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 first-rate expertise...
  • Wow, have I been slothful and irresponsible about updating my web page — March and April just slipped away, and we're into the first days of May — hope to do better in the future, but if you're interested in following my performance schedule, best bet is to click on my Booking Form page, and request weekly e-mail updates, and even periodic USPS schedule postcards...
  • Tunes By the Tracks continues to offer a varied program of great folk and acoustic music, as we have for more than a decade, a few miles south of Rochester at the Clifton Springs Library: upcoming feature performers include ex-pat Irish balladeer Gerry Timlin on May 1, singer-songwriter and recording star Anne Hills May 15, and our annual All-Star Local Musicians' Library Benefit Concert June 5...
  • Rochester Folkus, the twice-a-month concert series organized by Bill Destler, Rebecca Johnbson and me, is winding up its Spring 2019 season this month, with clawhammer banjo virtuoso Howie Bursen May 22, and an evening of original, contemporary, and traditional Yiddish song with my partner Bonnie Abrams and me May 29...
  • I'll be back to teaching mandolin and harmonica at Hochstein Music School in downtown Rochester, starting in July; you can find out more, and register for classes, at the Hochstein website; just scroll down the Summer Music menu to Harmonica Horizons and Mondo Mando...
  • 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...
  • Had a great weekend, somewhat dimmed by respiratory crud, at the New England Folk Festival (NEFFA) April 12-14, in Mansfield MA;I led several workshops, including Resist! Sing-Around, as well as the Closing Sing-Around which I do 'most every year — 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, — don't forget, you can catch us at Rochester Folkus Feb. 27 — 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, formerly 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, including this 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 couple years ago...
  • 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 May 1, 2019
Wednesday, May 1*
St. Ann's Home
1500 Portland Ave., 2 P.M., Annie's Tavern seniors' program in the Bishop Kearney Auditorium
Wednesday, May 1
Tunes By the Tracks
Clifton Springs Library, 4 Railroad Ave., Clifton Springs, 7-9 P.M., Gerry Timlin featured, also opem mic
Friday, May 3*
Wolk Manor Lodge
7000 Summmit Circle Dr., 6:30 P.M., seniors' program
Saturday, May 4
Historic Palmyra Steak Dinner
Alling Coverlet Museum, 122 William St., Palmyra, 5:30 P.M., historical music program
Monday, May 6*
Presbyterian Home
256 Thurston Rd., 2:30 P.M., 2nd floor seniors' program
Monday, May 6
Brighton Recreation Ukulele Class
Brookside Rec Ctr., 220 Idlewood Rd., 6:30 P.M., last introductory class
Tuesday, May 7*
Unity St. Mary's Campus
79 Genesee St., 2 P.M., seniors' 2nd floor social hour
Monday, May 13*
SEEDS Program Picnic
Trinity Emmanuel Church, 761 Elmgrove Rd., 5:30 P.M., picnic for group home residents
Tuesday, May 14*
Sage Harbor at Baywinde
100 Kidd Castle Way, Webster, seniors' program in memory care unit, !:30 P.M.
Wednesday, May 15*
Seabury Woods
110 Dalaker Dr., 2 P.M., seniors' "garden party"
Wednesday, May 15
Tunes By the Tracks
Clifton Springs Library, 4 Railroad Ave., Clifton Springs, 7-9 P.M., Anne Hills featured, also open mic
Thursday, May 16*
St. Ann's Home
1500 Portland Ave., 10 A.M., 7th floor seniors' program
Wednesday, May 22*
Shore Winds
425 Beach Ave., 10:30 A.M., seniors' program
Wednesday, May 22*
St. Ann's Care Center
920 Cherry Ridge Blvd., Webster, 2 P.M., seniors' program
Wednesday, May 22
Rochester Folkus
Downstairs Cabaret Theater, 20 Windsor St., 7-9:30 P.M., Howie Bursen featured, also open mic
Thursday, May 23*
Heather Heights
160 West Jefferson Rd., Pittsford, 6:45 P.M., seniors' program in the lobby
Saturday, May 25*
St. Ann's Home
1500 Portland Ave., 2 P.M., seniors' program in the Bishop Kearney Auditorium
Wednesday, May 29*
Crimson Ridge Gardens/Meadows
Treeline Dr., Greece, 2 P.M. at Crimson Ridge Gardens, 3:15 P.M. at Crimson Ridge Meadows, seniors' programs
Wednesday, May 29
Rochester Folkus
Downstairs Cabaret Theater, 20 Windsor St., 7-9:30 P.M., Bonnie Abrams and I featured, also open mic
Saturday, June 1
Sulphur Springs Festival
Foster Cottage, Main St., Clifton Springs, 1-3 P.M., historical music w/Jim Clare
Monday, June 3*
Presbyterian Home
256 Thurston Rd., 2:30 P.M., seniors' program
Tuesday, June 4*
Unity St. Mary's Campus
79 Genesee St., 2 P.M., seniors' 2nd floor social hour
Wednesday, June 5
Tunes By the Tracks
Clifton Springs Library, 4 Railroad Ave., Clifton Springs, 7-9 P.M., All-Star Library Benefit Concert, also open mic
Tuesday, June 11*
Sage Harbor at Baywinde
100 Kidd Castle Way, Webster, seniors' program in memory care unit, !:30 P.M.
Wednesday, June 12*
Ashton Place
100 Ashton Ct., Clifton Springs, 7 P.M., seniors' picnic
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