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Daniel Pearl Memorial Violin Recipients | Memorial Violin Article


“When we dwell upon how much our neighbors differ from us, we should always be mindful of the common bond of music that we share. Music is a universal language that knows no boundaries and brings people together. I am so honored to have received the Daniel Pearl Memorial Violin, and I look forward to preserving and advancing Daniel Pearl's mission of unity, acceptance and peace through my performances with this beautiful instrument.”

Sarah Hubbard began fiddling at age eight, and soon after started studying several other musical genres including jazz, Klezmer and classical. A recent cum laude graduate of the Williston Northampton School in Easthampton, Massachusetts, Sarah is looking forward to beginning her freshman year at Berklee College of Music in Boston this fall.

Sarah performs regularly with a variety of different musical groups, including the Pioneer Valley Fiddlers, an intergenerational fiddle ensemble that plays regularly throughout southern New England at cultural events, museums, libraries, convalescent homes and fundraisers for community organizations. She performed at Walt Disney World with the PVF in 2009.

Sarah also plays with a Klezmer group, the Knaydels, throughout the Berkshires. She had the opportunity to perform at Tanglewood with members of the Knaydels as well as clarinetist Paul Green for the program of a Boston Symphony Orchestra open rehearsal and lecture.

In 2011, Sarah won the first-ever annual Strings Without Boundaries Tune-Writing Contest. Her composition "Devin's Reel" was arranged for string orchestra and soloists by Grammy Award-winning bluegrass fiddler Richard Greene.

Sarah also performed with the Springfield Youth Orchestra for four years, and in 2011, she performed Shostakovich's String Quartet No. 8 in C minor in a master class for Rachel Barton Pine. She also served as the concertmistress for the Williston Chamber Orchestra. Sarah competes and places regularly in New England fiddle competitions.

In addition to performing, Sarah also has a love for teaching about music and the culture that shapes and informs it. At the invitation of the music department chair, she has taught a section of Introduction to Music and American Music History each semester at Berkshire Community College for the past three years. Sarah has also given presentations to schoolchildren on the history and significance of Klezmer music in America.

Sarah is so grateful to have studied at the Mark O'Connor Fiddle and String Camp. She also is thankful for the numerous teachers she has studied with, including Becky Koehler, Giovina Sessions, Jeff Link and Calvin Vollrath.


“I feel so honored and grateful to receive the Daniel Pearl Memorial Violin and to share in the legacy of such a wonderful person and musician. I am inspired by Daniel Pearl’s life, and I will always try to further the goal of using music as a force for good in the world.”

Will Hammer is 14 and will begin his sophomore year at Rye High School in Rye, New York in September of 2012. He began playing the piano at age five and the violin at seven. He has played the violin in his school orchestras and participated since he was eligible at the age of eight in the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) evaluations, earning the highest evaluation scores. He has played in the Westchester County Youth Orchestra since was 11 years old.

A turning point in his musical interests occurred when he attended the Mark O’Connor String Camp in New York City in 2010. During that summer and the following two summers at the O’Connor Camp, Will developed his love for playing the fiddle and playing Irish tunes in particular. He has taken his enthusiasm for fiddle-playing to nursing homes in his community over the last year to bring the happiness of fiddle music to those in need of an uplifting hour of music.

Music is a passion and a natural part of his life, as he enjoys playing the guitar, studying classical piano, and above all, playing any style of music on the violin. He composes his own traditional-style Irish tunes, plans to continue sharing his music in his community and in his school, and looks forward to pursuing music in college. His life will never be without a devotion to music.


“What I love about music is its power to communicate past whatever barriers we put up between each other and speak to the common humanity we all share. I believe Danny understood this in a profound way, and saw music as an incredible force for peace in a world that is so often mired in hate. I am deeply honored and humbled to be a part of Daniel Pearl’s legacy through this beautiful violin and I hope that in my playing I can further Danny’s mission of peace through the power of music.”

