New quartet fiddling to Old Church Theatre

The Fretless is a young, talented four-piece band blends the worlds of celtic, folk and chamber music into a vibrant, unique sound.

The Fretless is a young, talented four-piece band that blends the worlds of celtic, folk and chamber music into a vibrant, unique sound they call “radtrad.”

They may look like a conventional string quartet, but, with explosive flare, innovative arrangements and roots deeply based in Celtic and Canadian fiddle styles, The Fretless is creating their own unique path in the music world.

They are celebrating the release of their first CD, Waterbound, and are kicking off their CD release tour with their first show in Courtenay. The tour will continue to the Gulf Islands, Victoria, Port Alberni, Vancouver, the Interior of B.C., Saskatchewan and, in October, Germany.

Local fiddler Trent Freeman heads up The Fretless along with fellow Canadians Ivonne Hernandez (violin, vocals, step); and Karrnnel Sawitsky (violin, viola); with Californian Eric Wright on cello.

Ivonne, Trent and Karrnnel met several years ago on the Canadian fiddling and step dancing competition circuit and quickly became great chums and competitors. Individually winning multiple awards across Canada, they made names for themselves among Canada’s top fiddlers.

Ivonne and Trent studied at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, where they met Eric, a cellist who can not only play traditional and Irish music but can also accompany the tunes, mixing bass, melody lines and rhythmic patterns, as only a drummer can. The trio completed their studies, graduating Magna Cum Laude, and reconnected with their friend, Karrnnel, by then a fiddling civil engineer.

Waterbound was recorded in Victoria by Grammy-nominated producer Joby Baker. Waterbound features Ruth Moody of the Wailin’ Jennys and the Outside Track’s Norah Rendell.

For full details on their tour and information, check out www.thefretless.

The Fretless performs Thursday at the Old Church Theatre. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the concert starts at 7:30. You can get tickets at Long & McQuade or call Ann at 250-339-4249.

— The Fretless


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