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Masters of the Celtic Fiddle
REGION -- New England Celtic Arts presents part II of the “Master's of the Celtic Fiddle” with World famous Scottish fiddler Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas at Skye Theatre Performing Arts Center in South Carthage on Wednesday and at Unity College Center for the Performing Arts in Unity on Thursday.
Curtain at Skye is 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. in Unity. Pre-show jam sessions at Skye and Unity start one hour prior to curtain.
Award-winning duo Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas once again unleash their dazzling teamwork, driving, dancing rhythms, and shared passion for taking the infectious melodies and grooves of Scottish/Celtic music on an exciting new journey.
The musical partnership between Alasdair Fraser, long regarded as Scotland’s premier fiddle ambassador, and the sizzling-talented young California cellist Natalie Haas may not seem an obvious one. Fraser, acclaimed by the San Francisco Examiner as “the Michael Jordan of Scottish fiddling,” has a concert and recording career spanning 30 years, with a long list of awards, accolades, television credits, and feature performances on top movie soundtracks (Last of the Mohicans,Titanic). Fraser has been sponsored by the British Council to represent Scotland’s music internationally, and received the Scottish Heritage Center Service Award for outstanding contributions to Scottish culture and traditions.
The 25-year-old Haas, a graduate of the Juilliard School of Music, wasn’t even born when Alasdair was winning national fiddle competitions on the other side of the Atlantic. But this seemingly unlikely pairing is the fulfillment of a long-standing musical dream for Fraser, whose cutting-edge musical explorations took him full circle to find a cellist who could help him return the cello to its historical role at the rhythmic heart of Scottish dance music.
Natalie Haas was just 11 when she first attended Fraser’s Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddling School in California. She responded to Fraser’s challenge to find and release the cello’s rhythmic soul, and four years later, when Natalie was just 15, Fraser and Haas played their first gig together. Now regularly touring with Fraser and creating a buzz at festivals and in concert halls throughout Europe and North America, Natalie is in the vanguard of young cellists who are re-defining the role of the cello in traditional music. “Cellists are coming out of the woodwork to study with Natalie, to learn how she creates a groove and a whole chunky rhythm section,” says Fraser. “It’s inspiring to hear the cello unleashed from its orchestral shackles!”
The duo has performed frequently in Europe, and throughout the US and Canada. They have been featured on NPR’s Performance Today, the Thistle & Shamrock, and Mountain Stage, and represented Scotland at the Smithsonian Museum’s Folklife Festival. In addition, Fraser and Haas have busy teaching schedules, including summer fiddle courses in the US, Scotland, and Spain. Natalie also teaches at the Berklee College of Music in Boston.
Skye Theater is located three miles West of East Dixfield village at 2 Highland Dr. off Winter Hill Road and Rt. 2 in South Carthage. UCCPA is at 42 Depot St. in Unity. Ticket price for Richard Wood is $20 at the door. For reservations, call Skye Theatre at 562-4445 or UCCPA at 948-7469. Reservations are strongly suggested at both venues.