Louis Jay Meyers Music Camp

The Louis Jay Meyers Music Camp (named for its late founder, Louis Jay Meyers) is celebrating seven years offering the finest musical instruction. It is a camp like no other, where pros study with legends and dedicated hobbyists learn from the best in the field.

The Louis Jay Meyers Music Camp takes place during the annual Folk Alliance International Conference, located this year in New Orleans, Louisiana. 18 classes are offered over three days for all conference attendees, covering topics such as songwriting, harmony singing, on-stage sound, instrument-specific skills, and much more. 2020 classes and instructors will be announced in October. Join us to sharpen your skills with knowledge from some of the best in the industry!

About Louis Jay Meyers

Louis Jay Meyers was the Executive Director of Folk Alliance International (FAI) from 2005 – 2014. A native of Austin, Texas, and one of the founders of SXSW (South by Southwest), Louis was an avid banjo and pedal steel player and was a tireless champion for musicians. His creation of FAI’s music camp is perhaps the most significant example of his vision for community building and his passion for great music. Louis’ vision for the camp was clear: a community built around learning and playing music, where the focus is on the exchange of knowledge and sharing of traditions, where world-class musicians serve as instructors to students of all ages and levels. Louis’ original vision is the foundation for the music camp, and his legacy of community inclusion and passion for music continues today.


$10 until January 1, 2020
$15 from January 2, 2020 – January 22, 2020
$20 onsite


2020 Class Schedule

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Allowing Your Audience to Find Their Own Meaning

Ray Bonneville

10:00am-11:15am, Bayside A


Given the room to do so, listeners are compelled to put their own “colors” into a song. The audience’s experiences and perspectives help to create the perfect song just as much as the songwriter’s. The space left between the notes allows the audience to interpret a song in a way that is personal and unique to them, giving them the feeling that the song belongs to them, too. This workshop will help you craft songs that provide a narrative that can be shaped to any listener’s unique experiences.

Beyond the Craft – The Extended Life of a Song (Sponsored by Truefire)

Ellis Paul

10:00am-11:15am, Bayside C


Today’s songwriter must function like a one-person media company to keep their songs alive long after they are written, recorded and released. In this class, master songwriter Ellis Paul will present creative strategies for crafting compelling extensions of your songs, across a variety of media, and how these extensions affect the craft of songwriting itself. These proven approaches help today’s artists broaden their audience and extend the life of their songs.

Guitar Flatpicking of the Masters

Beppe Gambetta

12:00pm-1:15pm, Bayside A

Learning and understanding the music of the great masters is one of the most important steps in the process of becoming a better player. Come compare and analyze some important solos from the giants of the flatpicking guitar, from a living master.

Authentic Stage Craft

Shakura S’aida

12:00pm-1:15pm, Bayside C

Have ever wondered what to do with your hands, how to stand, or what to say onstage? This workshop is perfect for you! Shakura will give you insight into how to present your most authentic self with confidence while singing, by strengthening your vocal, lyrical, and performance presentation.

Cajun Fiddle Techniques and Tunes

Gina Forsyth

1:30pm-2:45pm, Bayside A

Learn to play basic rhythms, improvise, and participate in a call-and-response method. This class will delve into a few standard two-steps and waltzes, and bowing patterns essential to Cajun fiddling. Recording devices are recommended.

Getting Creatively Free – Practical Tools for Your Songwriting Success

Francesca de Valence

1:30pm-2:45pm, Bayside C

Taught by the founder of I Heart Songwriting Club, this class will teach you some practical tools for overcoming songwriters’ biggest blocks and barriers once and for all. Be inspired to tackle writers’ block, time management, isolation, procrastination and more. Take action to become the best songwriter you can be.

Friday, January 24, 2020

A Rapid Fire Tour of the Latest Free and Affordable Music Tech for Artists (Sponsored by Berklee Online)

Bruce Houghton

10:00am-11:15am, Bayside A


In this rapid-fire session, Bruce Houghton (editor/publisher at Hypebot and Music Think Tank, founder of the Skyline Agency, and Berklee Online instructor) will show you the best free and affordable apps, tools, and tricks that actually work to capture more fans, sell more tickets, stream more music, and move your career forward. The seminar will focus on how to make widely known tools more effective (Instagram, Bandsintown, Google Analytics, etc.) as well as ones that have more niche uses (like show.co, restream.io, tweetsmap). The presentation will survey the audience’s needs and provide insight based on the knowledge and needs of those in attendance.

