The Jalopy Theatre and School of Music is a community arts center focused on traditional roots music from around the world. We showcase folk, bluegrass, country, blues and traditional world music. In addition to nightly concerts, Jalopy is both a music school and a vintage instrument store. Jalopy has an internet radio station, Jalopy Radio and its own record label as well, Jalopy Records.
Husband and wife team, Geoff and Lynette Wiley, founded Jalopy in 2006 with the hope of fostering a community around a shared appreciation of this traditional roots music, to support local and traveling artists, and to educate those new to this music and culture. Geoff and Lynette also run the restaurant next door to the Theatre, the Jalopy Tavern.
Folk artists teach our classes, work in the Theatre and in our Tavern, run sound, repair instruments. Jalopy seeks to support artist by providing a stage for performance, but also employment. We take high school and college interns from across New York City who are interested in traditional arts and the music business, offering them opportunities to learn.
In addition to traditional American music, Jalopy showcases folk music from around the world, from Mexican Son Jarocho music, to Gypsy Jazz and African cora music. If it’s music that is passed down from generation to generation, meant to be played around the fire, then it is right for Jalopy. The stage has welcomed scores of notable performers, including Alice Gerrard, Robert Crumb, Spider John Kerner, Wayne Henderson, Happy Traum, Wayne Hancock and Sam Shepard. Some of the greats from the last folk revival, like John Cohen and Baby Gramps, play alongside up-and-coming artists in New York City’s flourishing young folk scene.
We invite you to come on down to Jalopy for a concert, to make friends, and to share with us your love for traditional roots music.
Read more detailed information on our many services/offerings below.
The Music School at Jalopy
The music school teaches students to play the music that they hear on stage. Classes are taught “with a light-hearted, song-based learning style, students can begin learning the music immediately.” The group classes provide support, encouragement and friendships to the students learning to play. For adults, classes in banjo, guitar, mandolin, ukulele, fiddle, clog dancing and vocal lessons are offered in five sessions each year. Weekends feature musical workshops covering everything from learning to play the washboard or harmonica, to music theory, to lectures on the history of American string bands, to lectures on specific musical genres, styles and regions.
Jalopy Jr. Folk
Jalopy’s Jr. Folk School features classes taught in the folk tradition. Students work in groups to master their instrument, then play in ensemble classes with all instruments represented. Jalopy Jr. Folk School also includes a Folk Chorus and a Making Music program. Our performance schedule includes weekly family entertainment shows, from a variety show, to bands, to a family sing-a-long.
Jalopy is proud to recommend Brooklyn Lutherie for all of your instrument repairs. Their specialties include structural restoration, fretwork, pickup installation and electronic repair, and troubleshooting to gain tonal balance and clarity.
Brooklyn Folk Festival
Jalopy co-hosts the Brooklyn Folk Festival each year, a three-day festival featuring more than 30 local bands, instrumental and vocal workshops, jam sessions, competitions and games. Each year the festival grows, bringing more people in the tri-city area to hear and play folk music. Festival founder and co-host Eli Smith, of the Down Home Radio Show, notes that while Brooklyn has been the home of legendary folk musicians, this is the first folk festival to be held in the Borough of Brooklyn. For more information, visit www.brooklynfolkfest.com and www.downhomeradioshow.com.