Select Page

World Folk Music Workshops

Explore Traditional Global Folk Music
OCT 3-9 2022 Click Here To Register Now!Click Here To Email Registrar

Global Folk Music Retreat

Travel the World in a week, exploring familiar and not-so-familiar music in an intimate & friendly setting

Gain Joy & Understanding of music traditions that span the globe!

Click Here For Global Folk Music Retreat Tentative Schedule


Wildacres Retreat, Little Switzerland, North Carolina October 3-9, 2022

Travel the World in a Week, From the Mountains of Western North Carolina


You are invited to come and experience the warm, high-energy sense of community created at the first ever Community Sound World Folk Music Retreat. Growing from the 3-decades-old West African Music Retreat, this gathering creates an inviting atmosphere of fun, play, learning, and togetherness in the spirit of genuine sharing of cultural traditions from around the world. Enjoy a full week immersed in community, music, and culture.  Earn a certificate for up to 30 instructional hours of continuing education. 


The experienced and highly talented staff of instructors is brought together by Community Sound & Cradle of Jazz Project, to satisfy everyone from the novice lover of music to the advanced-level participant.  Whether you are a professional musician, a home school student-parent combo, or a retiree seeking new experiences, the first World Folk Music Retreat at Wildacres will leave you inspired and fulfilled. 


Community Sound events sell out quickly after registration opens, and are very highly regarded, . . . don’t miss out! 


All of this takes place in the natural spring-time beauty of Wildacres Retreat in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, just off the Blue Ridge Parkway northeast of Asheville. All accommodations are in very comfortable, double-occupancy hotel-style rooms with private bath.  Delicious family-style, dining-hall meals include vegetarian and vegan options.

All Participants

  • Try new instruments & new vocalizations 
  • Participate in level-appropriate ensembles
  • Learn by ear 
  • Experience immersive lessons in culture & history

Experienced Musicians

  • Learn new melodies on their own instruments (voice included)
  • Jam in multiple folk music traditions 

All levels of musicianship are served in these tracks, which are self-selected in registration. Most learning is shared by ear, with written supplements provided. Reading music is not necessary.

All artists offer:

EXPERIMENTS IN SOUND: (TRACKS 1 & 2): Be led into new areas of sound creation! Musical genres & cultural concepts are transmitted with voice, percussion, & motion.

GLOBAL JAM (TRACKS 3 & 4) : Learn and arrange songs in new genres on your own instrument (including percussion & voice), in ensemble format.


This track is for music lovers with a limited musical background who want to try it all. Curiosity and a willingness to try is all that is required.



For people with a substantial musical background who want to be challenged at a higher level while playing with new instruments & new genres.



For intermediate musicians who want to learn new styles on their own instrument (vocals & percussion included) in a jam/folk orchestra-setting. Instruction to be delivered at a pace that suits the class with lots of encouragement provided.



This track is for people who are super comfortable and accurate as musicians (including percussion & vocals) who want to learn new genres on their own instruments in a jam/folk orchestra setting.

Note: The week’s schedule is full, so while we encourage all participants to follow the track they select, we also encourage a high level of self-care. There is no pressure to attend every class.

For those who come to soak up the most out of the event, certificates for continuing education are offered, documenting up to 40 hours spent in learning.

Click Here To See Clinician Bios and Track Descriptions PDF For The Global Folk Music Workshops

Or, Scroll Down To View In Browser

Click Here For Global Folk Music Workshops Tentative Schedule

Meet The Clinicians

The Leaders of Your Musical Journey

Aki Takahashi (aka: Ten Ten)

  • A taiko & shamisen player, and folk singer.
  • Studied traditional music in Kyoto, and has given shamisen and vocal performances all throughout Japan.
  • Since arriving in Canada, Aki has furthered her pursuit of traditional Japanese music with the addition of taiko drumming.

ten ten (

Show More
  • Associate Artistic Director with pre-eminent Canadian taiko drumming group “Nagata Shachu”, and a shamisen and voice instructor at the Bachido School-house: International Shamisen Community online.
  • Founder of the Japanese folk ensemble “TEN TEN”, which has released four albums of original music and has performed with numerous artists from a variety of other cultural backgrounds and traditions.

