Saturday, October 20, 2012

In the Tradition 10/30 - Samhuinn, w/ special guests Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas

In the Tradition 10/30 - Samhuinn
w/ special guests
Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas

Tuesday, October 30, 2012
7-9pm easterm

The moon is full, we will honor and celebrate Samhuinn / Samhain / Hallowe'enthe Gaelic end-of-Summer festival held October 31–November 1. 
Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas will be calling to talk about their music and area performances.
November 2012
02 Brownfield, ME - Stone Mountain Arts Center
03 Montpelier, VT - Old Meeting House
04 Boothbay Harbor ME - Opera House at Boothbay Harbor
07 Northampton, MA - Smith College - Sage Hall
08 Hadley MA - Hartsbrook School
10 Lexington , MA - National Heritage Museum
11 Cumberland, RI - Blackstone River Theatre

". . . the expressive gamut from deep Celtic melancholy to joyful jig, his fiddle imitations of the bagpipe almost unbelievable, the whole rendered with a humble sincerity, flawless virtuosity and just about the sweetest sound since Fritz Kreisler." —L.A. TIMES
"Alasdair Fraser is recognized throughout the world as one of the finest fiddle players Scotland has ever produced. [His] name is synonymous with the vibrant cultural renaissance which is transforming the Scottish musical scene." —SCOTS Magazine
Master Scottish fiddler Alasdair Fraser is a consummate performer. His dynamic fiddling, engaging stage presence, and deep understanding of Scotland's music have created a constant and international demand for his solo appearances and concerts with a variety of ensembles. Alasdair has been a major force behind the resurgence of traditional Scottish fiddling in his homeland and the U.S., inspiring legions of listeners and learners through his recordings, annual fiddle camps, and concerts. He has represented Scotland internationally through performances sponsored by the British Council, and has been awarded touring support by the California Arts Council, with the ranking of "highest priority for inclusion on the roster; considered 'model' in stature."
Alasdair's richly expressive playing transports listeners across a broad musical spectrum, ranging from haunting laments from the Gaelic tradition to classically-styled airs, raucous dance tunes, and improvisations based on traditional themes. His vast repertoire spans several centuries of Scottish music and includes his own compositions, which blend a profound understanding of the Scottish tradition with cutting-edge musical explorations. He weaves through his performances a warm and witty narrative, drawing from a deep well of stories and lore surrounding Scotland's musical heritage.
Alasdair Fraser has been featured on over 100 television and radio shows in the UK, and on several nationally-broadcast programs in the US, including CBS Sunday Morning, NPR Morning EditionA Prairie Home Companion, and The Thistle & Shamrock. OnThe Kennedy Center Honors (CBS TV) Fraser played a spcecial solo tribute to honoree Sean Connery, a fellow Scot, in a segment that included Catherine Zeta-Jones. Alasdair has made guest appearances with groups as diverse as Los Angeles Master ChoraleThe Waterboys and The Chieftains, and as featured soloist along with Itzhak Perlman at New York's Lincoln Center. His film credits include solo performances on the soundtracks of several major films, including The Last of the Mohicans andTitanic.

Alasdair has released several critically acclaimed albums, including the Indie Award-winning Dawn Dance (Best Celtic Album of 1996), and most recently, Legacy of the Scottish Fiddle, Volume One, on which Fraser and longtime collaborator pianistPaul Machlis pay tribute to Scotland's master fiddle composers of the past 250 years. Fraser has contributed to more than 50 albums as guest artist, and his music has been included on top selling Celtic and New Age compilation albums totaling nearly two million in combined sales.

Fraser performs in concert as a soloist; with pianist Paul Machlis; with Scottish guitarist Tony McManus; with Cellist Natalie Haasand with his band Skyedance, which features new music arranged for fiddle, pipes, flute, keyboards and percussion. In great demand as a dance musician, Alasdair plays for Scottish country dancing with pianist Muriel Johnstone. He also directs the 100-member San Francisco Scottish Fiddlers orchestra.

Through two summer programs that he founded nearly two decades ago - the Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddling School in California and a week-long course on the Isle of Skye - Alasdair has inspired hundreds of aspiring and accomplished musicians. Several of his tunes are now standard in the repertoire for Scottish, Irish, and contra dancing, and can be heard in sessions from Edinburgh to Canberra. His compositions have been featured in new choreography commissioned by the Richmond (Virginia) Balletand Shiftworks Dance Ensemble. His commissioned works include "Fettercairn Suite" for Whyte & Mackay Distillers.

Fraser lives with his wife and two sons in the Sierra Nevada foothills of northern California, operating his own Culburnie Records label and making frequent trips to Scotland and beyond for numerous engagements.

Natalie is one of the most sought after cellists playing traditional music today. She and Scottish fiddler Alasdair Fraser have toured as a duo for over 12 years, wowing audiences at festivals and concerts worldwide with their unique sound. Their first album together, Fire & Grace, was awarded Best Album of the Year in the Scots Trad Music Awards 2004. Natalie has also toured with Mark O'Connor as a member of his Appalachia Waltz Trio. She and O'Connor premiered his double concerto for violin and cello, ¨For The Heroes¨, with the Grand Rapids, East Texas, and San Diego Symphonies. As a studio musician, Natalie has been a guest artist on over 50 albums, including those of Cape Breton fiddler Natalie MacMaster and Irish super-group Solas. 

A graduate of the Juilliard School, where she studied with cellist Fred Sherry, Natalie discovered the cello at age nine. In addition to having extensive classical music training, she is accomplished in a broad array of fiddle genres. Her music journey found purpose when she fell in love with Celtic music at the Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddling School at age 11. Inspired and encouraged by director Fraser, she began to investigate the cello's potential for rhythmic accompaniment to fiddle tunes, and to this day, the two continue to resurrect and reinvent the cello's historic role in Scottish music.

Natalie's skills as an educator make her one of the most in demand teachers at fiddle camps across the globe. She also teaches privately and in a workshop setting, and has held an associate professorship at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Natalie now makes her home in Montreal, where she is an active member of the traditional music scene.

¨In the hands of Natalie Haas, the cello becomes a truly magical instrument." - Green Man

"Haas can make her instrument sound like the drone of a hurdy-gurdy, the jangle of a guitar, or the thump of a string bass, and she can carry the tune of fast jigs and reels as well." - Robert Dawson Scott, The Times

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