NIBA News & Articles

2017 NIBA Officers & Board of Directors

 President: Tom Gerber (815-312-3964),

 Vice President: Kim Kraemer (312-730-7469),

 Treasurer: Cindy Kline (224-569-6210)

 Secretary: Mary Krasko (815-879-2414)


Board Members

Jim Berkland 630-479-6610

Bill Fulton 818-673-8694

Joyce Kraemer

Rich Krasko 815-879-2414

Ray Ward 815-732-4641




Please make all submissions for this newsletter by the 15th of each month to Send all printed copy and photos to: NIBA, PO Box 310, West Dundee, IL 60118. This newsletter is copyrighted by the NIBA.


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Including (but not limited to) member submissions, bio/song of the greats


Member Submission


What a wonderful night at Calamity Jane's on Saturday August 12!!   Terri and Dave thank everyone that came out to enjoy Fox Valley Grass and wish us Happy 45th Anniversary.   We even had friends from Asheville, North Carolina make a surprise visit and stay for the whole show!   A special treat was having the lovely Jackie Hoban join FVG with her beautiful voice.  


Fox Valley Grass will return to Calamity Jane's on Saturday, September 16 at 7 pm, all are welcome!!"




Dave "Barney" Erickson




Plano Superfest 2017


Thanks to all the musicians that helped support the NIBA at this annual event.



Yeah to our great lookin roadies!





Spotted these crazy cooks !






NIBA Dates to Remember:


Sept 17 : NIBA Picnic, Illini State Park


Dec 2 : NIBA Christmas Party,

Harding Community Center






Glen Campbell Passes
























We share the sadness with the rest of the music world as news broke that Glen Campbell, celebrated country singer and guitarist, has died at the age of 81. Campbell had been suffering this past few years from Alzheimer痴 disease and eventually succumbed to its complications.

While never specifically a bluegrass artist, Campbell was responsible for helping launch the career of one of our most beloved performers, the great John Hartford, also deceased. His recording of Hartford痴 classic song, Gentle On My Mind, was a giant hit in 1969, and continues to be among the most recorded and performed songs in the country music realm.

He left another gift to the bluegrass world in the form of his daughter, Ashley, who is a banjo player and singer following in her father痴 footsteps.

Deepest condolences to the Campbell family and his millions of fans. And a deep thanks to the man for all he did for our music.


R.I.P., Glen Campbell.


(Excerpts from Bluegrass Today)


Member Submission

Joe Jablonski

Steve Kaufman Acoustic Kamps


I was fortunate to attend my second Kaufman Kamp this year. This was the 22nd year of the Steve Kaufman Acoustic Kamps. There are two one-week music Kamps, first week is Old Time and Traditional, second week is Bluegrass Week, held on campus of Maryville College, near Knoxville, TN.

For Bluegrass music pickers, this is one of best Kamps in the country, it is fun and intense and all about learning, playing and listening to Bluegrass music 24/7 for the week. With the dorm jams going on until at least 1 AM each night, it is hard to find time to sleep, you really do not want to sleep! I participated in mandolin Kamp, the instructors were outstanding as usual, Alan Bibey, Tim Connell, Emory Lester, John Reischman, Roland White, and Chicago痴 Don Stiernberg. This year we had over 60 mandolin students, there are 6 classes of about 15 each. There were about 60 flatpicking students, and smaller classes for fiddle, banjo, dobro, bass and songwriting. Classes are divided into beginning, intermediate and advanced levels.

A typical day starts out with breakfast in cafeteria, excellent food!, then morning jams or hanging around until first class at 10 AM-12 PM. Then lunch, and free time until 2-4 PM class. The classes rotate through different instructors, each one presents a different aspect of playing. For example, on Day 1, John Reichman drove us through a pretty complicated instrumental called 鼎azadero, it really helps to read tab or notation for advanced classes, not my strong suite. But we got through the song in two intense hours. Emory Lestor gave us lesson on how to be creative in our playing, throwing out many new ideas, he took a 礎oring tune 鉄alt Creek, and showed us how to spice it up, and play notes we don稚 usually play. Alan Bibey let students play his 1923 Lloyd Loar Gibson F-5 mando after class, I was amazed at how low the action was, and how much sound that mando produces, can cross that experience off my bucket list.

There are also elective 溺aster Classes you can sign up for each day from 4:15-5:00 PM. These classes are limited in size to about 9, and the instructor gives one-on-one time to each student (60 min/number of students). I took Don Stiernberg痴 master class, and got 10 minutes from Don. I wanted to learn a jazz chord progression for PanHandle Rag. Hard to believe, but in 10 minutes he did it, I have a pretty cool jazz chord progression for that tune, now.

Other master class titles include 擢inding Melodies by Ear, 天ocal Techniques for Singers, 溺usic Theory Crash Course, 典one and Speed, 展hat it Takes to be a Lifelong Musician (by Roland White!), and many more.

There is a 腺and Scramble on the last day, Friday. If you want in on it, you put your name into an envelope for your instrument, names are drawn for each instrument early Friday morning and scrambled together. Your band has 45 minutes to practice two tunes to perform for the judges (instructors). Winners got a big cool blue ribbon, and played on stage Friday night before the instructor concerts. The instructor concerts are really the highlight of each day. The instructors put their own bands together each night. The music is fantastic, each night a world-class 2-hour bluegrass concert. One highlight was a performance with all the flatpicking instructors together: Mark Cosgrove, Tyler Grant, Tim May, Wayne Taylor, Doug Yeomans and Steve Kaufman picking Cherokee Shuffle at very high energy level. Alan Bibey did a solo medley of famous Bill Monroe instrumentals and mando lines, starting out with 展heelhoss and ending with 迭awhide. The instructors are very friendly folks, one night we had a few come down and jam in the dorm with us, Dan Boner (Director of Bluegrass Music at East Tennessee State Univ.) and Kent Knorr, Ukulele instructor.

A few other pickers from Chicago area attended, Tom and Sue Durante, and Steve Haberichter set up a music store in the lobby of main building each day.

I encourage NIBA members to go attend a Bluegrass music camp, whether it is the Kaufman Kamp, or any of the others around, there are many. It is not a stretch to say that I learned more about Bluegrass and music in seven days at the Kamp than in seven years learning on my own. As a bonus, you make many new friends and take home many good memories and lots of new material to practice.

Text Box: Vice President痴 Note

    So far it has been a great summer with lots of events, performances by our member bands as well as some great festivals.

    But the summer is not over yet! Check out the Concerts, Festivals and Other Events as well as the event flyers to see where what other Bluegrass event you can attend yet this summer.

    On September 17, we have our NIBA Picnic once again at Illinoi State Park right on the river in Marseilles. Please try to attend this NIBA member event, the more the merrier!

    On September 30th, we be holding another NIBA Scholarship Fundraiser Jam at the Earlville Township Hall. We need performers and our gracious members to come and help support this effort. The scholarship is to help young people continue in their interest/study of Bluegrass music.

    We have a great write up from Joe Jablonski on a Kaufman Kamp he attended, be sure to read it. If you want to improve your skills at playing or singing bluegrass consider attending one of his camps.

    The NIBA also had a good representation at the Dixon-Murst farm and the Plano Superfest. Thank you to all who attended these events!

    I would like to give a shout out to Bill Fulton who also helped man our NIBA tent at the Frankfort festival but I was remiss in mentioning last month.

Yours in Bluegrass,
Kim Kraemer, Vice President and Newsletter Editor



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