Evan Price is a violinist and fiddler best known for his work with The Turtle Island Quartet and The Hot Club of San Francisco (HCSF). Before joining either group, however, he attended both The Cleveland Institute of Music and Berklee College of Music and paid his dues as a contest fiddler, winning first place at the U.S. Scottish Fiddling Championship, the Kentucky State Fiddling Championship and in the 18-and-under division of the Canadian Old-Time Fiddle Championship in Shelburne, Ontario . He also had the opportunity to perform with many of his fiddling heroes including Stephane Grappelli, Vassar Clements, and Johnny Gimble. After joining Turtle Island in 1997, he spent ten years touring extensively in North America and Europe and recorded five acclaimed CDs with the group, two of which received Grammy awards. He continues to make his name as a leading voice in gypsy jazz, primarily through his sixteen-plus years of performing and recording with the HCSF. In 2013, he was one of the fiddlers featured on Fiddler Magazine’s 20th Anniversary CD and tune book, Fiddlers 20. In 2017, he released his debut solo album, Dialogues, an eclectic set of projects such as a unique interpretation of solo Bach, contrapuntal fiddle tunes, and reunions with old friends. The previous year, he debuted composition “Concerto for Jazz Violin and Orchestra” with the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra. Evan continues to compose and arrange for himself and other ensembles, including Chanticleer, The Delphi Trio, and the New Century Chamber Orchestra, with whom he also occasionally performs. He teaches jazz violin and improvisation via PlayWithAPro.com, and at both the California Jazz Conservatory and the University of California, Berkeley.
Born in Baton Rouge of cajun and Irish ancestry, David learned cajun music on dance hall stages throughout south Louisiana, in the archives of cajun and creole music at the University of Louisiana, and from his apprenticeship to cajun fiddle master and National Heritage Fellow Dewey Balfa. As a founding member of Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys, David toured folk festivals worldwide for 23 years and was nominated for four Grammy Awards. He received the Louisiana Artist Fellowship Award for Folklife Performance and is the Cajun French Music Association’s current “Fiddler of the Year.” David teaches cajun fiddle to students the world over in workshops and music camps as well as by Skype. He’s taught at the Sibelius Academy of Folk Music in Helsinki, Cecil Sharpe House in London, Augusta Heritage Center in West Virginia, Acadia Trad School in Maine and as an adjunct instructor of cajun fiddle and vocals at the University of Louisiana. His fiddle classes learn classic cajun repertoire with emphasis on the Afro-Caribbean phrasing and subtle bluesy ornaments that give cajun fiddling its distinctive sound.
Few young Canadian fiddlers today can show off the breadth and range of North American fiddling like Adrianna Ciccone. With a “distinctive stamp and swing that is both rooted and infectious”, she crosses back and forth across the continent with ease. She showcases Cape Breton reels, crooked French-Canadian brandys, the rollicking rhythms of Ottawa Valley stepdancing tunes, and Southern Appalachian stringband tunes, also incorporating Irish and Métis influences. Raised in the Ottawa Valley fiddle tradition and greatly inspired by Québécois fiddling, Adrianna Ciccone cut her teeth at fiddle camps across Ontario and Canada, won many awards in national and international fiddle competitions, and graduated from Berklee College of Music. Her debut album, The Back of Winter, produced by Bruce Molsky, won her “Instrumental Artist of the Year” at the 2015 Canadian Folk Music Awards.
Jeremy Kittel is an American fiddler, violinist, and composer. Fluent in multiple musical genres, his original music draws from traditional roots, jazz, Celtic, classical, electronic music and more. He has composed and arranged for such artists as Abigail Washburn, Aoife O’Donovan, My Morning Jacket, Camera Obscura, Jars of Clay, Yo Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, Laura Veirs, and the Grammy-winning Turtle Island Quartet (of which he was a member for five years). He has recorded with artists such as Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile, Mark O’Connor and Mike Marshall, and co-wrote Bull Frogs Croon, a new orchestral work featuring himself and Aoife O’Donovan as soloists. He has been a soloist with the Detroit Symphony, Louisville Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic, Britt Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony and more, and taught at such programs as Berklee College of Music, Belmont University, The New School, International Music Academy of Pilsen, Zurich University of the Arts, Mark O’Connor Strings Camps, the Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddling School and many times at the Gathering. Kittel has a master’s degree in jazz performance from the Manhattan School of Music, and received the 2010 Emerging Artist Award from his alma mater, the University of Michigan. He’s won six Detroit Music Awards, the US National Scottish Fiddle Championship, two ASTA Alternative Style awards and was the first recipient of the Daniel Pearl Memorial Violin.