Aki Takahashi’s Track Descriptions


KAKE GOE (chanting) is a pulse, a confirmation and a call of encouragement. It’s a voice from one’s stomach, not singing or speaking. In Japanese folk songs, chanting is a very important element because many folk songs originated in a work environment and the chanting of these songs helped people to work in unison. Such chanting also helped to create a fun and lively work environment.

Click to watch Aki’s powerful & fun teaching philosophy

Show More

In this workshop, you will learn to use your voice as a percussive instrument along with the beat. Also, as a group, we will learn how to keep time, connect with clapping or playing the drum together. No experience necessary but the willingness to raise your voice and have fun is!

3 & 4: MIN’YO ENSEMBLE MIN’YO, Japanese folk songs, often reflect the time & place of their origin. However, they are not dead & dusty relics from the past. Through improvisation, you can make them your own, breathing new life into them, creating a unique & dynamic link which extends through time and space. Aki will share her knowledge of this art with participants so that everyone can enjoy creating music together! The improvisational style which is characteristic of the best Min’yo will be enjoyed by all participants. Consisting of songs for work & of everyday life, Min’yo is meant to be played & enjoyed by everyone regardless of age, or musical background. Bring your instruments, or just yourself & your voice!

Click to watch Ten Ten, Aki’s Min’yo ensemble.

Clara Rodriguez

A mother, musician, & researcher who plays instruments from Brazilian popular culture which are usually reserved for men: accordion and berimbau.

Having studied Capoeira Angola for decades, Clara has ascended to the title of Trenel (trainer).  A graduate from the State University of Campinas, she is now a researcher with the project on berimbau tuning.  Clara builds berimbaus & is a skilled Capoeira dancer.



Show More

Clara grew up attending forró social gatherings, finding a love for the accordion a decade ago when a friend left one at her house after a party.  After saving for two years, she was able to purchase her own, passionately pursuing the genre.  Now she teaches accordion & the forró genre in the university.

While this retreat will be her first trip to the United States, Clara has performed, studied, and taught around the world.

Clara Rodriguez‘s Track Descriptions


4.86 million Africans were transported as slaves to Brazil between the 1600’s and 1888—45% of the entire Trans-Atlantic slave trade. Many practices from Angola became cornerstones in African-Brazilian culture. Capoeira was a critical practice for Africans early on in Brazil, as a form of combat training, disguised as live gatherings of music & dance. Angola is Capoeria’s most traditional format, which Clara shares with passion & playfulness. Clara will share the multi-dimensionality of capoeira: its rich history, basic movements, & music. Come play provided berimbau (a one-stringed gourd instrument with a bow/rattle, these made by Clara), agogo, pandeiro (tambourine), or drums.

Click here to see the music & dance of
Capoeria—Clara in street competition

Show More


FORRÓ is the music of the cowboys and laborers of Nordeste— Northeastern Brazil, where Portuguese and other Europeans first colonized. Typically played by accordion, triangle, & zabumba (similar to a snare drum but played on both sides at once), forró’s poetic lyrics are at once social criticism & elegant dance music. Made popular throughout Brazil by migrant workers seeking to escape the harsh conditions of the north, forró music continues to evolve throughout Brazil & internationally.

This cheerful music, rich in vocal harmonies adapts well to any instrumentation, & Clara is skilled & experienced with arranging this genre for international musicians.

Luiz Gonzaga, the pioneer of forró, is one of the most influential figures in twentieth Century Brazillian music.

Click here to hear two songs, arranged by Clara & friends.

Daniel Hoffman

A violinist, composer, and among the top international players of the klezmer fiddle style.

He is the descendent of a long line of Bessarabian furriers & first heard klezmer played by his father. Daniel co-founded the US-based groups Davka, the Klez-X, & the Israeli group Trio Carpion. He has written scores for silent movies & two musicals, including David in Shadow & Light, produced by Theater J in Washington DC. He also plays Turkish music & related traditions & has performed with a dizzying array of musicians from disparate genres, including Michael Tilson Thomas, Shai Tsabari, The Klezmatics, The Flying Bulgars, Ehud Banai, Ute Lemper, Omar Faruk Tekbilek, David Krakauer & many more.

