Workshop Description

Spend the week of July 1 – 8, 2007, living, learning, and jamming with masters of North American fiddling traditions. The Festival of American Fiddle Tunes is a week-long, total-immersion workshop presenting many regional styles of fiddle music. You’ll play in community with carefully selected bearers of North American fiddle traditions. The program’s particularly wide spectrum includes workshop classes, band lab classes, tutorials, dances, concerts, open jams, parties, and informal and spontaneous gatherings.

Fiddle_workshop_photo The emphasis at the workshop is on the oral tradition of close observation and listening, followed by personal experimentation. Band labs, in which participants join the faculty members of their choice to form ensembles and learn tunes, are also a popular workshop feature. Evenings feature intimate, unamplified showcase concerts and social dancing takes place in two dance halls. All of this is stirred up with a full load of night-long jamming and impromptu parties.

The heart of the workshop is the faculty. Each year we scour the continent to bring you the authentic bearers of North American fiddle traditions. Their knowledge, stories, musicianship, and commitment to the community are part of what makes this week such a special celebration.

Fiddle Tunes is unique in creating a setting in which participants may immerse themselves in many traditional fiddle styles. These styles have been passed down in a family or neighborhood setting since early days. Modern times have disturbed this process with forces that cause distraction and disenfranchisement; these days professional music lessons and public school band and orchestra classes tend to filter out people who are judged, all too often by self-serving experts, as having insufficient talent. Fiddle Tunes helps add self-made music to people’s lives by providing the setting for this intense experience of learning in the time-honored process of close observation and personal experimentation, teaching yourself to play.

Tuition for the workshop is $450 ($275 for kids-program participants), and includes admission to all festival events. Room and board options range from $200 to $385.