Guitar Week – July 23-29, 2023



The Covid-19 pandemic has presented unique challenges to the safe presentation of in-person gatherings of all types. For next summer, our safety protocols will be guided by the recommendations of the national Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Buncombe County Health Department and those of Warren Wilson College. We anticipate that these measures will continue to evolve in response to the progress of the virus, but as of this writing:

All participants, including children, must provide documentation, verified with a photo ID, that they are up to date with a COVID-19 vaccine primary series and have gotten the most recent booster dose recommended by the CDC. For maximum immunity, please insure that your immunizations are up-to-date at least two weeks before your participation in the 2023 Swannanoa Gathering.

– We recommend that Gathering participants remain on campus throughout the week.

– Other Covid precautions may be imposed in the spring depending on conditions projected for July. Registrants will be notified in advance of additional safety protocols.

– Participants will be updated throughout the spring of any changes or additions to these safety measures.


Since 1991, the Swannanoa Gathering’s Guitar Week has brought together a world-class staff of teaching artists and dedicated students to the beautiful setting of the Blue Ridge Mountains for a week of classes, concerts and jamming. Removed from the pressures and schedules of everyday life, participants are immersed in what one student has called “guitar utopia.” Hosted near Asheville, NC on the Warren Wilson College campus, the Swannanoa Gathering is one of the finest programs of its kind in the world, having received both the Bronze and Silver Medal Player’s Choice Award for Music Camps by the readers of Acoustic Guitar magazine. Each year, Guitar Week attracts award-winning faculty, including this year’s Clive Carroll (Total Guitar Magazine’s “Top 10 Acoustic Guitarists of All Time”), Christie Lenée (International Fingerstyle Guitar Champion), and Robin Bullock (Swannanoa Gathering’s Master Music Maker Award). Providing quality guitar instruction at every level and in multiple genres and traditions, a week at the Swannanoa Gathering will help you grow as a musician in a supportive community of acoustic guitar lovers, many of whom will become lifelong friends. Whether you are a beginner just learning your first chords, an intermediate player exploring a new genre or a gigging musician hoping to bring your playing to a new level, you will be challenged, nurtured and nearly guaranteed to have a good time. With classes in blues, bluegrass, bossa nova, jazz, swing, African fingerpicking, choro, Celtic, composition, technique, beginning guitar, songwriting, flatpicking, percussive and fingerstyle, there is something for everyone in every class period. This year will welcome back all-time favorite instructors from years past including Mary Flower, Jamie Stillway, Clive Carroll, Toby Walker and Grant Gordy along with veteran staff Robin Bullock, Sean McGowan, Tony McManus, Christie Lenée, Ed Dodson, Cory Seznec, Danny Knicely and Greg Ruby. Joining Guitar Week for the first time will be Lisa Liu and Cesar Garabini. Please read the class descriptions carefully and self-assess your level before registering. Typically, beginning level classes move at a slower pace and develop foundational guitar skills, while intermediate classes move a bit quicker with the expectation to have the basics under your fingers with advanced levels taking a deeper dive into technique, theory, genre or arranging. For the majority of our classes, it is recommended that students play at an intermediate level – be able to tune their instruments, keep time, play scales cleanly, and know how to play a few tunes with confidence. Ed Dodson will be leading daily ‘slow jams’ where participants can learn easy songs in a relaxed environment. Our Luthiers Exhibit will feature guitars from respected builders John Slobod, John Kinnaird and Judson Riviere. Local guitar shop Dream Guitars will be on hand a few days during the week showcasing selected guitars from their incredible inventory. Guitar Week runs concurrently with Contemporary Folk Week, and students may take classes from either program.