Instagram: @danielhoffmanviolinist

Show More

The pilot episode of his musical extreme sports documentary, Otherwise It’s Just Fire-wood was released in 2018 on American PBS stations. He is currently a graduate student at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in the field of ethnomusicology & plays Turkish music with Harel Shachal and the Ottomans at Shafa Bar in Jaffa.

Watch “Otherwise It’s Just Firewood” Trailer

Daniel Hoffman’s Track Descriptions

Tracks 1 and 2: KLEZMER 101

Klezmer is the instrumental folk music of Eastern European Jews. It arrived to the USA with the waves of late 19th & early 20th century immigrants. Full of influences from Turkish, Ukrainian, & Romanian music, as well the cantorial tradition from the synagogue, klezmer is bursting with nearly every kind of emotion imaginable.

Click here for Daniel Hoffman YouTube

Show More

As these immigrants settled in New York & other East Coast cities, klezmer began to fall out of fashion in the 1940s by kids who were more interested in baseball & jazz. It
became the music you absolutely did NOT want at your bar mitzvah.

After a decade or two of relative obscurity, the same people involved in the folk music revival in the 1960s, including many bluegrass musicians, began to rediscover the rich musical tradition their parents had thrown away.

It was the start of a revival of this rich folk tradition that currently involves hundreds of bands from all over the world. Through demonstrations & recordings, Daniel will share several important eras in the development of klezmer as well as simple Yiddish songs that are easy to learn. Everyone can join the rhythm section in spontaneous jam sessions. No experience necessary (no, really).

Tracks 3 and 4: The Wildacre Klezmer Band!

Open to all instruments! We’ll learn dance tunes, listening tunes, tunes designed to make a bride weep at her wedding & much more. We’ll explore all the elements that make up klezmer-the sometimes asymmetrical rhythmic basis, harmonies, ornamentation, modes, and the riffs that define this amazingly flexible music.
We’ll learn to play a krechts on any instrument. (& even learn how to pronounce it) More advanced players can learn a doina – a free-rhythm, highly ornamented Improvisational tune. We’ll learn bulgars, freilechs, khosidls, terkishes, horas, & much more. We’ll even learn some basic circle dances.

Watch The Premier: Deep Klezmer Fiddle Project, & Original Klezmer Fusion

Aboubacar Sylla

A master musician & teacher of West African music & dance, as well as a traditional instrument builder. Abou has been performing professionally for over 20 years, sharing the culture of West Africa around the world. Born into a family of traditional musicians in Guinea, West Africa, Abou began his study of both the djembe and balafon as a child.

Sylla Music

Show More

He lived, studied and performed with his balafon teacher until moving to the capital of Guinea to perform with his family. Abou was invited to join Les Ballets Africains, and performed with them for six years, playing the balafon, djembe, krin, doundoun and bote.
Living in Austin, TX, Abou has been named a Master Folk Artist for Texas Folklife’s Folk Arts Apprenticeship Program. Bramaya, Abou’s West African dance and drum troupe, is named in honor of his father’s village.

Aboubacar Sylla – – YouTube

Aboubacar Sylla’s Track Descriptions


Upon Guinea’s liberation from French colonization in 1958, the dance and music of rural Guinean villages was converted into national ballet, becoming the country’s premier method of sharing their arts with the world. Comprised primarily of djembe, and the dunun family of bass drums (sangban, dunun, and kenkeni), melorhythm emerges from the complex interplay of interlocking parts.

Click here for Abou on Balafon, Krin, & Bote

Click here to see Abou teaching at Rochester

Show More

For newcomers to the music, as well as experts, the thrill of the overlapping voices lets one’s ear “move around the music” in a way not possible in Western music. Drums & balafons provided.

Abou is a highly skilled teacher who earns rave reviews from students of all levels. Join others traveling across the country just to be a part of Abou’s energetic classes.


