Instructor Bios 2023

Instructors 2023

To read more about the seminars offered by our Instructors in the Summer 2022 Instructional Camp, see our Seminars 2023 page.

Sue Malcolm

Sue Malcolm has been a mainstay of the Vancouver folk and bluegrass scene since 1980 as a performer, instructor and organizer, and a founder of The Pacific Bluegrass and Heritage Society. Recognized for her ability to help beginners gain confidence and enjoy making music in a group setting, Sue developed the Slow Pitch Jam method of teaching bluegrass jamming. Since 1996 Sue’s monthly Slow Pitch Jams at the ANZA Club in Vancouver have been drawing huge crowds. She has taught beginner guitar and bluegrass jamming at many music camps including the BC Bluegrass Workshop (now Nimblefingers) and the Georgia Strait Guitar Workshop. Sue sings and plays guitar with The Soda, an eclectic trio whose repertoire includes vintage country, bluegrass, and swing.   She has released five CDs and six volumes of Slow Pitch Jam songbooks with play-along cd’s. She performs solo in care facilities and for hospice patients – an experience she finds very rewarding. A strong belief in the power of music to enrich lives and build communities keeps Sue looking for new ways to involve and inspire others.

Jeff Dill

Jeff Dill began music at a young age, singing in his school choir and playing piano and trumpet in his school jazz ensemble. His earliest performance memory is singing a solo with his choir at age 9, for the song Old Paint. As a teen he taught himself to play guitar, and formed his first band, playing original songs and rock covers. He has spent the last ten years immersed in the Victoria bluegrass and old-time scene playing rhythm and lead guitar. With a strong passion for traditional bluegrass and western swing, he performs regularly with fiddler Miriam Sonstenes (Old Paint Duo) and is a founding member of Flash In The Pan. His musical travels have taken him to Ireland, North Carolina, Louisiana, and across Canada on VIA Rail’s Artists on Board Program. He has also spent time studying celtic guitar accompaniment, playing with Victoria’s Riverside Bluegrass Band, and even did a stint playing klezmer guitar with the Yiddish Columbia State Orchestra. As a dedicated teacher he has shared his love of guitar playing at workshops across BC, including Vancouver Island Music Workshop, and Nimblefingers Bluegrass & Old Time Workshop.

Kitty King

Kitty started out playing washtub bass in the 1970’s and has since graduated to acoustic stand-up bass, vocals, songwriting, and teaching in music camps. Along the way, she played in a number of Vancouver bands, including old-timey, bluegrass, and swing. She now enjoys performing a variety of musical styles in the eclectic Little Mountain Trio, a group that has performed at Expo 86 and the Vancouver Folk Music Festival. She has a CD of original songs called “My Dancing House

Stephen Nikleva

Vancouver Guitarist Stephen Nikleva has been an active part of the Vancouver Music Community for over 30 years. His playing can be heard on millions of recordings due to his recording & touring with Sarah McLachlan, but mainly he is known for his work with roots groups like Ray Condo & currently with Petunia & The Vipers.

John Miller

John Miller has been performing, recording and teaching guitar for close to fifty years.  In addition to 7 solo recordings, he has recorded with the bands Country Cooking, Freshet, and Zumbido, in duos with Revecca Kilgore, John Reischman, Ruthie Dornfeld, Ginny Snowe, and in a trio with Orville Johnson and Grant Dermody.  John has taught at a host of music camps since his first year at PSGW in 1976, and has had 17 instructional guitar videos released by Stefan Grossman’s Guitar Workshop.

Karin Plato

Canadian vocalist and composer Karin Plato came to jazz almost by accident. The music she heard in her formative years was the rock and pop music of the day and the classical music she studied from a young age. She didn’t get the “jazz bug” until she was in her early 30’s and that’s when her music career really began when she made the move from central Canada to the West Coast.

Karin was born on the prairies, in the province of Saskatchewan. She studied classical piano throughout her childhood and eventually she went on to study voice and piano at the University of Saskatchewan where she received a Bachelor of Music Degree. In 1985 she moved to Vancouver to further her studies at Capilano College in a quest to learn more about composition and arranging. In 1996 and 1998 she studied vocal jazz at The Banff Centre for the Arts with renowned vocalists Sheila Jordan and Jay Clayton. Over the years she has also been able to study with Nancy King and Kurt Elling.

