Ken Perlman is one of today's best-known clawhammer banjo players. He is considered a pioneer of the melodic style, which has greatly expanded the range and flexibility of clawhammer, and he is known in particular for his skillful adaptations to banjo of reels, jigs, hornpipes and other Celtic tunes.
Ken has been active internationally since the mid-1970s as a prominent teacher of the style. He has taught at such prestigious music camps as the American Festival of Fiddle Tunes, Common Ground on the Hill, the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, the Rocky Mountain Fiddle Camp, and the Tennessee Banjo Institute. He has also served as music director for several banjo-teaching festivals: the Maryland Banjo Academy, Banjo Camp North, the Bath Banjo Festival, the Swannee Old Time Banjo Camp and the American Banjo Camp.
Ken's other banjo instruction projects include the classic books "Clawhammer Style Banjo" (Centerstream), "Melodic Clawhammer Banjo" (Music Sales) and "Basic Clawhammer Banjo" (Mel Bay). He has been writing the "Melodic Clawhammer" column in Banjo Newsletter since the early 1980s, and his newest book, entitled "Everything You Wanted to Know About Clawhammer Banjo" (Mel Bay), is based on the first twenty years on these columns. His solo recordings include "Northern Banjo" (Copper Creek), "Island Boy" (Wizmak), "Devil in the Kitchen" (Marimac), "Live in the U.K." (Halshaw), and "Clawhammer Banjo and Fingerstyle Guitar Solos" (Folkways).