Guinean popular music is trademarked by converting ancient stories, rhythms, and melodies into new and fresh formats. Let yourself get swept away in these beautiful, bluesy songs.
Abou, whose family is of the Susu language group, is a jeli—a musician in charge of transmitting oral history through music. Shown from his Carnegie Hall performances with Atash World Music Band to the several Austin global music bands of which Abou is a member, his skills in arranging Guinean melodic music are demonstrably unmatched. Abou delights in creating and arranging music with any and all instruments.

Click here for Abou with Atash

Click here for Abou with Bamako Airlines

Josh & Mallory Carter

A husband wife duo from the heart of the Southern Appalachian Mountains. They are dedicated to keeping mountain traditions alive; learning from local elders, raising barefoot children, tending a vegetable garden, free ranging chickens, singing ballads to the family dairy cow. Everyday life for the Carters is reflected in the authenticity of their craft. They see tradition as an evolving art, always changing & never stagnant. Not only do they create their own unique interpretations of ancient tunes that have been passed down orally for centuries, they write powerful music inspired by the traditions, the people and the mountains from whence they came.


Pretty Little Goat

Show More

Josh explains, “Appalachian music is historically young as a genre, but the roots run deep. Heavily influenced by African, European and first Nation rhythms & melodies, it is a world music tradition in the truest sense. We love to explore our connection to the mountains through music, & share that joy with those around us.”
Josh and Mallory met at a barn dance, & have kept that spark alive throughout their time together. Contradance, square dance, flatfooting, many forms of dance may show up in their classes.
Their lifestyle, studies, passion for life and creativity are at the core of their band, Pretty Little Goat. If you haven’t heard this band, take a listen for some good clean fun!

Josh & Mallory Carter’s Track Descriptions

TRACKS 1 & 2: Appalchian Ballads & Improvised Rhythms

There is a phenomenon that many locals call “the music of the mountains.” On long walks down dusty roads, you can practically hear the melodies dancing their way down the mountainside to meet you at the bottom. It feels like something much greater than ourselves, & our ancestors have been tapping into this magic for centuries. Appalachian songs (often called “Mountain Ballads”) feel as old as the hills, although the lyrics are often about regular, everyday life; the daily chores, food, love, birth & death.
They are typically sung unaccompanied, but can sound great with harmonies or other instruments as well.

Click here for Mallory singing Virginia Gals / Highlanders Farewell

Click here for Pretty Little Goat’s “Big Storm”

Show More

Musical patterns are all around us and can be expressed through us while we perform daily tasks. Literally or metaphorically, the best way to live life is to dance your way through it! Whether using everyday objects as instruments, finding patterns in everyday movements, or just dancing yourself silly, finding rhythm in the day- to-day makes life seem like less of a grind, bringing more joy to yourself and to those around you. Life is rhythm & rhythm is life. Using our voices, assorted percussive tools & provided washboards, the Carters will guide you on an Appalachian journey.

TRACKS 3 & 4: Appalachian Ensemble
The Appalachian music tradition is a melting pot of melodic, rhythmic and harmonic influences from cultures from all over the world. The banjo has roots in Africa; the fiddle and guitar hail from Europe; the mandolin has cousins in the Middle East, and there are all kinds of odd instruments like the washboard that may have been added spontaneously. This foundation paved the way for many modern sub-genres of mountain music such as “Bluegrass,” “Old-Time” & all of their cousins. Appalachian music is very much alive & evolving, ever changing as new musicians push ideas and boundaries, finding their unique voices within the tradition. Bring whatever instrument you have, whether you think it fits in or not. Music is made by the musician, not the instrument. Together, we will dig deep into the roots of mountain music and cover the following topics:
-Melodic structure
-Rhythmic play
-Creativity within tradition

Click here for original music by Josh Carter


River Guerguerian

Has been inspiring audiences with his ecstatic and versatile percussion for over 35 years. Born in Montreal to Armenian-Egyptian-Syrian parents, River began his cross-cultural musical journey at an early age. He graduated from The Manhattan School of Music Conservatory in 1989 with the school’s award for Most Outstanding Percussionist. River plays across a remarkable span of musical genres and traditions, both obscure & mainstream, delivering a personal & masterful sound with Old World instruments originating from the Middle East, India, & Africa.
River has recorded on over 300 albums & film soundtracks & has performed in over 30 countries with such groups as the BBC Symphony Orchestra, New Music Consort, Omar Faruk Tekbilek, Tibetan Singing Bowl Ensemble, Chuck Berry, Tan Dun, & Ziggy Marley and The Gipsy Kings. You can hear his lyrical style with his world jazz ensemble, Free Planet Radio, as well as others he curates.

