World renowned Scottish fiddler Alasdair Fraser and explosive American cellist Natalie Haas will be in concert at the Big Yellow Merville Hall on Friday, Jan. 9.
Alasdair and Natalie are on tour throughout the North American west coast and we have been lucky enough to be named as one of their tour stops. The Big Yellow Merville Hall is gaining a reputation.
The musical partnership between Fraser, long regarded as Scotland’s premier fiddle ambassador, and Haas, the sizzlingly talented young California cellist, may not seem an obvious one, but it works flawlessly.
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 (Titanic, Last of the Mohicans).
Haas is one of the most sought- after cellists playing traditional music today.
She and Fraser have toured as a duo for over 15 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.
A graduate of the Juilliard School of Music, Haas wasn’t even born when Fraser 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.
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 she was just 15, they 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, Haas 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!”
For more information, go online to www.alasdairfraser.com, or www.nataliehaas.com
So, on Friday, Jan. 9, settle in to hear Scottish Super Fiddler Alasdair Fraser and rockin’ cellist Natalie Haas in concert at the Big Yellow Merville Hall, on the Old Island Highway in Merville.
Doors open 7 p.m., the show starts 7:30 p.m. Tickets $18 adult/$10 youth and will be on sale at The Music Plant in Campbell River, Blue Heron Books in Comox and Long & McQuade in Courtenay.
At the door, $20 adult/$12 youth.
This concert will also help to raise awareness of newly established Stolen Church which now rests proudly on the hall grounds, awaiting restoration. Call 250-339-4249 for more details.