Breakin’ Up Winter video created by producer Jon Grimson

Breakin’ Up Winter

Shake off the cold and rosin up your bow

NOTSBA invites you to be a part of our annual gathering of old-time music lovers from around the country who come to learn, jam, dance, sing, hike, eat, and just sit around talking about and enjoying the music we all love. Breakin’ Up Winter is NOTSBA’s annual retreat held at Cedars of Lebanon State Park the first weekend in March every year. The time there is leisurely and peaceful, the perfect opportunity to commune with Mother Nature and connect with your inner bum-ditty.

The backbone of Breakin’ Up Winter is our Roots of Old-Time Music presentation lineup. Breakin’ Up Winter attracts quality speakers every year. A team of presenters each give a talk and a tune workshop, and most lead an open jam. Presenters come from all across the country, injecting new character into old time classics and teaching new tunes for us to savor. Some presenters are fiddlers, some banjo players, others are guitar pickers or play pretty near anything that makes music. The atmosphere is always light and many laughs are heard between tunes. BUW is always fun and rewarding to attend.

NOTSBA’S Heritage Award

Heritage Award

2008 Charlie Acuff

2009 Clyde Davenport

2010 Alan Jabbour

2011 Franklin George

2012 Lester McCumbers

2013 Kerry Blech

2014 Alice Gerrard

2015 Vesta Johnson

2016 Walt Koken

2017 Paul Brown

2018 Thomas Maupin

2019 Art Rosenbaum

2020 Buddy Ingram

Each year, the NOTSBA Board of Directors selects a person or persons who are known for their lifelong dedication to teaching and passing on old time music in a traditional manner, and presents them with a plaque and small honorarium.

NOTSBA’s annual Heritage Award is presented at the Roots of Old-Time Music program at Breakin’ Up Winter. Each year’s honoree is selected by the NOTSBA Board of Directors in appreciation for a lifelong contribution to traditional and old time music.

  • Friday is our Roots of Old Time Music day, with lectures and presentations along with the presentation of our annual Heritage Award
  • Workshops and performances all weekend
  • Vendors of old-time music books, CDs and acoustic instruments
  • Jamming, jamming, and more jamming
  • Square Dance on Saturday night

If you haven’t yet taken the opportunity to join NOTSBA and get a discount on Breakin’ Up Winter, please visit our membership page and consider joining as your way of saying thanks and to help us keep the lights on and the prices low.

Breakin’ Up Winter 2023 will be held March 2-5, 2023. Our Chairperson is Mary Alice Bernal.

Workshops, Concerts and Jams

NOTSBA’s annual Breakin’ Up Winter retreat is a time we devote to learning from musicians and educators at the backbone of traditional music. Over the years, we’ve had the honor of hanging with some pretty heavy hitters.

Some of our previous presenters & performers

Charlie Acuff*
Will Keys*
Charles Wolfe*
Ralph Blizard*
Alan Jabbour*
J.P. Fraley*
Bruce Greene
Don Pedi
John Harrod
Mike Seeger*
Dan Gellert
Bill Mansfield
Ron Pen
Gerry Milnes
Tom Carter
Tom Sauber
Clyde Davenport*
Martin Fisher
Frank Lee
Allie Lee
Shad Cobb

Rachel Eddy
Charlie Hartness
Nancy Hartness
James Bryan
Frank George
Brad Leftwich
Bobby Taylor
Ken Perlman
Paul Smith*
Dwight Lamb
Alice Gerrard
Lester McCumbers
Kerry Blech
Billy Mathews
George Gibson
Christian Wig
Jeff Titon
Amanda Kowalski
David Bass
Jenny Obert

Joyce Cauthen
Jim Cauthen
John Schwab
Mark Campbell
Mac Traynham
Walt Koken
Claire Milliner
Kellie Allen
Pete Peterson
Hilary Dirlam
Phil Jamison
Paul Brown
Terri McMurray
Sheila Kay Adams
Erynn Marshall
Carl Jones
Thomas Maupin
Daniel Rothwell
Charlie Walden
Patt Plunkett
Susie Coleman

*= no longer active, or deceased

Our presenters and performers put together casual workshops, talks and concerts for Breakin’ Up Winter. We get to enjoy their company and maybe gain a little deeper understanding of old-time music and related topics. We attempt to feature artists from Middle Tennessee as well as from other parts of the country so we can study a variety of regional styles. Attendees are treated to awesome concerts and a way-fun square dance on Saturday night.


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