The great violinist Juan Reynoso made many powerful visits to Fiddle Tunes, beginning in the late 90s, and a direct result of his influence is the group Fire of Tierra Caliente. They will present Don Juan’s music (and other Calentano fiddlers) at the 2017 gathering.
The group came together by the passion of Paul Anastasio, violinist, composer, performer and bandleader. In 1996 Paul was introduced to the music of violinist Juan Reynoso and his guitarist sons at the Fiddle Tunes festival. Shortly thereafter he began traveling to Guerrero and Michoacán to study this fast-disappearing southern Mexican traditional violin style. On roughly 20 trips to Mexico between 1998 and 2006 Paul studied three hours daily with Don Juan, as well as more than a dozen other violinists. He was able to record 3,000 hours of music and transcribe over 800 pieces, several hundred of them arranged for violin trio.
The other members of Fire of Tierra Caliente have strong Mexican music credentials as well. Tina Pilione was able to join Paul on his Mexican visits from 2003 through 2006, studying with Don Juan and his guitarist sons Hugo and Javier. She and Paul currently live next door to each other in south Louisiana and play the music together as often as their schedules permit. Elena DeLisle-Perry and Paul were practically neighbors in the Seattle area when Paul lived in Washington, and also played the music together as often as possible. She loves to teach and play music. With guitar as her main instrument she has studied many acoustic styles, with the music of Tierra Caliente at the top of her list. Juan Barco is a world class singer, guitarist, bajo sexto player and bassist, and he plays often with Paul and Elena. In fact, Juan and Paul taught the music of Tierra Caliente at Fiddle Tunes a few years ago.