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...
  • I'm getting really slipshod (look it up) about updating the website, but after a few complaints, I decided to turn over a new leaf — you could call it a pre New Year's resolution — and get current; you can always keep up with my comings, goings, and performings through weekly e-mails or periodic USPS postcards, obtainable by clicking on the Booking Form page...
  • Tunes By the Tracks finishes up our current year at the Clifton Springs Library, with our annual "Celtic Christmas featuring local Irish women's trio Cuisle Mo Chroi, on December 19; January 2019 kicks off with songwriter Jed Curran on the 16th, local bluesman Gordon Munding on the 23rd...
  • Rochester Folkus, the twice-a-month concert series organized by Bill Destler, Rebecca Johnbson and me, winds up its 2018 season at the Downstairs Cabaret with a benefit concert for our Downstairs Cabaret hosts on Wednesday, December 12; performers include Bill & Rebecca, Val Fowler, Bob White, Ruth & Dana Fine, Dave Ianni, Laurence Sugarman, and me — we kick off again on January 23 with a vist from ex-Pat Brit singer John Roberts...
  • My "faculty appointment" at the Hochstein Music School in downtown Rochester, had me teaching another Mondo Mandolin class, from October 11 until after Thanksgiving; I've also been teaching Beginning Ukulele for the Brighton Recreation Dept., and will teach beginning and intermediate classes starting in Spring 2019...
  • Our local alternative weekly, City/Newspaper, did a story on "Rochester's Folk Community" last February issue; I was quoted — briefly — amd you can read the story here...
  • Sent in my applications for the New England Folk Festival (NEFFA) April 12-14, 2019, where I've played for more than 20 years; you can catch a cameo of me at the 2018 festival, participating in the "Ligntning Round," or Joel Landy's humorous songs workshop, 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 couple years 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 December 8, 2018
Monday, December 10*
Presbyterian Home
256 Thurston Rd., 2:30 P.M., seniors' holiday program
Tuesday, December 11*
Sage Harbor at Baywinde
100 Kidd Castle Way, Webster, seniors' holiday program in the lobby, !:30 P.M.
Wednesday, December 12*
Presbyterian Home
256 Thurston Rd., 2:30 P.M., 2nd floor seniors' holiday party
Wednesday, December 12*
Seabury Woods
110 Dalaker Dr., 5-7 P.M., seniors' holiday party
Wednesday, December 12
Rochester Folkus,
Downstairs Cabaret Theater, 20 Windsor St., 7-9:30 P.M., benefit concert for Downstairs Cabaret, featuring Bill Destler & Rebecca Johnson, Bob White, Ruth & Dana Fine, Dave Ianni, Val Fowler, Laurence Sugarman and me
Friday, December 14*
St. Ann's Home
1500 Portland Ave., 2 P.M., residents' holiday party in Bishop Kearney Auditorium
Saturday, December 15*
Heather Heights
160 West Jefferson Rd., 2 P.M., seniors' holiday program in the lobby
Sunday, December 16
St. Ann's Home
1500 Portland Ave., 2 P.M., holiday "lobby concert" for residents & families
Wednesday, December 19
Tunes By the Tracks
Clifton Springs Library, 4 Railroad Ave., Clifton Springs, 7-9 P.M., "Celtic Christmas" w/Cuisle Mo Chroi & friends
Monday, December 24
St. Ann's Home
1500 Portland Ave., 10:30-11:30 A.M., holiday music in the lobby
Friday, December 28
St. Ann's Home
1500 Portland Ave., 2 P.M., 2nd floor New Year's party
Tuesday, January 1*
Seabury Woods
110 Dalaker Dr., 2:30 P.M., seniors' program
Thursday, January 3
St. Ann's Home
1500 Portland Ave., seniors' programs on the 7th floor 10 A.M., 8th floor 10:30 A.M.,
Wednesday, January 3*
Unity St. Mary's Campus
79 Genesee St., 2 P.M., seniors' 2nd floor social hour
Monday, January 7*
Presbyterian Home
256 Thurston Rd., 2:30 P.M., seniors' program
Tuesday, January 8*
Sage Harbor at Baywinde
100 Kidd Castle Way, Webster, seniors' program in memory care unit, !:30 P.M.
Saturday, January 12
40 Crossing Creek Dr., Fairport, 2:30 P.M., seniors' program in Bill's House
Wednesday, January 16
Tunes By the Tracks
Clifton Springs Library, 4 Railroad Ave., Clifton Springs, 7-9 P.M., Jed Curran featured, also open mic
Sunday, January 20*
Wolk Manor Lodge
4000 Summit Circle Dr., 11 A.M., sseniors' program
Tuesday, January 22*
Hamlet at Park Ridge
1471 Long Pond Rd., 2:30 P.M., new residents' welcome program
Tuesday, January 22
Friendly Home
3156 East Ave., 7 P.M., seniors' program in Porter Place
Wednesday, January 23
Rochester Folkus,
Downstairs Cabaret Theater, 20 Windsor St., 7-9 P.M., featuring John Roberts, also open mic
Wednesday, January 23
Tunes By the Tracks
Clifton Springs Library, 4 Railroad Ave., Clifton Springs, 7-9 P.M., Gordon Munding featured, also open mic
Thursday, January 24*
Heather Heights
160 West Jefferson Rd., 6:45 P.M., seniors' program in the lobby
Saturday, January 26*
St. Jphn's Meadows
4 Johnsarbor Dr. 10:30 A.M., seniors' program
Saturday, January 26
Eat For Heat Benefit Concert
St. Matthew Chuch, 6591 Richmond Mills Rd., Livonia, 5-7 P.M., w/Jim Clare
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