Kenny Jackson is an old-time fiddler, multi-instrumentalist, singer, and tunesmith. Music was often a part of family gatherings at his grandparents’ Kentucky home, providing special inspiration for his fiddling. Kenny’s schooling in traditional music included time spent with elder masters, hours of deep listening to archival and commercial recordings of traditional musicians and singers, and countless more spent in sessions at fiddlers conventions, on porches, and in kitchens. Kenny has been a part of several outstanding string bands including Leftwich, Higginbotham, and Jackson, The Rhythm Rats, Big Medicine and the Bow Benders. He has performed at major festivals, both with his bands and solo and he’s won a number of ribbons at festivals and fiddlers conventions. He’s also appeared on A Prairie Home Companion, ABC-TV’s Good Morning America, BBC-Belfast Radio, the Renfro Valley Barn Dance, WPAQ’s Merry-Go-Round, and the WWVA Jamboree. Kenny can be heard on a number of recordings, including two solo projects, three with Big Medicine, and two with the Rhythm Rats. Over the years he has been a mentor to many emerging old-time musicians, teaching private lessons in person and online, as well as at workshops and music camps including Ashokan, Alaska Fiddle Camp, Augusta Heritage Arts Workshops, Mars Hill Blue Ridge Music Week, Steve Kaufman’s Acoustic Kamp, and The Swannanoa Gathering’s Old-Time Week.
A founding member of the David Grisman Quintet and one of the most influential fiddlers alive, Darol Anger is an innovative and popular clinician who works with teachers and students of all ages in school, university, camp and festival settings across the United States, evangelizing interest in contemporary improvising and vernacular strings. As an Associate Professor at Berklee College Of Music, through his online Fiddle School at ArtistWorks.com, and work with the American String Teachers Association, the Turtle Island String Quartet, and his current performing group, The Republic of Strings, he brings almost 30 years of experience to teaching and residencies in jazz, blues, fiddle, chamber and orchestra settings. He has a passion for intergenerational education and performance as a way to bridge imaginary borders of age and culture. He envisions a great nation of string players, embodied by The Republic of Strings: a floating intergenerational orchestra that plays music scooped from backyards, garages and kitchens in every continent. Darol is committed to promoting appreciation of musical diversity and the evolution of personal musical styles based on strong cultural roots, throughout the world. He has released a new recording of bluegrassy standards and originals on Adventure Music, entitled E-and’a.
Abby Newton is well known for her groundbreaking work in the revival of the cello in American and Scottish traditional music. In the late-seventies, she began performing with The Putnam String County Band, making it the first modern string band with a cello. At the same time, she began an active and continuing recording career performing on over 100 folk recordings including 16 CDs with Scottish singer, Jean Redpath. Abby’s solo CDs Crossing to Scotland and Castles, Kirks, and Caves, have earned her critical acclaim both in the US and abroad. She has appeared on A Prairie Home Companion several times, and Fiona Ritchie, of NPR’s Thistle and Shamrock, did a feature program on Abby’s music and her influence on the folk cello movement. She has toured with her band Ferintosh throughout the UK and the US and currently plays with the Skye Trio.
Byron Berline is a three-time National Fiddle Champion who began playing the fiddle at age five. Byron’s professional career reads like a Who’s Who of the music business as he has performed with or recorded with so many notables. As a band member he has played with Bill Monroe & the Bluegrass Boys, Dillard & Clark, Country Gazette, the Dillard Expedition, Sundance, Berline, Crary & Hickman, L. A. Fiddle Band, California, and the Byron Berline Band. As a session fiddler, he appears on numerous recordings including those by The Band, The Byrds, The Eagles, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, John Denver, Elton John, Linda Ronstadt, Rod Stewart, Hoyt Axton, Alabama, Susie Boguss, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Vince Gill, Arlo Guthrie, Emmylou Harris, Kris Kirstofferson, Willie Nelson, Tammy Wynette, Jethro Burns, John Hartford, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Earl Scruggs, Mason Williams and numerous symphony orchestras. His movie and commercial sound track credits include work with Henry Mancini, Jerry Fielding, Johnny Williams and Lalo Schifrin, the score of the film, Stay Hungry, and appearances in Star Trek, Back To The Future III and Basic Instinct. He has toured the United States, Europe, China, Japan, Australia, Northern Africa and the South Pacific. Byron was inducted into Oklahoma’s Musicians Hall of Fame, named Oklahoma’s Ambassador of Goodwill, been a featured artist at the international convention of the Violin Society of America, and founded the Oklahoma International Bluegrass Festival. Byron has been touted as one of the most inventive fiddlers ever, and his skill, versatility and artistry continue to be recognized by his peers, the press and audiences world-wide.
