Bruce Greene and Don Pedi Bring Kentucky to Port Townsend

Welcome to my first post as Centrum’s Artistic Director for The Festival of American Fiddle Tunes!

It’s a pleasure and an honor to work with Peter McCracken and to be part of the venerable Fiddle Tunes community. I’m especially excited by the prospect of being around the older generation players, as this was such an life-altering experience for me when I was younger.  Of course, it is a bit sobering to realize that some of the “older generation” players I learned from were actually younger than I am now!

Among our 2011 faculty are several musicians who have shaped my own musical journey.  At least two are among my earliest influences, but some came into my life a bit later.  One of these is Bruce Greene, who has guided countless musicians through the strange and lovely world of Kentucky fiddle tunes, which he has gleaned from visits with older musicians and from obscure field recordings. Bruce Greene’s renditions of these tunes go deep into the collective subconscious, evoking that shiver of recognition that occasionally comes even when you may not have ever heard that style of music before.  Hearing him play changed my life and I would love for others to have that same kind of experience in 2011.

Bruce will be bringing dulcimer player Don Pedi with him.  They are neighbors and have been playing music together for many, many years – if you have thought of dulcimer as some kind of airy-fairy instrument, think again!  Don is a rhythm machine – he evokes the sound of fiddlesticks, of clawhammer banjo, of dancing feet.  The combination of Bruce’s deep strong fiddling and Don’s rhythmic support is magical as you will hear on this video. They are playing a Kentucky tune called Jeff Sturgeon, which seems appropriate given the availability of excellent seafood in Port Townsend…I don’t know about sturgeon but I’ve definitely had some great halibut there!

I’m happy to answer questions and hear suggestions, so if you have any, you can email me at suzy (at) We’ll be focusing on other faculty and staff members in the weeks to come so please check back here!

-Suzy Thompson