August 3 to 6, 2022

Immerse Yourself in the Blues

This event happened in 2022 and remains unscheduled going forward. For updated information contact us at

Become the musician you’ve always dreamed of being

JOIN US in Brandon, Vermont. We’ll take you on a musical journey to understand the roots of where all popular musical styles started – the blues.

From the Delta to Chicago to the mountains of Vermont, the blues is the crossroads where all musicians meet. Rock, rhythm & blues, country, bluegrass and jazz: these styles would not exist without the blues.

Activities include solo and band instruction, time for practicing, rehearsals, master classes, coached jam sessions, round table discussions and evening public performances. All events take place at the Compass Music and Arts Center and Brandon Music. Venues

The Vermont Blues Retreat welcomes vocalists, guitarists, bassists, pianists and keyboardists, harpists (harmonica players), saxophonists and other wind players, trumpeters and other brass players, drummers and percussionists, and just about any other instrumentalists, as long as you feel comfortable playing the blues on your instrument. Also, while this program is designed for folks 18 and older, if you are younger and feel this program is appropriate for you, please contact us.

Photos and Videos Gallery         2022 Schedule (TBD)

Our faculty have a direct lineage to some of the greatest names in the history of blues. As working musicians they honor and respect the traditions, the sharing of knowledge and providing mentorship. A high ratio of faculty to participants allows for individualized, hands-on interaction giving you key tools to improve your musicianship.

Joe Moore
Dennis Willmott
Kenny B
Chuck Eller
Paul Asbell
Jeff Salisbury

Our mission is to expand your awareness and musicianship in every area of the blues. Here’s a closer look at what you can expect: 

Plenty of opportunities for you to play, rehearse and perform with other participants and faculty. Nightly performances.

Hands-on instruction and critiques designed to improve your playing on the spot, including 
– going over each person’s role within blues style and in the band.

– the use of dynamics and nuance. They often receive too little attention.
– small group classes on individual instruments.
– soloing and how to comp behind the soloist.
– common and unusual blues forms and progressions. 

– reviewing and playing in different blues feels.

Classes and round table discussions on:
– well known blues artists, including spirited stories about playing with them. 

– blues history, evolution of sub-styles and their characteristics. 
– authenticity: what it means and deciding if and when it’s important.

Four days and four nights of music-making will forever change how you play and think about music, while enjoying great camaraderie, excellent food and comfortable lodging.*

You’ll go home with a personalized experience inspiring you to continue on your path to becoming the musician you’ve always wanted to be, while having a blast along the way.

*  Lunches and dinners are included each day for all participants, commuters and non-commuters alike.

Non-commuters stay at the Brandon Motor Lodge located a mile south of the center of Brandon. Breakfast each morning will be at a restaurant of your choice in the center of Brandon.

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