Multi-instrumentalist, All-Ireland fiddle finalist and Ropeadope Recording artist Andrew Finn Magill has watched his career surge ever since the 2016 release of his 2-disc concept album, Roots (debuting at #46 on the Folk DJ charts) and Branches, which feature Celtic Week alumni John Doyle, Colin Farrell, and Cillian Vallely. Raised at The Swannanoa Gathering, Magill has learned and carved out a name for himself in Irish, American and Brazilian music and has taught these traditions at fiddle camps all over the world including the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival, Montana Fiddle Camp, Rocky Mountain Fiddle Camp, The Freight & Salvage’s Fiddlekids, The Acadia Trad School, and Le Séjour du Cléguérec in France. He has performed and toured with Paul McKenna, John Doyle, Cillian King, Alan Murray, and many others at some of Irish music’s premiere venues such as the Austin Celtic Festival, The Cobblestone Pub in Dublin, and The Irish American Heritage Center in Chicago. Based again in Asheville, Magill tours the U.S., Europe, and Brazil regularly, both solo and with many others, including Celtic Week mandolinist Dave Curley, The Brazilian Strings Trio with Ted Falcon & Nando Duarte, and his own Brazilian jazz trio.
San Diego native John Mailander is an acclaimed multi-instrumentalist and graduate of the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. As an accomplished performer, composer, teacher and recording artist, John has become known for his soulful voice on the fiddle, mandolin and various other stringed instruments. He has toured, recorded and performed with a diverse array of artists in the acoustic music world and beyond, including Darol Anger’s Republic of Strings, Molly Tuttle, Tony Trischka, Col. Bruce Hampton, Joe K. Walsh, Laurie Lewis, Danny Paisley & the Southern Grass, Front Country, Dudley Connell, Missy Raines & the New Hip, Runa, the Alison Brown Quartet, John Reischman, Billy Strings and many more. He was the featured fiddle player in Steve Martin & Edie Brickell’s 2013 musical, Bright Star, for its premiere run in New York. John’s 2014 debut solo album, Walking Distance, features his original compositions, recorded with an all-star cast of improvisational musicians from the New England music scene. He is a dedicated instructor, working with students all over the country in person and over Skype. John recently released his first instructional/coloring book, A Fiddler’s Guide to Moveable Shapes. He currently lives in Nashville, TN.
| www.ethanjodziewicz.comEthan Jodziewicz fully embodies the notion that nearly anything is possible on the bass. His zeal, musical omnivorousness, and technical ability allow him to not only thrive in bluegrass, jazz, old-time, funk, symphonic and chamber music, but also to push the boundaries of bass playing beyond its traditional roles. An in-demand ensemble player, Ethan spends much of his time traveling the world, appearing on the stages of Carnegie Hall, the Grand Ole Opry, A Prairie Home Companion, Telluride Bluegrass Festival, and hundreds of others. He is featured on many albums, including Sierra Hull’s Grammy-nominated Weighted Mind, several albums with Darol Anger, and a duo recording of fiddle music with Tatiana Hargreaves. He currently performs full time with Sierra Hull, and has also shared the stage with Béla Fleck, David Grisman, Tony Trischka, Dr. Ralph Stanley, Turtle Island Quartet, Howard Levy, the Seattle and Indianapolis Symphony Orchestras, and many more. Ethan holds a Bachelor’s of Music from the Curtis Institute of Music where he studied with Edgar Meyer and Hal Robinson and currently lives in Nashville, TN.
A native of Whitetop, VA, Kilby Spencer is an award-winning fiddle player in both old-time and bluegrass styles as well as a sought-after guitar player. He has been playing old-time music for most of his life, learning from his parents, Thornton and Emily Spencer of the Whitetop Mountain Band, a group formed by his uncle, Albert Hash in the 1940s. Kilby formed his own band, the Crooked Road Ramblers, over 15 years ago and has led them to numerous blue ribbons at regional fiddlers’ conventions in addition to performances at prestigious venues like the National Folk Festival, the Richmond Folk Festival and the Carter Family Fold. In addition to his parents and uncle, he counts elder Grayson County, VA fiddle players Dean Sturgill and Johnny Miller as his influences. Kilby has also collected and digitized rare local recordings for many years and serves on the board of the Field Recorder’s Collective, whose mission is to preserve and release rare field and home recordings.
