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...
  • Seems I start out every time by apologizing for my haphazard updating schedule; nothing seems to get done until I get a shout from somebody saying "Your calendar's a month behind," and then I scurry around to catch up — which only gives you incentive, if you want to stay au courant, to click on my Booking Form page, and sign up for weekly e-mail updates, and/or periodic schedule postcards...
  • Tunes By the Tracks our twice-monthly concert series at the Clifton Springs Library, rolls on through its eighth year; coming up are nights with guitar genius Loren Barrigar July 25, our annual "Mystery Pickers" Night August 1, and a "Rochester Roots" evening with local folk icons Mitzie Collins and Jim Kimball August 15...
  • The "Libraries Rock!" summer reading program has me playing some family concerts down south of Rochester, in Arkport, Steuben County, on July 19, and in Rushville, right on the Ontario/Yates County border, on July 31; at the Rushville concert, I'll be joined by my long-time collaborator Barbara Jablonski...
  • August as usual brings the Old-Time Flddlers' Fair at Genesee Country village in Mumford, and as we have since 1981, the Flint Hill Folk will be the host band, opening each day's program, and MC'ing the open main stage for fiddlers in the big tent; if you're a musician, you can get in free to this significant traditional music event...
  • The first season of the Rochester Folkus series, organized by Bill Destler, Rebecca Johnbson and me, staging twice-monthly concerts at the Downstairs Cabaret has concluded, as we break for the summer (you can't take the academic schedule out of the ex-college-president — that's Bill — so we work on a "school year" basis); we start up again September 12 with a visit by the Syracuse-based Cadleys...
  • It's been quite a few years since Innisfree played the Wayne County Fair in Palmyra, but we're back there this year, playing a two-hour set on August 14...
  • My "faculty appointment" at the Hochstein Music School in downtown Rochester, has me teaching classes in their summer session: Mondo Mandolin and Harmonica Horizon on Thursdays, for five weeks July 10-August 9 — three students in each, small/intimate but interesting...
  • I may also be teaching Beginning Ukulele for the Brighton Recreation Dept. in the fall, as I did last February through April; may be another class scheduled for the future, stay tuned...
  • Our local alternative weekly, City/Newspaper, did a story on "Rochester's Folk Community" in its February 21 issue; I was quoted — briefly — amd you can read the story here...
  • Performed for the 23rd year at the New England Folk Festival (NEFFA) April 20-22, leading the Closing Sing-Around, as well as a "Resist" Sing-Along, which was a SRO session, showing what we folkies feel about the current political mess — also helped out Evy Mayer and Joel Landy with humor workshops, and you can see Joel's "Ligntning Round," with a cameo from me, here...
  • One of my pleasant NEFFA memories comes from 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...
  • Continue to be active in Golden Link, our local folk club, helping to run actvities like the 2016 Holiday Hootenanny,); after a similar event in 2014, the local paper asked me to do a little write-up on the subject of hootenannies in general, for their November 30, 2014 issue — you can read my thoughts here ...
  • I've enjoyed doing some performing over the past couple years 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 2015, 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 27; 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 July 16, 2018
Tuesday, July 17*
St. Ann's Home
1500 Portland Ave., 11 A.M., 1st floor seniors' program
Wednesday, July 18*
Ashton Place
190 Ashton Ct., Clifton Springs, 7 P.M., "campfire" seniors program
Thursday, July 19
"Libraries Rock" Family Concert
Village Park, Park Ave., Arkport NY, 10:15 A.M., for Village Book Center summer reading program
Saturday, July 21*
Heather Heights
160 West Jefferson Rd., 2 P.M., seniors' program in the lobby
Saturday, July 21
Civil War Re-Enactors' Ball
Genesee Country Village, Flint Hill Rd., Mumford, 8-11 P.M., w/Flint Hill Folk
Sunday, July 22*
Seabury Woods
110 Dalaker Dr., 3 P.M., seniors' program
Wednesday, July 25*
Brentland Woods
3831 East Henrietta Rd., 2:30 P.M., residents' birthday party
Wednesday, July 25*
College Greene Apartments
45 College Greene Dr., North Chili, 6:30 P.M., seniors' Patriotic Songs program
Wednesday, July 25
Tunes By the Tracks
Clifton Springs Library, 4 Railroad Ave., Clifton Springs, 7-9 P.M., Loren Barrigar featured, also open mic
Tuesday, July 31
"Libraries Rock" Family Concert
United Methodist Church, 26 North Main St., Rushville NY, 10:30 A.M., for Rushville Public Library summer reading program, w/ Barbara Jablonski
Wednesday, August 1
Tunes By the Tracks
Clifton Springs Library, 4 Railroad Ave., Clifton Springs, 7-9 P.M., "Mystery Pickers" Night concert, also open mic
Thursday, August 2
Lederman Birthday Party
St.John's Meadows, 4 Johnsarbor Dr. West, 2:30 P.M.,
Sunday, August 5
Park Avenue Summer Arts Festival
Alexander Street Stage, Park Ave. & Alexander St., 11:15 A.M.-12:15 P.M.
Monday, August 6*
Presbyterian Home
256 Thurston Rd., 2:30 P.M., seniors' program
Tuesday, August 7*
Unity St. Mary's Campus
79 Genesee St., 2 P.M., seniors' 2nd floor social hour
Friday, August 10*
Hill Haven
1550 Empire Blvd, Webster, 2:30 P.M., seniors' program
Saturday, August 11
Brockport Arts Festival
Sagawa Park Stage, 96 Main St., Brockport, 11 A.M.-1 P.M.
Sunday, August 12*
St. Ann's Care Center
90 Cherry Ridge Blvd., Webster, 2:30 P.M., seniors' program
Tuesday, August 14
Wayne County Fair
Fairgrounds, 300 West Jackson St., Palmyra, 1 P.M., Floral Hall Back Porch stage, w/Innisfree
Wednesday, August 15
Tunes By the Tracks
Clifton Springs Library, 4 Railroad Ave., Clifton Springs, 7-9 P.M., "Rochester Roots" Night w/ Mitzie Collins & Jim Kimball, also open mic
Saturday-Sunday, August 18-19
Old-Time Flddlers' Fair
Genesee Country Village, Flint Hill Rd., Mumford, 10 A.M.-5 P.M., w/Flint Hill Folk, many others
Tuesday, August 21*
St. Ann's Home
1500 Portland Ave., 10 A.M., 8th floor seniors' program <
Tuesday, August 21*
Sage Harbor at Baywinde
100 Kidd Castle Way, Webster, seniors' program in the lobby, !:30 P.M.
Thursday, August 23
Cattaraugus County Museum
9824 Rt. 16, Machias NY, 7 P.M., Music of Two World Wars program
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