jefferson Rd., Pittsford, 6:45 P.M., seniors' program in lobby
Monday, January 8*
Presbyterian Home
256 Thurston Rd., 2:30 P.M., seniors' program
Tuesday, January 9*
Sage Harbor at Baywinde
100 Kidd Castle Way, Webster, seniors' programs in the lobby, !:30 P.M., and memory care, 3 P.M.,
Wednesday, January 10
Rochester Folkus
Downstairs Cabaret, 20 Windsor St., 7-9 P.M., Brothers Blue featured
Wednesday, January 17
Tunes By the Tracks
Clifton Springs Library, 4 Railroad Ave., Clifton Springs, 7-9 P.M., Old-Time Hoedown featured, also open mic
Jriday, January 26*
St. Ann's Home
1500 Portland Ave., seniors' program on 7th floor, 10 A.M.
Tuesday, January 30*
St. Ann's Home
1500 Portland Ave., seniors' programs, 9th floor 10 A.M., 8th floor 10:30 A.M.,
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