Watch — River Guerguerian Music

Show More

In 1994, River sold all of his possessions and stepped off of the grid. He resided in a wildlife sanctuary in the Himalayas. The adventure lasted for five years and led to his immersion into sound and nature.
River is the Music Director of the Odyssey Community School & Artistic Director of Asheville Rhythm, which produces the Asheville Percussion Festival.


River Guerguerian’s Track Descriptions

TRACKS 1 & 2: Rhythms from the Middle East & Sound Meditation

The most important thing is to be in the moment of every note we play. We will play finger style drums like frame drums, doumbeks, & the riq tambourine. We will learn rhythms from across the Middle East. We will focus on creating tones, internalizing rhythm in the body, finding the pulse, building strength & dexterity, & playing grooves together. Frame Drums provided.

Multiple Frame Drum Solo

Immerse 1, from River’s Theta Meditation Series

Show More

Some scientists say that the brain receives up to 80% of its energy through the ears. Therefore by creating an external sound that resonates with a Theta Brainwave, we can stimulate the brain into a meditative state. Become a better listener by understanding how to use sound as a tool for meditation & how to create a sonically calming environment that will influence your state of being. Learn about brainwave states & brain synchronization through resonance & entrainment, using intention & awareness to facilitate connections in the brain & physical body. We will use Tibetan Singing Bowls, & Chinese Gongs.

TRACKS 3 & 4: Middle Eastern Music Ensemble sprinkled with Jazz

Music builds awareness of commonalities among individuals and cultures around the world. We will learn some traditional folk songs & how to use them as tools for improvisation in unique arrangements. We will learn song structures in a variety of odd time signatures using some new scales & musical concepts. Learn to play & step with poly rhythms. Give thanks for the ability to create and share Sound.

Click here for Free Planet Radio —Global Symphony Project

Click here for Free Planet Radio with Opal String Quartet

Geeta Chitrao

is a classical music teacher trained in Hindustani classical music. She received her training & expertise from her father, her guru, Pandit Shri Krishnarao Dasakkar. Geeta opened a branch of her father’s music school named “Nutan Sangeet Vidyalay” in Greenville, SC about eighteen years ago. She teaches Indian classical & non classical vocal skills & the harmonium, a classical Indian instrument similar to piano. Music is Geeta’s passion & she loves sharing this passion with all those that may appreciate the industry.


Show More

One of her many goals is to spread awareness & love for Hindustani classical music. She believes Music is a world language & enjoys teaching students of any age.

Geeta Chitrao’s Track Descriptions

Morning Warmup: Hindustani Singing

Each morning before participants break into smaller classes, we begin together with Hindustani singing led by Geeta Chitrao. The unifying sound of singing in sargam, & keeping rhythm in taal, will provide a joyous, meditative backbone at the retreat.

Eladji Alioune Faye

is from the long line of Fayes credited with being the early great masters of the Senegalese Sabar tradition, & plays sabar, tama, djembe & calabash. Since 2013 he has released 3 albums with Leni as a trio with Mamadou Ba, & 2 albums as a quartet with the addition of Argentinian keyboardist Leo Genovese . Alioune is based in New York where he leads the group Yakar Rhythms & is always on demand. He has worked with such greats as Stevie Wonder, Peter Gabriel, & Senegal’s premier sabar ensemble, Sing Sing Rhythm. Youssou N’Dour will have no percussionist other than Alioune when in NYC.

Live at Berkley

Show More

Leni praises Alioune’s deep roots in traditional music & pedagogical skills, while also noting that his time in a rock band in Dakar paid off—Alioune enjoys songwriting with a rock feel, with lyrics in the Wolof & Serer languages.