The Accordion of the Cajun French

Bruce Daigrepont

10:00am-11:15am, Bayside C


Bruce comes from a fluent Cajun French-speaking household in Marksville, LA, and is a legendary local musician/songwriter. This class will touch on the history of the Cajuns, their culture and music. With his accordion, his Cajun songs will be demonstrated and translated in context. Questions are encouraged.

Looping 101

Saul Paul

11:30am-12:45pm, Bayside A

A loop pedal records your voice, guitar, violin or whatever you input and repeatedly plays it back on a loop. It gives you the ability to overdub new recordings over the old in real time. This workshop will introduce you to various loop pedals and ways to use them.

Singing & Stringing

Laura Cortese

11:30am-12:45pm, Bayside C

We’ll guide you in exploring your string instrument as an accompaniment to your voice. You will learn one song and its chords, explore accompaniment possibilities through chord-voicings, arrangement, and rhythmic techniques (including chopping), plus strategies to increase your singing and playing abilities.

Tracking the Muse

Patty Larkin

2:00pm-3:15pm, Bayside A

This class will teach you how to use recording in a home studio as a tool for inspiration. You’ll learn how to best set up your studio, what some great gear options are, and how to expand your ideas from your iPhone to a finished product.

Creole Banjo and Guitar from a Master

Don Vappie

2:00-3:15pm, Bayside C

“Papa” Don Vappie is the acknowledged living master of the New Orleans banjo tradition and a tireless advocate for local Creole culture and music. A sought-after guitarist and bassist as well, any string playing will benefit from this class on the rhythms and string traditions of New Orleans.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Traditional Dance with Non-Traditional Gender Roles

Laura Mae Socks

10:00am-11:15am, Bayside A


This class will teach the basics of partner dancing in a traditional traveling style learned in southwest Louisiana, without the traditional gender roles that come with it.

Tex-Mex Your Tunes!

Max & Josh Baca (Los Texmaniacs)

10:00am-11:15am, Bayside C


Learn Tex-Mex Conjunto sounds and rhythms from San Antonio natives and GRAMMY® award winners, Max and Josh Baca. They will instruct on the traditional 3-row button accordion and the bajo sexto and how you can incorporate those sounds onto your instruments and spice up your music with a little San Antonio too!

Get Some New Orleans into your Guitar

Chip Wilson

11:30am-12:45pm, Bayside A

Guitarist/songwriter Chip Wilson is inspired by the New Orleans fingerstyle players like Snooks Eaglin and Snoozer Quinn. Learn New Orleans style bass lines and techniques for producing the funky sound of the New Orleans “second line” and more. You’ll also learn right hand triplets and banjo-style rolls, left hand chord forms and licks for NOLA styles. No plectrums or thumbpicks needed as bare fingers work best!

OnStage Sound – For Women By Women

Missy Dupreast

11:30am-12:45pm, Bayside C

This sound workshop for women will provide a practical overview of sound theory, sound board function, EQ techniques, and the fundamental vocabulary and terminology to get what you want and need when speaking to sound crews from the stage during sound checks and in live performance.

Intro to Afro Cuban Percussion

Magdelys Savigne

2:00-3:15pm, Bayside A

Cuba is well-known for its music around the world, and this class will be focusing on Afrocuban music and the origins of the Batá drums. We’ll also be covering the role of women in Afrocuban music, with the goal of encouraging women to step out of their comfort zone and break free of the rules intended to keep them from playing this music. We’ll go on a rhythmic journey to Cuba and learn about the culture and influences that Cuban music has around the world.

Gene Shay Songwriting Critique

2:00pm-4:00pm, Bayside C

This class is an opportunity to share your songs with an expert panel. All conference registrants are welcome to attend, however, you must sign up in advance if you would like your song critiqued. Registrants who have signed up in advance will perform one unrecorded song and receive constructive feedback on melody, lyric, and overall song. Come prepared with 5 copies of the unrecorded song lyric sheets.

While onsite, you may sign up at the LJM Camp registration desk in the Bayside Foyer (4th Floor). Come prepared with 5 copies of the unrecorded song lyric sheets.