About FFOTM

Our Mission

The mission of Flagstaff Friends of Traditional Music (FFOTM) is to share, promote, preserve and present Bluegrass and other forms of traditional American Folk Music and Dance for the enrichment and enjoyment of our community.

Please become a member to find out about our events, get discounts to concerts & festivals, and support live music in Northern Arizona.

About FFOTM

Our History

Somewhere around the year 1984, in a little mountain town called Flagstaff, Arizona a few local fun-loving folks found joy and camaraderie through the simple pleasure of playing wooden instruments and singing good old time songs together.

Carol Placer, Ron Barton and Tony Norris were some of those original founding folks and the force behind what became known as Flagstaff Friends of Traditional Music (FFOTM), still strong today after nearly 4 decades! Contra dances with live bands and callers happened regularly, jamming at campouts under the stars where Carter Family songs rang out above the pines became annual events, and other programming organically developed to bolster and support this accessible form of community building.

For many years FFOTM gathered strength and recognition in the community and additionally, a children’s program, The Young Jammers, was added in and founded under the direction of members Christina Boyd and Lloyd Holdeman as a way of furthering a mission of sharing, education and fostering family-friendly experiences.

As interest continued, FFOTM grew and was transformed from a “club” into a legitimate 501c3 non-profit organization in 2000. Two festivals were also born into our programming (Flagstaff Folk Festival and our flagship program Pickin’ in the Pines) granting FFOTM a viable position in the Northern Arizona community as a respected cultural asset. 

As a non-profit arts organization FFOTM has been recognized, honored and supported by many grants which have funded a variety of mission-focused activities programing including:

  • Weekly Jams
  • Contra Dances

  • Young Jammers

  • Seasonal Member Campouts & Picnics

  • 2 Major Festivals:

    • Pickin’ in the Pines Bluegrass & Acoustic Music Festival
    • Flagstaff Folk Festival

We are a 501c3 nonprofit. Your donation is fully tax deductible.

About FFOTM

Our Board Members

Our board members meet monthly, and also help organize other FFOTM programs and events. We are grateful for their dedication and service to our organization.

Rich D’Aloisio, President
Henry Kaldenbaugh, Vice President
Paisley Boone, Secretary
Linda Mack, Treasurer
Jim Cross
Rebecca Cooke
Jim Glish
Greg Hales
Julie Sullivan Brace
Mike Thompson

Program Directors

Pickin’ in the Pines Executive Directors
Linda Mack & Teresa Wayne

Flagstaff Folk Festival Director
Rod Robinson

Young Jammers Directors
Paisley Boone & Rebekah Davenport

Contra Dance Director
Paisley Boone

FFOTM Administrator
Lara Gomora

Meet our team

Our Board Members

Board Elections take place at the beginning of each year. To nominate yourself or someone else for the FFOTM board, send us an email to board@ffotm.org.

Rich D’Aloisio

President

Rich joined the FFOTM board of Directors in March of 2023 to support the FFOTM Mission Statement, which is to preserve and promote traditional music and share it with our community in Northern Arizona. What better and more enjoyable retirement activity is there?

In order to focus on the preservation aspect of our mission, Rich is interested in attracting new, younger members to FFOTM as well as volunteers and board members. In order to continue our work, we need to develop a method to attract new members. One place Rich has identified is Northern Arizona University. Each year a new class of energetic students arrive, some of whom will be musicians. Others may be interested in the business aspects of not-for-profit organizations. And a lucky few will be both. By working with NAU staff members we will facilitate introductions. Both the community and the students will benefit from this self-renewing system, and the preservation aspect of our mission will be part of the natural result.

Getting involved in the Flagstaff music scene presents so many enjoyable experiences. Promoting traditional and bluegrass music is a great cause, and helping more people appreciate the social and inclusive aspects of music, is why being a board member is a special opportunity.

Rich lives in downtown Flagstaff, is happily married, has five children, six grandchildren, and spends his free time with his family and friends.

Henry Kaldenbaugh

Vice President

Henry H. Kaldenbaugh M.D. has been a Pediatrician during his professional life practicing in the Verde Valley and a member of the Medical Staff of Verde Valley Medical Center. Over the years he has played the guitar, mandolin, and fiddle for pleasure with friends.

