Tag Archives: Tom Duff

Birds of a feather: Freight Fiddle Summit and Skronkathon

Phillip Greenlief and David Boyce,
10th Skronkathon, Aug 28, 2010 at 21 Grand

blipvert (Will Northlich-Redmond),
10th Skronkathon, Aug 28, 2010 at 21 Grand

Both are cellphone pictures taken by me (Tom Duff.)
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You can tell a lot about a musical scene by looking at the settings in which it thrives. Two very different events in the coming days embody the way that the demands and practices of a particular tradition can shape its presentation.

On Thursday, Freight & Salvage hosts Alasdair Fraser’s Freight Fiddle Summit, a communal celebration that marks the beginning of the 29th season of his Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddling School in the Santa Cruz Mountains. And on Saturday, the Transbay Creative Music Calendar presents the 11th/12th Annual Bay Area Skronkathon Bar-B-Q at the Berkeley Arts Festival space on University Avenue, a sprawling all-day event that brings together a vast and varied menagerie of improvisers.

The Summit features the startlingly accomplished Menlo Park-raised sisters Brittany and Natalie Haas, the former a fiddler heard at the Freight last week with Darol Anger and the Furies, and the latter an innovative cellist who often performs in a celebrated duo with Fraser. Reaching beyond the Celtic world, the program also showcases New York accordionist Rob Curto, who tours with Mexican-American vocalist Lila Downs and leads Forró For All, and Claudio Rabeca, who plays his namesake instrument, the rabeca, a fiddle from the northeastern Brazilian state of Pernambuco, where he’s been an essential creative force for the past decade. … Continue reading »

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