Michael Doucet, Darol Anger, Bruce Molsky and Rushad Eggleston
Michael Doucet, fiddler, composer, and bandleader, is perhaps the single most important figure in the revitalization of Cajun music in the United States. Doucet grew up surrounded by traditional musicians and storytellers in southwest Louisiana. He studied literature in school, but while playing music at a festival in France in 1974, was exposed to musical antecedents of his own heritage and this inspired him to return to Louisiana on a mission to learn everything he could about Cajun music and history.
In 1975, he applied to the National Endowment for the Arts for an apprenticeship grant to study with and document the master fiddlers of his region. As a result of this project, he was able to learn first-hand from the great masters of Cajun and Creole music with links to an earlier era. Eventually, he formed his own band, BeauSoleil, which is today recognized as the premiere traditional Cajun musical ensemble. With numerous nominations, BeauSoleil’s L’Amour Ou La Folie received the 1997 Grammy Award for Best Traditional Folk Album.
Fiddler Darol Anger has helped drive the evolution of contemporary violin through pathbreaking ensembles such as his Mr Sun, Republic Of Strings, Turtle Island String Quartet, the David Grisman Quintet, Psychograss, and others. Recording, composing and performing internationally since 1977, he tours with his band Mr Sun and runs an online Fiddle School at ArtistWorks.com.
Bruce Molsky’s take on traditional music has landed him in collaborations with some of the world’s most highly respected players from roots to rock. He is a special guest on legend rocker Mark Knopfler’s recent CD, “Tracker,” and “1865 Songs of Hope & Home” with Anonymous 4. Along with Andy Irvine & Donal Lunny, Bruce is a founding member of the supergroup Mozaik. You can see Bruce on the BBC TV “Transatlantic Sessions” with Aly Bain and Jerry Douglas, and on “David Holt’s State of Music” on PBS. But even with all these stylistic adventures, he still keeps his mountain music roots closest with longtime bandmates and partners Darol Anger, Tony Trischka and Molsky’s Mountain Drifters’ Allison de Groot, and in his role as Visiting Scholar in the American Roots Music Program at Berklee College of Music.
Rushad Eggleston has become an iconic master of improvisation, a shockingly prolific composer, and has done things that nobody has done with the cello. His stature ranks with great individualists such as Frank Zappa, Captain Beefheart, Harry Partch,Robin Williams, and Dr Seuss. A founding member of Crooked Still, Rushad brought an element to Fiddlers 4 that made the dream of a truly masterful American Vernacular String Quartet a reality.
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Wintergrass is a production of Acoustic Sound, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization. EIN: 91-2103544
all photos copyright Maria Camillo