"The Official Festival for the State of Tennessee"

JULY 5-6 ~ 2019



If you would like to be considered for a judging position for the Smithville Fiddlers’ Jamboree and Crafts Festival, please email your information to

Five judges will score each music contestant. The high and low scores will be thrown out, and the remaining three scores will be averaged to determine the contestant’s final score.

Dance contestants will be scored by three judges, with no scores being thrown out. All three scores will be averaged to determine the contestant’s final score.


Judges for 2019

Head Judge – Tom Brantley of Wartrace, TN has been playing Bluegrass and Oldtime music for 40 years. After a very successful stint playing the contest circuit for many years, he stepped into the professional world of Bluegrass music playing fiddle and singing vocals for the likes of The Music City Bluegrass, Big Country Bluegrass, New Road, and finally a short stint with world famous group Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver. More recently Tom has been at the helm of his band Missionary Ridge. His life’s calling has been in the ministry as a Southern Baptist Pastor, and he now serves as pastor of Hillview Baptist Church in Murfreesboro, TN. Tom has roots with the Smithville Jamboree where for many years he competed and won in the Jr. Fiddle, Oldtime Fiddle Band, Bluegrass Band, and Gospel Singing categories. Tom said he is honored to be serving as the 2017 Head Judge at the Smithville Jamboree, and wishes all the contestants good luck!

Jackson Carter lives in Livingston, TN, with his wife, MaryFaye. Jackson works as an Assistant District Attorney serving Clay and Overton Counties. He began playing bluegrass when he was thirteen years old, taking mandolin lessons for approximately one year. Jackson’s main focus is on Bill Monroe style mandolin playing. In additon, Jackson enjoys playing claw hammer banjo.

Jimmy Bilbrey is a Cookeville, Tn native. He graduated from Tennessee Technological University in 1990 with a B.S. in Music Education. (Emphasis in Classical Violin) Jimmy studied in the studios of Francis Elliott and Elizabeth Small. He has taught music in the public school system and has taught privately for about 33 years. A multi-instrumentalist, he teaches fiddle, violin, guitar, mandolin, dulcimer, banjo, ukulele, bass, songwriting and harmony singing at the School of Performing Arts in Cookeville. After graduation, he played acoustic guitar, fiddle, piano and sang in a country band for 20 years. An award-winning songwriter, Jimmy has had songs recorded both nationally and internationally. Most recently, "Wonderful Day", a song he co-wrote with his father, Ron Bilbrey, was recorded by Doyle Lawson on his latest gospel CD. Currently, Jimmy performs in his family’s bluegrass/bluegrass gospel band called, "The Bilbreys". He is minister of music at University Heights Baptist Church. He and his wife, Lisa, have four children and three grandchildren.

Chad Anderson Growing up in a musical family, Chad Anderson got his first instrument (dulcimer) around five. At age seven his dad brought home a mandolin for him and that became his primary instrument from then on in the family band. The Anderson Family played at various local gatherings, benefits, and bluegrass festivals all throughout his childhood and still plays an occasional show or two now. Chad obtained a bachelor’s degree from Middle Tennessee State University in Recording Industry Management where he played acoustic instruments on numerous recording projects. He has given lessons throughout the years on mandolin, guitar, and fiddle. While primarily a self-taught musician, Chad had the opportunity during college to take advanced mandolin lessons from the legendary Roland White. Now living in the Upper Cumberland with his family, Chad plays bluegrass with several bands around the area. He still gives the occasional lesson and enjoys building the instruments he now plays.

Timmy Nixon is from Smithville, Tennessee. Timmy is no stranger to Bluegrass music and has years of experience playing the banjo. He began at age 14 and in no time was playing the contest circuit winning banjo competitions all over the South. He then went on to playing small gigs and shows with local bands such as The Center Hill Grass, The Billy Womack Band, Duck River Bluegrass Band, and Valley Grass Express. Most recently and still on occasions, Timmy plays with well known Fiddler/Preacher Tom Brantley in the band Missionary Ridge. Timmy has served as judge for Bluegrass Band and Individual Competitons in the mid-Tennessee area including The Wilson County Fair Bluegrass Competition. Beginning in 2017, Timmy joined Jerry Butler and The Blu-J’s (a long running Bluegrass Band from Knoxville, TN). Timmy also gives banjo lessons.

John Mayberry Has been teaching guitar(acoustic and electric), bass, mandolin, and banjo for the past 13 years. Playing professionally with Ronnie Reno & The Reno Tradition for 12 years. Playing on the road gigs and on "Reno’s Old Time Music" Television show on RFD-TV network reaching 1.2 million viewers monthly. He’s had the pleasure of recording two studio albums, "Front Porch Gospel" and "Lessons Learned", with Reno and sitting in on many projects with other great artists. Before working with Reno he participated in numerous contests in TN and KY garnering many trophies and ribbons. "I’ve always loved the contest scene, playing in them since I was young. Later I’ve had the opportunity to sit on the "other side" of the judging table and each time I’ve tried my best to give each contestant a fair shake because that’s what I wanted back in the day."