For a long time, the fiddle ranked supreme amongst mountain instruments. Fiddle traditions remain strong today with fiddlers conventions, old-time and bluegrass jam sessions, and Junior Appalachian Musician programs blanketing the region.
Fiddle roots traditions, from the mountains and beyond, will be celebrated with workshops, demonstrations, presentations, and performances at the Jones House Cultural and Community Center and Appalachian State University on Tuesday and Wednesday, September 19 and 20.
Presented by Dr. Cece Conway and Black & Global Fiddle Roots Concerts, and the Town of Boone’s Cultural Resources Department, the event will feature a host of local and regional fiddlers and fiddle makers, in addition to Wayne Henderson, and some special out-of-region guests, like Peter White of the University of New Mexico, fiddler Tatiana Hargreaves, and fiddler/banjo player Jake Blount.
“This is a great opportunity for community members and students to learn about some of not only the mountain roots of the fiddle, but also the African-American, and southwestern Spanish and American Indian traditions,” says co-organizer, Mark Freed.
The Fiddle Roots Symposium begins with a discussion of fiddle roots on the 3rd floor lounge of Sanford Hall on the campus of Appalachian State University at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 19. Hargreaves, Blount, and White will all be on hand for discussion and demonstration of fiddle and banjo styles. Activities continue at the Jones House in downtown Boone (604 W. King St) with fiddle and banjo playing workshops, which are free and open to players of intermediate levels and above.
On Wednesday afternoon, starting at 4:00 p.m., workshops and presentations at the Jones House will be focused on fiddle and other stringed instrument making. Several local makers will be on hand, and Dr. White will be talking about the traditions of the southwest.
Indoor house-concert performances will take place at the Jones House on both Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday’s concert will include performances by William Ritter, Trevor McKenzie, Dayne Shelor, Jake Blount, and Tatiana Hargreaves. Wednesday’s concert will include performances by Matt Kinman, Bob Herring, Peter White, and Wayne Henderson. Seats for each concert are limited, and advanced reservations are encouraged. Tickets are $20 each, with student tickets available for $10.
“The concerts will be performed un-amplified, and it will really give listeners a chance to hear these instruments the way the builders intend them to be heard,” Freed says. “And we have some great artists coming – for fans of fiddle music, this is not one to miss!”