Eladji Alioune Faye’s Track Descriptions

TRACKS 1 & 2: Calabash & Dunun, & Senegalese Djembe

First, experience Senegalese rhythms from Alioune Faye, son of the great Sing Sing Faye, pioneer of the Senegalese sabar movement. Then, explore how to drop those licks into genres like jazz, funk, & rock. Whether constructing rhythms on calabash (coordinated with matching dunun parts), or scatting along with his djembe, Alioune gets his students hopping. Receive fun, new material from Alioune, as you explore the Wolof & Serer sides of West African percussion. Djembes & calabash provided (but bring your own if you have them!).

Taste of Djembe Workshops

Show More

Tracks 3 & 4: Senegalese Ensemble

Bring your instrument to these jam sessions to learn from one of Youssou N’Dour’s favorite musicians. Alioune’s career has been built in New York & Dakar on his easy infusion of traditional Wolof & Serer rhythms into a dizzying array of genres, from jazz to rock to Klezmer to Irish folk! Don’t sign up if you don’t like a good time… these workshops will be amazing!

Jelell—Leni Stern Featuring Alioune Faye

Calabash —Alioiune & Leni

Leni Stern

was named one of the “50 Most Sensational Female Guitarists of All Time” in Guitar Player magazine’s 50th anniversary issue in 2017, with the publication aptly dubbing her “a genre- defying adventurer.” Having released 23 albums since 1986, Leni has been on an evolutionary road, first studying in Mumbai to bring more a more liquid vocal quality to her guitar, & over the last 15 years in Senegal & Mali as she fused her long-honed contemporary jazz sound with a deeply felt exploration of West African styles.

Show More

She has performed & recorded extensively with Salif Keita, Amy Sacko, & Bassekou Kouyate among others. Leni is a 5-time winner of Leni Gibson’s Female Jazz Guitarist of the Year award.

“Crocodile” at The Mint, LA

Leni Stern’s Track Descriptions

All Tracks: Songwriting Across Borders

Leni Stern’s 4-decade career has solidified her as one of the all-time best female jazz guitarists. Over the last 20 years, Leni has taken her fluid guitar melodies across the globe, carefully studying and improving. “I don’t want to imitate West African music on my guitar…I want to integrate it,” Leni says. She is also a prolific songwriter who is especially interested in merging genres.

Leni Stern Quartet—Kono

Amy Sacko featuring Leni

Show More

Tracks 3 & 4: Jazz Riffs, West African Form

Dive into Leni’s world of jazz, exploring riffs and melodic ornamentations that drop naturally into West African music. Learn straight from the source the elements of jazz that work best when for soloing in Salif Keita or Toumani Diabate’s bands. With a strong form, all sorts of musical integrations are possible, from the melodies to the shapes of harmonies, to the rhythms.
Spend time jamming with Leni in her own, & other clinicians’ workshops, as she shares musical insights accumulated over 40 years as a professional musician.


Adults/Teens, Arrival ***Hold Cell Phones Sideways*** Double Occupancy
     Monday 4PM $974
    Thursday 1 PM $850
Youth, AGE 6-12, Arrival
     Monday 4PM $644
      Thursday 1PM $514
Children, Age 3-5, Arrival
     Monday 4PM $381
      Thursday 1PM $251
Children, Age 0-2 Free
Daily Commuter  Limited
    Ages 13 & up Per Day $160
     Age 6-12 Per Day $130
     Age 3-5 Per Day $75


Prices include all meals, lodging, & classes. There are a limited number of scholarships (generally covering 1/2 tuition) available for students, professional musicians, and teachers. Single rooms may be available, with a 50% increase in fees. Wildacres policy is to not book single rooms to the exclusion of other potential attendees. Please email for all scholarship & single room requests after registering. Also please email if you represent a group of students or large family seeking a package rate. Commuter spots are very limited and do not cover food costs. We strongly encourage all participants to stay on-site to get the most out of your experience. A SURCHARGE OF 4% WILL BE BILLED TO ALL PAYPAL or VENMO “BUSINESS” PAYMENTS.

Mail Checks To:

“Community Sound” at PO Box 175, Tigerville SC, 29688