Nora studied classical violin from the age of 10, spending the tenth and eleventh grades at Interlochen Arts Academy and becoming Concert Mistress of her college orchestra at George Mason University. After college, she became interested in traditional fiddle, starting with old-time and moving into Irish and Scottish. She competed at many Scottish fiddling competitions, winning regional competitions in Virginia, Maryland, New Hampshire and North Carolina. She travelled to Scotland to study with Alasdair Fraser on the Isle of Skye, and with Pete Clark in Dunkeld, in Perthshire. She co-founded the Triad Scottish Fiddlers and Friends, a music club in Winston-Salem, which she led for fourteen years before moving to Asheville in 2015. Nora has made a total of six Celtic music CDs and played in nine bands over the last eighteen years, including Gaelwynd with Rhiannon Giddens (of the Carolina Chocolate Drops) with whom she made three of the CDs. She currently teaches violin/fiddle at Musicians Workshop in Asheville and plays in a Scottish music duo with cellist Julia Weatherford called “StrathSpan”. For more detailed information about Nora and to hear samples of her music go to her website:
Swedish fiddler Andrea Hoag is a Grammy nominee for her Christmas recording, Hambo in the Snow and the recipient of two Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Awards. This year, she is also a Maryland Traditions Master Artist, teaching a Swedish fiddle apprentice. She has been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered and Performance Today, at the Kennedy Center and the Library of Congress, and on numerous recordings and venues around the U.S. and abroad. Andrea is the founder of Freyda’s Hands, an arts non-profit organization fostering collaboration and education across the traditional performing arts, and a founding member of the acclaimed cross-cultural Dovetail Ensemble.
Seattle-based guitarist and composer Greg Ruby plays diverse styles of vintage jazz. Described as “truly hot jazz” by Vintage Guitar magazine, his CD, Look Both Ways, celebrating the 100th birthday of guitarist Django Reinhardt and featuring 12 original compositions, reached #1 on the Roots Music Review’s jazz chart. He leads The Greg Ruby Quartet, a Hot Club jazz group dedicated to all-original compositions; records and tours with New York and New Orleans musicians in Greg Ruby & the Rhythm Runners, a Prohibition-era dance band; plays Valse musette and European café jazz with the Bric-a-brac Trio; and is currently creating a project to perform the compositions and arrangements of 1930’s swing guitarist, Oscar Alemán. Greg plays at swing dances, concert halls and festivals including: the French Quarter Festival, Lindy Focus, the Earshot Jazz Festival and the Django Reinhardt Festival. As a respected music instructor, he teaches at schools, camps and clinics and has authored the Pearl Django Play-Along Book Vol.1, the Oscar Alemán Play-Along Book, and Frank D. Waldron: Seattle’s Syncopated Classic, which unearthed, recorded and celebrated the lost compositions from 1924 by the eminent Seattle jazz icon Frank D. Waldron. Greg holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle, WA and has been a Swannanoa Gathering instructor since 2012.
Liz Knowles has brought her distinctive sound – the fire and finesse of Irish fiddle music combined with the tonal richness of the classical violin – to countless venues around the world, including Carnegie Hall, Broadway, the Kennedy Center, l’Olympia in Paris, and theatres and festivals from Shanghai to São Paulo to Sarawak. A virtuosic and versatile performer, Liz was the fiddler for Riverdance and soloist on the soundtrack for the film, Michael Collins. She has performed with such diverse artists as The New York Pops, Don Henley, Rachel Barton, Marcus Roberts, Steve Reich, Liz Carroll, Cherish the Ladies, and most recently, with actress Fiona Shaw in collaboration for a special performance for the Kennedy Center’s Ireland 100 Festival. Her career today combines the roles of performer, composer, arranger, and producer in theatrical and recording projects and she is highly regarded as a teacher for music camps and workshops. Today, she most regularly performs with her trio, Open the Door for Three, the all-star fiddle ensemble String Sisters, and as a member of a new and exciting project, the Martin Hayes Quartet.
Fiddle Week Coordinator Julia Weatherford has been a full-time artist/musician for as long as anyone can remember. She is a veteran performer on both cello and fiddle with notable performing groups that range from The Asheville Symphony to the world-fusion Akira Satake Band. In the contra dance world, Julia is known as a driving old-time fiddler and grooving cellist with bands such as Sugar High and Nearest & Dearest. She has toured internationally as a dance musician and taught and performed at Berea’s Christmas Country Dance School, Folkmoot International, Pinewoods Camp, The LEAF, and The CDSS Centennial Tour. Currently she performs regionally with StrathSpan and The Free Range Ensemble. Julia was the Artistic Director of the legendary Black Mountain Festival for many years, was the Swannanoa Gathering Logistics Coordinator for 12 years.