Updated November 2016

North American
Jew's Harp Festival


NAJHF 2017 Information

Account of the 21st North American Jew's Harp Festival 2012 - Harm Linsen
2004 NAJHF Report - Dear Diary - Mark Poss
2003 NAJHF - A Short Report
1997 NAJHF ON-LINE REPORT - Fred Crane

Zip File Photo Archive of the North American Jew's Harp Festival


The NAJHF status for 2017 has yet to be determined. Please visit the Jews' Harp Guild Facebook group if you have suggestions or wish to offer a venue.

Hello Everyone,

This has been a challenging time for the Guild. It has been hard for the same small group of individuals to sustain a high-quality festival that has always been our goal and signature. With that thought in mind we've asked other JH enthusiast to organize JH gatherings around the country, maybe within other music festivals.


Brown Forman Amphitheater

Brown Forman Amphitheater

 Here's some info National Jug Band Jubilee

Admission to the National Jug Band Jubilee is FREE!

Mark Your Calendar

The Jubilee is always the third weekend in September at Brown-Forman Amphitheater, which is located in Louisville, Kentucky's scenic Waterfront Park (by Tumbleweed on River Road)

Jubilee directions http://www.jugbandjubilee.org/directions.htm

Address to use with GPS:
1301 River Road
Louisville, KY 40202

Directions from the Ramada - official hotel of the Jubilee:

Make a right out of hotel parking lot onto Zorn Avenue. Make a left at the light onto River Road. Go 2.1 miles on River Road. The Brown-Forman Amphitheater will be on your right.




History of the Festival - The Beginning

We have come a long way since 1991 when the festival was "born"
and each year the festival continues to grow and attract more
musicians and spectators.

     It all began with a meeting which took place in the fall of 1991. 
Gordon Frazier (of Seattle) who had recently returned from
attending the Second International Trump (Jew's Harp) Congress
that July in Yakutsk, Siberia, traveled down to Bill and Janet
Gohring's place in eastern Oregon.  Gordon's dad, Marvin (who
plays bones), and Bart Wood (a friend of the Gohring's) were also

     It was the first time the Gohring's had met Gordon, but they
were long time friends with his Dad, Marvin.  Gordon had an
impressive Jew's Harp collection and he brought it along with
him.  Well, the music started shortly after Gordon arrived and
didn't stop until the next day.

     Early in that first evening, the idea came up about having a
Jew's Harp festival here in the northwest.  After all, Russia,
Japan, Scotland, Philippines, etc., all have one.  So, we
discussed the type of festival we wanted it to be (Free and Fun)
... with the Jew's Harp as the main theme.

     Well, it is much more than we ever anticipated it would be. 

     The atmosphere brings family unity closer together; it's the 
perfect chance to meet many new interesting people (Jew's Harpers 
are a bit "twangy"); the opportunity to listen and play a wide 
variety of music from around the world; become introduced to a 
variety of musical instruments (some one cannot even imagine!); 
and often people from foreign countries will attend and play their
own music.

     The festival was part of the inspiration behind Wayland
Harman's creation of the Clackamore .  It also inspired Bill
Gohring to create his own Jew's Harp design and start hand-making
them.  So, the festival is effecting many of us in a wonderful,
creative way.

     The atmosphere during the festival is open, friendly, a
willingness to share and learn, and great people who love to hear
those Jew's Harpers play.

     All in all, it's the place to be if you want to have a great
time, enjoy good music and learn to play the Jew's Harp (most
people learn in no time at all).

     Many of us enjoy the wide variety of Workshops held during
the festival.  You can learn everything about the ancient,
mystical little music instrument from present day back to
Neanderthal times.

     But beware!  Jew's Harps are addictive!  Once you start
playing, you won't be able to stop.

We had moved to the Bay City Arts Center in Bay City Oregon
 where the festival continued until August 2011 in the same spirit with 
which it began. We now hope that other folks will step forward to host
other gatherings around the country. Contact us via our Facebook Group.