Ken Kolodner is widely recognized as one of "one of today's most accomplished, musical hammered dulcimer artists..." (Elderly) and a fine old-time fiddler. As a soloist and in ensembles with Helicon (with Chris Norman and Robin Bullock), Greenfire (with Laura Risk), Elke Baker, his son Brad (see www.kenandbrad.com), and many others, Ken has performed for more than 35 years.
Focusing largely on traditional music, Kolodner has often been called one of the most influential players in the U.S. His music has been featured on national broadcasts on NPR, The Thistle and the Shamrock, All Things Considered, the CBC, the Voice of America, German National Radio, Performance Today and countless radio shows.
Ken is thrilled to now perform with his son Brad (clawhammer banjo, fiddle, vocals). The Kolodner's perform frequently with Rachel Eddy (fiddle, guitar, vocals, banjo) and Alex Lacquement (bass, banjo). Working again with Rachel & Alex, Ken & Brad are working on their 4th CD to be released late in 2019. The Kolodner's released their first CD in 2011: Otter Creek recently became the second most played instrumental recording as reported by folk DJs across the U.S. Subsequent recordings are Skipping Rocks (2013) and The Swift House (2017). In 2018, Ken's composition "The Swift House" won Best Instrumental at "Clifftop." And in August 2019, the quartet was thrilled to win The Neo-Traditional Band contest.
Kolodner founded and runs The Sandbridge Hammered Dulcimer Retreats in Sandbridge Virginia. This series of workshops is now in its 15th year and runs for six weeks attracting approximately 180 participants each year. It is widely known as the elite workshop for hammered dulcimer players.
Kolodner's many credits include a featured solo in an Emmy-nominated CBS-TV Christmas special, over a dozen recordings with sales well over 125,000, an “Indie” winner and a #1 World Music title of traditional Celtic music (Walking Stones) and bestseller for BMG (with over 60,000 copies sold), and numerous books and instructional recordings. He has developed a series of video lessons for the hammered dulcimer.
Ken’s playing has been described as “world-class” (Sing Out!), "nothing short of astonishing" (The Connection), “outstanding” (The New York Times), “marvelous” (The Washington Post), “virtuosic” (Audio), “stunning in its musicality” (Dulcimer Player News) and “not to be missed” (USA TODAY). Ken has shared the stage and performed with Doc Watson, Kevin Burke, Alison Krauss, Jay Ungar, John McCutcheon, Jean Ritchie, Bryan Bowers, The Honey Dew Drops, Caleb Stine, Liz Carroll, Lea Gilmore, Liz Caroll, Billy McComiskey and countless others. Ken is also one of a handful of players of the exotic hammered mbira.
You can see a full list of our instructors and the classes they teach on our instructor page.