He became active in FFOTM when he volunteered for the first Pickin’ in the Pines Music Festival. He became the campground host in 2006 and a member of the Organizing Committee for the festival in 2007. He participated in the organizing committee for two years and continued as the campground host until 2019. During those years as campground host he was assisted by his capable partner, Martha. 

In 2019 he was elected to the board of directors of FFOTM and passed on the job of campground host to the younger generation. In 2023 he was elected Vice-chair of FFOTM relieving Ken Collier, when Ken was working in the Netherlands.

Henry enjoys his membership in FFOTM and is proud of his work with the organization. His goal is to pass on FFOTM to the next generation and continue to enjoy traditional acoustic music for as long as he is able.

Paisley Boone

Secretary

Growing up in a home filled with music, Paisley Boone has always appreciated and understood music to be one of the great blessings of life. At 10 years of age she had her first taste of creating folk music when she received a fiddle in FFOTM’s Young Jammers program, and has loved the world of folk music ever since. Branching out and picking up multiple other instruments, she and her sister formed a bluegrass band with some friends, Route 66:2, and were blessed with opportunities to play at the Flagstaff Folk Festival and the Pickin’ in the Pines band contest.

Learning and playing proved to be just the beginning of her journey with FFOTM, as she and her family have had the opportunity to volunteer at the Pickin’ in the Pines Bluegrass and Acoustic Music Festival. When Lloyd Holdeman revived the Young Jammers program to again offer volunteer taught lessons, he asked Paisley if she would be interested in teaching fiddle to beginner Jammers. Enthusiastically she said yes, seeing an opportunity not only to expand her skills to include teaching, but also to infuse the next generation of musicians with a love of making music with others. Serving on the FFOTM Board she has been able to invest in the community as well as expand FFOTM’s reach by reviving the FFOTM Community Contra Dance on the first Saturday of each month! She is looking forward to seeing how she can continue serving her community as a member of the Flagstaff Friends of Traditional Music Board.

Jim Cross

As a member of the FFOTM Board, I would like to introduce myself to those of you who do not know me.  I am Jim Cross and have been involved with FFOTM for a number of years.  I started with volunteering back-stage for the Pickin’ in the Pines starting around 2008.  I also do sound and have done so at the Commercial Building during Pickin’ in the Pines for the last few years.  I also play guitar and bass.  Hope we have more concerts and fun in the future!

Rebecca Cooke

I consider myself more of a dancer and singer than a musician since I only picked the guitar up again a few years ago in order to accompany myself at open mic. Also started playing the mandolin. I sang in the chorus of five shows with FLOC including The Sorcerer, HMS Pinafore, Pirates of Penzance, Annie, and Hello Dolly. I also sang and played rhythm bones with my Celtic band Pure Dead Brilliant for 7 years. We performed around town and at the Flagstaff Folk Festival, once as a tweener at Pickin in the Pines. I am also a Bard in the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism), which means I sing period type songs at events, around campfires, etc. I started running sound at the Flagstaff Folk Festival in 2010 in order to learn how to work with the equipment and hopefully transfer that knowledge to the band. I have run sound there every year since, including while organizing the Folk Festival, and learned a lot. I would like to be on the FFOTM board because as a former organizer for the Folk Festival I have found the meetings quite interesting.While I will no longer be organizing the Folk Festival, I will be assisting and offering advice from my experience. I like being part of the group that makes the decisions, and I think I can offer some insights at times.

Jim Glish

Jim Glish has been on the FFOTM board since March of 2022 and a member of the organization since moving to Flagstaff in 2014. He believes that there’s something special about promoting traditional music within the community and helping to ensure that the varied outreach programs remain relevant for years to come.

