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...
  • Can't seem to make up its mind to be Fall here, with temperatures staying in the 65-70 degree range, and few leaves falling as yet; however, the calendar creeps forward inexorably, Halloween is near with its many spooktacular events, and there's much music — should you want to keep up with my efforts, you can visit the Booking Form page, and sign up for weekly e-mail updates, and/or periodic schedule postcards...
  • Received a "faculty appointment" at the Hochstein Music School in downtown Rochester — I'm now the sole member of the Harmonica Department there, and will be teaching a second Harmonica Horizons class there, starting Monday, October 23; you can still register at the school website...
  • Halloween's right around the corner, sure enough, and I have several related gigs, including the Penfield Community Halloween Party Friday, October 20, and the Town of Brighton Harvest Festival Saturday, October 21; I've been playing the Penfield event for 21 years now...
  • Tunes By the Tracks, our little semi-monthly musical effort at the Clifton Springs Library, is ending our seventh year, with some interesting feature acts: Perry Cleaveland and Mark Lemaire Wednesday, November 1, Jim Clare and I November 15, and our annual Celtic Christmas with Cuisle Mo Chroi December 20...
  • Another positive musical effort in our area starts Wednesday, November 8: Rochester Folkus is a semi-monthly concert endeavor, organized by retired RIT president and world-class banjo collector Bill Destler and his wife Rebecca Johnson, with a bit of help from yours truly, held at the Downstairs Cabaret on Windsor Street; featured act will be Sally Rogers & Howie Bursen, with Bill and I doing short opening sets...
  • The 2017 North Winton Village Arts Festival on September 16 was successful, with some great music by Hard Logic, Fatima Razic, the Fakers, and others; looks like I'll stay on the festival committee for 2018, lining up entertainment and MC'ing the stage — save September 15, 2018 for our 2th annual festival...
  • Saluting the 19th Amendment, Cathy McGrath and I provided a program of Women's Suffrage Songs at a "Celebrate the Vote" Picnic on Sunday, July 23, at the American Assoc. of University Women's Perkins Mansion on East Ave. in Rochester — we were joined by Jim Kimball and the Geneseo String Band, and a host of historical re-enactors...
  • Busy with historical music programming this year, including a steak dinner for Historic Palmyra April 29, a Canal Bicentennial Kickoff singing program for the Lyons Erie Canalway Greeters April 30, Homestead Days at Granger Homestead in Canandaigua June 1-3, a Songs of Irish Immigration program at the Cattaraugus County Museum August 10, the afore-mentioned "Celebrate the Vote" Picnic for AAUW July 23, one of my near-annual visits to the Wheatland Historical Association September 21, and heading down to Angelica for their Civil War Weekend September 23...
  • 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) — the 100th one was held last June 4, featuring Steve & Leslie and many past-featured musicians, and I joined in to lead This Land Is Your Land and other choruses...
  • Had a good time helping to lead the Holiday Hootenanny for Golden Link, our local folk club, last December 10 (you can see pics of the event here); the last one of these was two years ago, and I did 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 marks 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 October 19, 2017
Friday, October 20
Penfield Community Halloween Party
Community Ctr., 1985 Baird Rd., 608 P.M., family Halloween music
Saturday, October 21
Brighton Harvest Festival
Town Hall Aud., 2300 Elmwood Ave., 10 A.M.-12 NOON,Halloweenmusic
Monday, October 23
Harmonica Horizons Class
Hochstein Music School, 50 North Plymouth Ave., 7 P.M., weekly Monday classes through Nov. 20
Friday, October 26*
Clark Manor House
318 Fort Hill Ave., Canandaigua, 1P.M., seniors' program
Sunday, October 28*
Presbyterian Home
256 Thurston Rd., 2:30 P.M., seniors' program
Tuesday, October 31*
St. Ann's Home
1500 Portland Ave., seniors' programs on 9th floor 10 A.M., 8th floor 10:30 A.M.
Tuesday, October 31*
Hill Haven
1850 Empire Blvd., 2:30 P.M., seniors' Halloween party
Wednesday, November 1
Tunes By the Tracks
Clifton Springs Library, 4 Railroad Ave., Clifton Springs, 7-9 P.M., Perry Cleaveland & Mark Lemaire featured, also open mic
Monday, November 6*
Presbyterian Home
256 Thurston Rd., 2:30 P.M., seniors' program
Tuesday, November 7*
Unity St. Mary's Campus
79 Genesee St., 2 P.M., seniors' 2nd floor social hour
Wednesday, November 8
Rochester Folkus
Downstairs Cabaret, 20 Windsor St., 7-9 P.M., Sally Rogers & Howie Bursen featured, Bill Destler and I opening
Friday, November 10*
Ashton Place
190 Ashton Ct., Clifton Springs, 2 P.M., seniors' harvest program
Sunday, November 12*
St. Ann's Care Center
900 Cherry Ridge Blvd., Webster, 2:30 P.M., seniors' program
Tuesday, November 14*
Sage Harbor at Baywinde
100 Kidd Castle Way, Webster, seniors' programs in the lobby, !:30 P.M., and memory care, 3 P.M.,
Wednesday, November 15
Tunes By the Tracks
Clifton Springs Library, 4 Railroad Ave., Clifton Springs, 7-9 P.M., Jim Clare and I featured, also open mic
Fr1day, November 17*
Heather Heights
160 West Jefferson Rd., Pittsford, 2 P.M., seniors' birthday party
Friday, November 24
Peace, Love & Joy Sing-Around
Green House Cafe, 2271 East Main St., 7 P.M., co-leading w/Val Fowler, Dean Santos, Nora Bradbury-Haehl
Saturday, November 25*
Presbyterian Home
256 Thurston Rd., 2:30 P.M., seniors' program
Tuesday, November 28*
Brighton Senior Center
220 Idlewood Rd., 12:15 P.M., seniors' luncheon program
Wednesday, November 29
Rochester Folkus
Downstairs Cabaret, 20 Windsor St., 7-9 P.M., Magpie featured
Monrday, December 4*
Presbyterian Home
256 Thurston Rd., 2:30 P.M., seniors' program
Tuesday, December 5*
Unity St. Mary's Campus
79 Genesee St., 2 P.M., seniors' 2nd floor social hour
Wednesday, December 6*
Seabury Woods
110 Dalaker Dr., 5 P.M., seniors' Christmas/holiday party
Friday, December 8*
Sisters of Mercy Motherhouse
1437 Blossom Rd., 2 P.M., seniors' Christmasprogram, w/Kathleen Cappon
Sunday, December 10*
St. Ann's Care Center
900 Cherry Ridge Blvd., Webster, 2:30 P.M., seniors' 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.,
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