There is a magnetic field that a group of fiddlers creates when playing fiddle tunes or improvising around jazz leads that attract other musicians to listen and often join in a play along. Jam sessions were scattered throughout our residence hall - in basement classrooms, outside on courtyard and within the kitchen common areas. It was a beautiful cacophony of fiddle, jazz, funk, R&B styles prominent throughout the week.
Small ensembles offered personal coaching within a supportive cohort.
For much of our day, work was centered around small chamber style ensemble of 5-6 players. Each group was paired with two coaches who brought their unique style and background to our nascent string band. Our morning coach, Micah Tomas offered his expertise and experience as an accomplished jazz pianist. We swung into more fiddle stylings in the afternoon with Andy Reiner. However distant jazz and fiddle genres seemed, I found many common threads.
A Musical Convergence in Central Ohio
The workshop hosted a diverse gathering of 60 string players from all corners of the world with varied musical background from conservatories to fiddle camps. With players from France, Japan, the Dominican Republic, Argentina and beyond, it seemed the strings world converged on small-town Delaware, Ohio for this special week of music making.