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Being apart of the MBOTMA community has forever changed my life. As a songwriter and artist, there is no better feeling than belonging to a community that shares your passions. I feel so fortunate to have bee able to share my musical gifts from our stages with my band mates. I love diving deep into the mandolin with other enthusiasts at workshops. I love the traditions, I love the festivals, I love the people. As a board member, I also want to say that it has been a real challenge but also a real joy helping guide the organization over the last 5 years. I've experienced deep growth, I've made new friends, and hopefully done some good along the way. I particularly want to thank Laura Cooper who has served as our President these last 4 years. I am so grateful for her leadership and will miss her cool demeanor. Also, thanks to Bill Cagley. Bill was the first person I jammed with at a MBOTMA event and is still one of my favorite people. Hearing Bill sing and play is a real joy. What an incredible community we have. I can't wait until we can gather together again.

-Nic Hentges

I travel from Indiana in recent years to visit with family in MN and immediate family (brothers and sisters and sometimes others)

Get to attend the wonderful get together with the music and other entertainment of the August Bluegrass Festival there.

So sad not to have that this year and to lose o e of my brothers this year too. One of the memories of him will always be tied to that Bluegrass get together. Everyone there is always cordial and like a further extended family. Music really dies bring people together from the heart.

-Gregory Olin


To all my friends in the Country Music jam room. I so look forward seeing you at the March festival each year. I hope the covid situation gets under control so we can continue to make music together. I pray that you all stay well. 

- Keith Winger

Thank you to a member from Walker, I believe, that encouraged me to take up an instrument, after I expressed my envy. She had just finished jamming with Laurie Lewis.

I did take her advice. Taught myself to play the spoons and moved on to a Ukulele a year later. Still playing, still jamming,

and this year Zooming with friends and amazing musicians and instructors.


Happy Holidays to the Mother Banjo Band--Dan Gaarder, Jim Parker, Ben Cook-Feltz and our rotating cast of bass players! Miss you and hope to jam with you soon!

-Ellen Stanley

Thanks to my clogging teachers, Julie Young and Teresa Neby Lind; and to my banjo teachers, John Heine and Eric Lind. And to all the square dancers who have pointed me in the correct direction during the Right and Left Grand, etc.

-Stacey Berkheimer

It is an important part of my life to support things that I believe in. Music is in my soul.


I really miss my fellow bluegrassers. I learned so much at Jam Camps. Professionals more than happy to show you all they can. No matter how bad you think you played, everyone still applauds. So much fun. Had lots of time to practice, can’t wait to do it again. Thanks to MNBOTA maybe I’ll get the chance. Thank you Board members

-Brooks Shepard

Minnesota Bluegrass & Old-Time Music Association

P.O. Box 16408, Minneapolis, MN 55416

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Our Mission: To preserve and promote bluegrass and old-time stringband music in and around the state of Minnesota.
MBOTMA is a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Organization. EIN: 36-3336499

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