Karin has performed across Canada and in some areas in the USA and she continues to work in Vancouver as a music educator, pianist, vocalist and arranger and she is the artistic director of the Joy of Jazz Concerts series in Vancouver. She is a Juno nominated artist, West Coast Music Awards nominee and 3 times nominated Canadian Jazz Vocalist of the Year at the National Jazz Awards in Toronto.

“Plato’s confident, tuneful phrasing and hip articulation stands out as she weaves a musical spell”
– The Edmonton Journal

Phil Belanger

Phil has been a professional musician for over 40 years, active in just about every musical genre, as both a drummer and a percussionist.
His training includes a Bachelor of Music from UBC (playing both percussion and classical guitar), studies in New York and Cuba, and countless live gigs.

His highlights include working with Tom Arntzen, Karen Plato, Mimosa, Dal Richards Orchestra, Orquesta Goma Dura, Shango Ashe, Ray Piper and Fantazea, Celso Machado, Vancouver Symphony, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Arts Club Theatre, Universal Gospel Choir, and many more.

He started his teaching career at the legendary Drums Only store and then continued at Prussin (Tapestry) Music, the Sarah McLaughlin School, BC Swing Camp, and private lessons. His teaching approach is relaxed and tailored to the student’s interest and abilities – with an emphasis on having fun exploring rhythm and drums.

Jim McLennan

Jim McLennan’s reputation as a fingerstyle guitarist, composer and arranger has produced an enduring legacy as one of Alberta’s finest guitarists. He recorded for Stefan Grossman’s iconic Kicking Mule record label in the 1970s, and has been featured in Guitar Player magazine.

Upon its release, Jim’s solo CD, Six-String Gumbo, was named a Western Canadian Music Award finalist for Instrumental Recording of the Year.

Jim occasionally performs solo, but most often in a duo with his wife, vocalist Lynda McLennan; or in the trio, Western Spirit, with his brother Hugh McLennan and Mike Dygert.

Jim has also appeared in performance or on recordings with John and Caroline Fraser, Amos Garrett, David Wilkie and Denise Withnell, Paul Rumbolt, Berna-Dean Holland, Tom Cole, Cowboy Celtic, Ryan Fritz, Charlie Ewing, Sid Marty and Wailback, Steve Fisher and others.

Perhaps best known for his clean, complex acoustic fingerstyle arrangements and compositions, he is also an accomplished sideman, comfortable in folk, blues, and country styles.

Jim is in demand as an instructor and guitar clinician, teaching private lessons, at music camps, and presenting guitar workshops and clinics. His personable and encouraging temperament puts students at ease and facilitates both the transfer of knowledge and the building of confidence in his students.

Tina Hebner

Tina has been around music most of her life.
She grew up listening to her grandfather play the violin and spent many hours with him in his wood-shop, watching him build violins. The songs he played when she was a child still linger in her heart.

She started guitar lessons as a teenager and soon fell in love with classical guitar. Tina furthered her musical education at Capilano University and studied with a variety of guitar teachers afterward. Although she had ukulele lessons in the classroom as a student in elementary school, she hadn’t played one for a long time. Then she became inspired to pick it up again as an adult, and the rest is history!

Tina is known for her relaxed warm and friendly approach to teaching music. She has a very kind and gentle manner that helps to empower students, from beginner to advanced.

Tina has been a workshop instructor at the Kamloops Ukulele Festival (held in beautiful Sorrento BC), UkeWest (Calgary), Rossland Acoustic Music Camp (BC), Jam Camp (BC), the Reno Ukefest (USA). She facilitated various musical activities as the Musician-in-Residence with the Thompson-Nicola regional Library, and assisted with the launch of their ukulele lending library.

Tina has been a teacher/facilitator with the Kamloops Interior Summer School of Music and the Kamloops Music Collective for several years. She helped to design and facilitate the very successful online lesson series “Family Ukulele.” It was incredibly rewarding for her to see whole families playing music together!

Tina has been teaching music for over twenty-five years; she has explored music with people of all ages from preschoolers to seniors! When she’s not having conversations with her music-loving pets or hanging out with her family, you’ll find her at one of the many group ukulele sessions she offers in the Kamloops area or teaching private lessons at one of her studio locations.