Jack Hatfield has taught banjo workshops all over the USA, in Canada, England, Ireland, Scotland and Australia. Jack was on the staff of the very first banjo camp, the Tennessee Banjo Academy in 1988, and was Bluegrass Director of Banjo Newsletter‘s Maryland Banjo Academy for all three sessions. He was Banjo Director of Chuck Stearman’s Nashville Academy of Traditional Music at the Opryland Hotel. For twenty-three years he has been Director of the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass of America workshop every February in Nashville, TN. The workshop features top artists, banjo craftsmen and setup specialists, and frequently Banjo Newsletter columnists.
When Banjo Newsletter decided to curtail the Maryland Banjo Academy, Jack decided to take up where they left off. In April 2004 he directed his first three-day banjo camp, the Smoky Mountain Banjo Academy. The first SMBA featured renowned artists like Doug Dillard, Larry McNeely, Butch Robins, Leroy Troy, Dan Levenson and Bill Keith, along with many professional teachers, authors and luthiers along with national champs Gary Davis, Sonny Smith and James McKinney.
The 2004 SMBA was a big hit with all who attended, so Jack decided to make it an annual event. Since its inception, SMBA has added to the faculty the likes of Tom Adams, Richard Bailey, Kristin Scott-Benson, Jason Burleson, Greg Cahill, Sonny Osborne, Ned Lubereki, Gerald Jones, Jack Hicks, Charlie Cushman, Rik Barron, Joe Mullins, Ron Stewart, Terry Baucom, Butch Robins, Leroy Troy, Herb Trotman, Bill Evans, Snuffy Smith, Sammy Shelor, Rex McGee, Tony Ellis, Ron Block and Rick Sampson. Old time artists include Dan Levenson, Frank Lee, Dave Ball, Ken Perlman, and Wayne Erbsen.
Many professional teachers, banjo instruction book authors and Banjo Newsletter columnists have also appeared, including Janet Davis, Eddie Collins, Wayne Erbsen, Andy King, John Lawless, Herb Trotman and Ross Nickerson. Acclaimed setup technicians and builders have also been on hand, such as Tom Nechville, Roger Simpson, Snuffy Smith, Dave Ball, Charlie Cushman, Tom Morgan, Ronnie Bales and Marc Smith.