Thursday, December 29, 2011

‘Fastest fiddler’ bound for Carlow

Frankie GavinImage via WikipediaThe holder of the Guinness World Record for “Fastest Fiddle Player in the World” is coming to Carlow’s GB Shaw Theatre as Frankie Gavin and De Dannan take to the stage on February 10.

Their 32-county tour is an effort by the band to “lift the hearts of the Irish people during this extraordinary economic climate in Ireland.”

The band’s current lineup has performed in locations from the White House and US Capitol to Beijing Opera House and in addition has performed and recorded with musical luminaries including The Rolling Stones.

The current ‘De Dannan’ ensemble is led by Frankie Gavin on fiddle, flutes and whistles, with Barry Brady on accordion, Eric Cunningham on percussion, flutes and whistles, Mike Galvin on bouzouki and guitars, and Michelle Lally on vocals.

Tickets cost €20 and are available from 059 9172400 and

‘Fastest fiddler’ bound for Carlow - Entertainment - Kilkenny People

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Great Audience For Fiddle Christmas Concert

Portage La Prairie Manitoba CanadaImage via WikipediaA great crowd enjoyed An Old Time Fiddle Christmas Concert with Patti Lamoureux at the Trinity United Church in Portage la Prairie.  The 2 hour concert featured a three piece band with a variety of fiddle classics and some new tunes as well.

Event Committee Chair Diane Stevenson says a number of people in the area enjoy fiddle music and felt it was a great opportunity to host a fundraising event.  She says the money is going to Trinity United Church to help with their ministry in Portage and surrounding area.

Stevenson adds everybody in attendance enjoys Patti's music saying she sees folks bobbing their heads and tapping their toes.  She estimates 75 to 100 people turned out for the concert adding they had to create new tickets to sell at the door.

Fiddler Patti Lamoureux says she has been playing the fiddle since she was 4 years old and can't remember a time she didn't play the fiddle.  She adds coming to Portage la Prairie and playing for such a great and appreciative audience is an honor." - Local News for Portage La Prairie, MB: "

Fiddle player offers reward for stolen instruments

PORTLAND, Ore. – A Portland fiddle player is offering a reward for the return of his stolen instruments.

Luke Price is a fiddle teacher who also plays with several local bands. He told KATU News someone broke into his locked pickup truck earlier this month and took his only 2 fiddles from behind the front seat.

“I’ve had one of them for probably almost fifteen years and the other one for probably ten years,” said Price. “So you get to know them and they’re kind of like close friends.”

Price says he’s borrowing fiddles from friends in the meantime. He’s scheduled to go on tour in January.

He’s been checking Craigslist to see if the thief is trying to sell the stolen instruments. He wants to hear from anyone who might have seen them.

Price is offering a $300 reward for their return, no questions asked.

Fiddle player offers reward for stolen instruments | Local & Regional | - Portland News, Sports, Traffic Weather and Breaking News - Portland, Oregon

Friday, December 16, 2011

Natalie MacMaster: Dynamic fiddle virtuoso

Live (Natalie MacMaster album)
Few performers exhibit the excitement that marks Natalie MacMaster's shows. Less than a year after the birth of her fourth child, the Canadian fiddler brings "Christmas in Cape Breton" to George Mason University Center for the Arts, full of traditional Celtic music.

"I'm motivated by love and music that moves," she said. "I can be tired and the minute I get on stage I'm filled with energy. Growing up in Cape Breton, I enjoyed a very traditional Christmas. I remember going with my dad to the woods to get a tree that we hung with homemade decorations about the 20th of December. Then we went to our rooms to wrap gifts secretly while our mother baked cookies. We spent Christmas Day at our grandmother's house, then entertained visitors and went visiting. The next day, Boxing Day, we'd square dance."

MacMaster learned her instrument from her uncle Buddy MacMaster, the famous Cape Breton fiddler. Although her parents did not play, her father encouraged her to practice. To this day, she relies on him for criticism.

"He urged me to play correctly and even now may not agree with those who think my performance was perfect," she said. "But if he praises me, that approval is bigger to me than playing in Carnegie Hall. Even before I studied the fiddle, my mom taught me step-dancing. Sometimes if I sense the audience members are participatory, I invite some to join me on stage."

MacMaster grew up listening to pop, rock and jazz, so it's no wonder that she embraces them in her repertoire. Her collaborations with many celebrated artists reveal her expertise across the board.

"Being invited by Yo-Yo Ma to play on his Christmas CD, 'Songs of Joy and Peace,' was a big thrill for me," she said. "I loved playing with Alison Krauss, who is so sweet, and of course The Chieftains. They've been a big part of my formation and introduced me to a lot of American crowds."

