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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!
 
Innisfree
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 allen@allenhopkins.org.

  • 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...
  • March is here, the season for Irish music (and frequent gigs), and this month's no exception — I'll be "wearin' the green" and performing hither and yon, and you might want to follow my peregrinations; if so, an easy way to do so is to click on the Booking Form page, and sign up for weekly e-mail updates, and/or periodic schedule postcards...
  • The seventh year of Tunes By the Tracks is now underway at the Clifton Springs Library, with Jim Clare and Cathy McGrath and I continuing as co-hosts; March features Kitchen Session March 4, and Jeff Riales & Jed Curran March 18...
  • The success of our little Tunes By the Tracks effort has attracted regional interest; we've been contacted by the Victor Farmington Library about expanding our efforts there, and we're penciling in Wednesday, May 6 for a "trial run" at the new venue...
  • 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...
  • 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; May 2015 will mark our 50th, and once again I'm called upon to get some singing going after a feature concert by Tom Rush — Harvard '62. if you didn't know...
  • The brutal February weather caused a slew of cancellations and postponements, including my February 19 program for the Wheatland Historical Association in Scottsville — now rescheduled for May 14 — and my February 8 Old-Time Music Night for Steve Gretz & Leslie Lee at Greece Baptist Church; after two postponements, I finally had a nice little night there February 22...
  • Music Through the Ages, our little group that brings folk/acoustic music to underserved Rochester city schools, has started programming for 2015, bringing John Dady and me to #19 School on the city's west side, teaching basic ukulele to 5th grade kids; again, deep thanks to Joni Monroe, carrying on her late husband Dennis's musical legacy...
  • For nearly a quarter-century, I attended Folk Music Week at Pinewoods Camp, near Plymouth MA, every summer, and it was an amazing run of wonderful musical contacts, friendships, and experiences — which came to an end years ago, as the Country Dance & Song Society phased the program out; now some stalwart folkies from the Folk Music Society of New York City are starting a new week at Pinewoods, to be called Traditional Music & Dance Camp, "TradMaD" for short, August 29-September 4, 2015, and I've been recruited as staff — much more about this later...
  • One of my happiest 2014 experiences was the unexpected invite from ace fiddler Jackie Hobbs, whose grandmother Alice Clemens was a long-time friend and MC of our Genesee Country Village Fiddlers' Fair; Jackie needed a fill-in guitarist for her set at the Old-Time Fiddlers' Gathering in Watkins Glen June 14, so I spent an enjoyable afternoon playing behind Jackie on-stage, and jamming with a bunch of musical friends from around NY State — here's a vid of Jackie's set, though I'm pretty invisible off-camera on the right (you can see my strumming hand sometimes — take my word for it, I'm there)...
  • I still perform now and again with my long-time friend and partner Bonnie Abrams; next up are two Passover seniors' programs, at Wolk Manor April 6, and at Summit at Brighton April 7...
  • Bonnie and I did an evening of "Singer/Songwriters In the Side Room" at Buffalo Bill's Family Restaurant in Shortsville last June; these monthly events are hosted by Canandaigua troubadours Meyer & McGuire, who have graciously posted two videos of our performance, featuring Bonnie's songs Rainforest Crunch and Ruby's Knishes...
  • Not too early to look ahead to the New England Folk Festival (NEFFA) April 24-26 — I'll be teaching an Introduction to Harmonica workshop, leading the Closing Sing-Around, and joining my Massachusetts friend Jan Maier in a discussion of Working With Senior Audiences...
  • One of my most enjoyable NEFFA moments has to be the 2012 "Both Sides Of the Pond" showcase concert, where I joined Lori Fassman, Jeff Keller, John Roberts and Lorraine Hammond; here's a vid of me backing Lori on Goin' Down This Road Feelin' Bad...
  • 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) — next job for Innisfree is 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 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...
Calendar
Updated as of February 28, 2015
 
Tuesday, March 3*
St. Ann's Home
1500 Portland Ave., seniors' programs on 9th floor 10 A.M., 6th floor 10:30 A.M.
 
Tuesday, March 3*
Unity St. Mary's Campus
79 Genesee St., 2 P.M., seniors' 2nd floor social hour
 
Wednesday, March 4
Temple B'rith Kodesh
2131 Elmwood Ave., 6 P.M., music for Purim service
 
Wednesday, March 4
Tunes By the Tracks
Clifton Springs Library, 4 Railroad Ave., Clifton Springs, 7-9 P.M., Kitchen Session featured, Jim Clare, Cathy McGrath, and I hosting, also open mic
 
Monday, March 9
SEEDS Program
Trinity Emmanuel Church, 761 Elmgrove Rd., 6:30 P.M., entertaining group home residents
 
Tuesday, March 10*
Sage Harbor at Baywinde
100 Kidd Castle Way, Webster, 1:30 P.M., seniors' program in actvity room
 
Tuesday, March 10*
Gables at Brighton
2001 South Clinton Ave., 7:30 P.M., seniors' Irish music program
 
Friday, March 13
Music Through the Ages
#19 School, 465 Seward St., 1:30 P.M., teaching ukulele class w/John Dady
 
Friday, March 13*
St. Ann's Care Center
900 Cherry Ridge Blvd., Webster, 3 P.M., seniors' "happy hour" program
 
Sunday, March 15*
Presbyterian Home
256 Thurston Rd., 2:30 P.M., seniors' Irish music program
 
Monday, March 16*
Finger Lakes DDSO
Guardian Angels Ch., 2061 East Henrietta Rd., 7 P.M., Irish music program for group home residents
 
Tuesday, March 17*
Brentland Woods
3831 East Henrietta Rd., 2:30 P.M. Irish music seniors' program
 
Tuesday, March 17
American Hotel
7304 East Main St., Lima, 6-8 P.M., St. Patrick's Day music w/Innisfree
 
Wednesday, March 18
Tunes By the Tracks
Clifton Springs Library, 4 Railroad Ave., Clifton Springs, 7-9 P.M., Jeff Riales & Jed Curran featured, Jim Clare, Cathy McGrath, and I hosting, also open mic
 
Thursday, March 19*
LeRoy Village Green
10 Munson St., LeRoy, 2:15 P.M., Song of Irish Immigration seniors' program
 
Sunday, March 29
St. Ann's Home
1500 Portland Ave., 2 P.M.,) "lobby concert" for residents & families
 
Sunday, March 29*
Lodge at Wolk Manor
4000 Summit Circle Dr., 6:30 P.M., seniors' program
 
Addresses are Rochester, NY unless otherwise indicated.
* denotes a private function.
 
 
Also on AllenHopkins.org:
Musical Resume
Where I've been and what I've done
 
Comments & Clippings
A scrapbook of snapshots and snap judgments, views and reviews
 
Recordings
Albums I'm on, and where to get 'em
 
Booking Form
If you're interested in booking me, go here