His first exposure to traditional music started at an early age when he tagged along to hear his grandfather’s old-timey band at dance halls around the Midwest. Later, as a stage technician and TV director, he worked concerts and TV shows with many of top acts in the 60s folk revival and beyond. Around raising a family and pursuing careers in broadcasting and computer industries, Jim finally picked up the guitar in earnest and became an active participant at local folk festivals in Minnesota, Illinois, Florida, and here in Flagstaff where he also hosts house concerts and theatrical events. He plays guitar in several folk groups as well as mandolin with the Just Desserts contra dance band that provides music for the monthly FFOTM contra dances and has written dozens of contra dance tunes (reels, jigs, and waltzes) to round out the bands repertoire.

Jim and his wife live in Fort Valley where he also enjoys the darks skies and has become an avid astro photographer. With a telescope in one hand and a guitar in the other, he is committed to sharing his interests with other. He has enjoyed passing his families musical heritage on to his two daughters and six grandchildren and looks forward, as a FFOTM board member, to championing all types of traditional music for all one and all in the Flagstaff community.

Greg Hales

Greg Hales musical career started in fourth grade playing trumpet. Wearing braces didn’t make it easy. In 7th grade, he transitioned to baritone horn, which proved a little easier. In 9th grade, he played bass guitar in the school stage band, rocking out on the drama department’s original musical “LUNARAMA (1972)”.

Fast forward to 2007 – Greg and family moved to Flagstaff in where he accidentally fell into the orbit of Flagstaff performing legend Tony Norris and his musical partner Bill Burke, where a love of live/local folk and traditional music was enkindled.

Fast forward again to 2023 when Greg’s officemate Julie Sullivan started a bluegrass jam class and needed an upright bass student to hold things together. Spying Greg nearby, she thrust an upright into his arms. It was love at first sight (er, sound). Greg now plays weekly with the FFOTM Wednesday bluegrass jam group and co-founded (along with Julie) a weekly Sunday jam at the Wanderlust Brewery in East Flagstaff.

Professionally, Greg is a semi-retired short-form documentary filmmaker of more than 30 years experience. He has periodically taught workshops in the digital storytelling process for individuals and organizations desiring to take the power of video into their own hands. He plans to use this experience to further help FFOTM reach its goal of preserving and promoting traditional music and sharing it with our local community in Northern Arizona and the wider world.

Greg’s current life goal is to join or start a band in 2024. He believes that, especially in a time of artificial intelligence, preserving the tradition of LIVE traditional and folk music, is more important than ever.

Julie Sullivan Brace

Julie Sullivan Brace has served on the FFOTM board as President, Vice President, Secretary and general member many times over the past 32 years. Additionally, she is Board Member Emeritus of The Berkeley Society for the Preservation of Traditional Music, another non-profit organization she helped to co-found.

As a board member and co-founder of Pickin in the Pines Bluegrass & Acoustic Music Festival, she holds a unique perspective and historic overview of the organization. She continues to serve as Festival Director for Pickin’ in the Pines, and was a festival director up until 2018. Her current purpose for being on the board at this time is to engage and inspire a younger audience to get involved with FFOTM to ensure the health and longevity of our organization for future generations.

Julie is a singer, songwriter, and guitarist since age 14. She currently plays bluegrass and folk music in several bands and loves traditionally based music in all its forms.

In addition to being a devoté of traditional music—especially bluegrass!—Julie has had a professional career as an art director and graphic designer for over 45 years. She currently works part-time at her own business, Shine Creative Industries, LLC. and has contributed her design skills to FFOTM and its programs in the past.

As a musical curator and director (her current passion), she has promoted hundreds of shows for many musicians in a variety of venues in both the Bay Area and Flagstaff. Her most recent venture is Roots & Boots Music Camp (RBMC) for adults, now in its 4th year.

Mike Thompson

I grew up in West Virginia, the heart of Appalachia. I’ve always loved many types of music, but traditional was there in my roots.  I still like to tune in when I go back there and listen to 2 people strumming and harmonizing to hold hymns live on the radio.

When I moved to Flagstaff in 1996 I heard about the contra dance. I used to dance with MFOTM – Morgantown Friends of Old Time Music.  From there I found the  camp out, folk fest, and watched the birth of the bluegrass festival.  Somewhere along the way I learned to strum a guitar so I could participate more.

I appreciate all the good times FFOTM has given me and I’m happy to give back. I’m currently serving on the board and will be glad to continue doing so.