As a mom, MacMaster limits her touring. Wherever she or her husband, Donnell, perform, one or more of the children accompany them, a tradition followed by the Leahy ensemble. Because she toured all fall, she is looking forward to a long break at home until a tour of Canada in March. For now, she will bask in the November release of "Cape Breton Girl" and the publication of her first book, "Natalie MacMaster's Cape Breton Aire."

"It's the story of how I grew up with awesome photography by photographer Eric Roth," she said. "His pictures are honest and fresh, not touristy. I want readers to see that place as it really is and I remember it. Even though I spent my early years there, I want my children to have their own memories of growing up in our home, the place where Santa comes every Christmas."

Read more at the Washington Examiner:

Natalie MacMaster: Dynamic fiddle virtuoso | Washington Examiner

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Natalie MacMaster is fiddlin’ around the country

Natalie MacMasterCover of Natalie MacMaster
Last week, renowned fiddler Natalie MacMaster boarded a bus with a brood of children in tow, headed to her next performance in Pittsfield, Mass.

Tonight, she brings her high-energy, driving music to the College of St. Benedict Benedicta Arts Center, where she’ll perform a mixture of Cape Breton stylings as well as traditional Christmas carols.

“I want (people) to come and be lifted in life,” said the 40-something MacMaster. “To go and feel motivated to live and be challenged.”

The Grammy-nominated MacMaster plays 100 shows a year throughout the United States and Canada. The fiddling phenom from Nova Scotia first picked up a 3/4-sized fiddle at age 9½, a gift given to her by her grand uncle.

Raised in what she calls a musical home, MacMaster didn’t so much study fiddling as she let it seep in. For six months she learned from her dad and then spent two years playing tunes and learning secrets from notable Cape Breton fiddler Stan Chapman.

Music, she said, was always prominent growing up. Her lineage includes her famed uncle Hugh Alan “Buddy” MacMaster, her cousin Andrea Beaton and the late John Allan Cameron, of Canadian folk fame. MacMaster has truly made a name for herself in her own right. She has recorded with Yo-Yo Ma and earned numerous accolades including the 2011 Arts and Letters Award from the Canadian Association of New York.

Now she and fiddler husband Donnell Leahy are passing the music genes on to their kids. Together they have four children, ages 5, 4, 2 and 10 months, who travel with them on the road. Two of their children have started on the fiddle, one plays piano and one dances. MacMasters balances her music career while being a mom. Just before she loaded the family onto the bus she spent three hours in the hotel lobby home schooling her 5-year-old.

For her, raising children in a music-filled world is important. For her audience, she said, music can be an escape from reality.

“It gives you so much more than you think,” she said.

MacMaster will perform at 7:30 tonight in Escher Auditorium, 37 College Ave. S, St. Joseph.

Tickets are available in advance by calling the box office at 363-5777, online at or at the door. Tickets are $30 for individuals, $27 for seniors, $10 for youths.

Natalie MacMaster is fiddlin’ around the country | St. Cloud TIMES |

Monday, December 5, 2011

Fiddle Group To Perform As Part Of JPS Winter Concer

More than 100 orchestra students from all six Jamestown elementary schools as well as Washington, Persell and Jefferson middle schools string and Jamestown High School orchestra students will perform with internationally-known Barrage as part of their concert at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 8, in the Jamestown High School auditorium.

The elementary school students, including Lakewood Suzuki Strings and the Catholic Academy of the Holy Family, will perform "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" and middle and high school string students, along with guests from Southwestern, will join Barrage for Calypso Jam. Tickets for the concert are $20 for adults and $15 for students, senior citizens and children. They are available at the Reg Lenna Box Office or at the door.

Barrage is a high-energy fiddle fest, weaving together extraordinary musicianship and dance with traces of everything from country to heavy metal music. Five violinists are backed up with wild and interesting percussion, strong vocals, guitar, bagpipes and expertly executed choreography.

Barrage continues to be leaders in the String Education field by cultivating an ongoing partnership with more than 400 school and youth orchestra programs around the world. Barrage's roots are in string education and they have been dedicating their recent touring schedules to continuing to build their legacy with string players throughout the world. In the 2011-12 touring season, Barrage will perform with more than 60 string programs in venues worldwide culminating with a featured performance at the American String Teachers convention in Atlanta.

Created in Calgary, Canada in 1997, the violin-based, world-beat ensemble tours more than 40 weeks a year and has released seven albums, four DVDs and five television specials. Barrage recently hosted its 2,500th international performance. Over the past 15 years, the group has entertained millions of concertgoers in more than 27 countries. Handpicked performers make up the group.

Fiddle Group To Perform As Part Of JPS Winter Concert - | News, Sports, Jobs, Community Information - Jamestown | Post-Journa