Henderson County Junior Appalachian Musicians

Henderson County Junior Appalachian Musicians (JAM kids) is operated by FBVMA and is an after-school program for children ages 8-17 to learn regional mountain music and dance. JAM kids introduce music through small group instruction on instruments common to the Appalachian region, such as the fiddle, banjo, and guitar. Students learn songs, participate in group “all-play” and string band classes, learning regional music and making friends along the way. The Henderson County JAM is an affiliate of the parent organization JAM but is locally operated and funded.

The Henderson County JAM is taught by well-known regional instructors well versed in the music. Classes currently meet approximately 1-6 pm Tuesdays at the Henderson County Parks and Recreation Center at 708 South Grove Street in Hendersonville. Email us for more information. FBVMAmail@gmail.com

Our Instructors

Carol Rifkin

Fiddle, guitar, dance, string band – Director of FBVMA and the lead instructor for JAM kids.

Carol’s music, dance and stories are engaging, filled with fiddle tunes and songs with themes more likely to reference hobos, moonshine, or the Great Depression than current events. She’s danced with Doc and Merle Watson (“That’s the best dancin’ I ever heard,” said Doc), Taj Mahal, toured with the early Green Grass Cloggers, recorded with Dick Tarrier, Roger Howell, David Holt, her fiddle mentor Arvil Freeman, appears in the movie “Songcatcher” and the British TV production “Down Home Appalachia to Nashville” with Tommy Jarrell and Aly Bain. Her soaring voice is uniquely recognizable on stage and radio (WNCW/WSIF/This Old Porch) and more than 1,000 of her stories about mountain culture have been published in newspapers and magazines. With a lifelong love of roots music, fiddle contests and festivals, she co-founded and was Assistant Producer of LEAF. Recipient of two Bascom Lamar Lunsford awards for contributions to mountain culture (2013, 2016), she’s one of the women featured in the Smithsonian exhibit “I’ve Endured, Women in Old Time Music.” At home she coordinates JAM kids of Henderson County, teaches, hosts a weekly session and likes to kayak or run with Bud the Rocket Dog.

Blaine Chappell

Banjo, All Play

With roots in North Carolina that reach back to the late 17th century, Blaine grew up in Durham and spent summers  camping, fishing, hiking, and listening to mountain music with his parents. Formally trained in classical, marching, and jazz trumpet, his great love became the mountain style banjo he heard as a child and since 2019, has studied and played banjo in the early styles. When not playing banjo or teaching at JAM, he’s currently a manufacturing engineer at Pratt & Whitney in Asheville and lives in Zirconia, NC with his wife, family and pets. 

Sheila Kay Adams

Substitute banjo

A National Heritage award winner and banjo player, Sheila has been the main banjo instructor in the past and now serves as a substitute when needed. 

Jennifer Stanton

Alternate Instructor

Jen was JAM kids first banjo instructor, year one, when classes were held at Oklawaha Brewery and later at Jackson Park. Always willing to step in and help, her positive energy was crucial to creating the program. Jen hosted Charlotte’s Wednesday night old time jam and organized events there for fifteen years before coming to the mountains. She has performed regionally and busked all over the U.S.  

Contact Us

Contact: Email:

PO Box 914
Horseshoe, NC 28742

The French Broad Valley Music Association (FBVMA) is 501 C-3 nonprofit association that promotes old-timey mountain music in the French Broad Valley of Western North Carolina. Our mission is to celebrate our musical heritage and to help build community through musical entertainment, community participation, and education of future generations. 


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