Philip Glenn, a 23 year old Los Angeles native, began his musical studies with piano at age 4 and violin at age 10. Although originally trained as a classical violinist, Philip has since branched out into bluegrass, jazz, pop, Celtic, old-time, and other folk styles.

A recent graduate of Biola University, Philip completed bachelor degrees in both Violin Performance and Music Education. While at Biola, he performed in many ensembles including the Honors String Quartet, New Music Ensemble, Chorale, Folk Ensemble, and Symphony Orchestra. Highlights from his undergraduate years include singing at the Memorial Service of Roy E. Disney with the Biola Chorale, performing in master classes with Peter Slowik, Bin Huang, and Joel Smirnoff, serving as Concert Master of the Symphony Orchestra, and co-founding Biola’s first folk ensemble.

An engaging and energetic performer, Philip has performed in a variety of venues from Carnegie Hall in New York City to the House of Blues in Anaheim, California. Philip freelances extensively in the LA area, performing and recording for soundtracks, local bands and composers. He performs regularly with indie-folk band The Show Ponies, chamber pop group Paulie Pesh and the Vitals, and the Biola Folk Ensemble. He can also be spotted jamming weekly at Southern California bluegrass jams.

Music education is also a great passion for Philip. He keeps a private studio of violinists and violists in Irvine, CA and will begin full-time teaching and conducting in the Rowland Heights School District this fall, working with both middle school and high school string orchestras.


“I am honored to be given the Daniel Pearl Violin. I intend to use it to bring the world of amazing music to everyone I could possibly reach. I won’t stop until I have touched everyone I can. Music is my life, and I want to share it with the world.”

Gracie Hays, first picked up the violin at age 4. Ever since then, she’s been excelling in classical, bluegrass, fiddle, jazz, hip-hop, and other genres of music. A current sixteen-year-old junior at Gulfport High School in Gulfport, Mississippi, Gracie enjoys playing with the Gulf Coast Youth Symphony Orchestra, directed by Timothy Bergman, as the youngest concertmaster in its history. She has competed and won many fiddle and music contests, one of which included the honor of opening for Blake Shelton. Grace also enjoys singing and acting, and does both regularly in her wedding ensemble, “Wing and a Prayer” and the performing arts group she is a part of at the Lynn Meadows Discovery Center called WINGS. Gracie has played in venues such as the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., The National World War II Museum in New Orleans, and in the Beau Rivage Theatre.

Gracie has attended the Mark O’Connor Fiddle and String camps since 2007. Gracie said this about the camps: “At my first year of camp, I discovered what I could really make this wooden box with a few holes, strings, and some pegs do. I had no clue that the world of the violin could be so incredible. It was like I had stepped into a fantasy where every door was open to me. These camps truly made me fall in love with music. I would recommend them to anyone.”

Gracie is a founding member of String with Wings. Three years ago she travelled to the San Miguel Mission in Saltillo to launch the violin program for children. She believes that music can transcend poverty and cultural barriers. Gracie continues to raise funds to support this program. Gracie also studies with her teacher, George Mason.


Jonathan Raveneau is a graduate of the Baylor University School of Music and is currently finishing a Master’s degree with the University of Miami as its first jazz violin master’s student. While primarily a classical violinist at Baylor, Jonathan contributed to several different ensembles as a pianist and vocalist, most notably the Baylor Jazz String Quartet, with which he was a founding member. During his time at Baylor and Miami, Jonathan has participated in master classes led by Fred Sturm, John Faddis, Cassey Driessen, Maria Schneider, Wycleff Gordon, and Mark O’Connor. In 2006 he performed a duet with Wycleff Gordon at the Texas Music Education Association (TMEA,) and in 2010 performed a duet with Mark O’Connor at University of Miami’s Jazz vocal1 concert.

Since his graduation from Baylor in 2006, he has been featured as a guest soloist with the Baylor University Jazz Ensemble, the University Miami Jazz Vocal 1 ensemble, and Rochestra, a rock orchestra in Sioux City, Iowa. He has also performed as a member of the San Angelo Symphony, Temple Symphony, Waco Symphony, the Clarke Chamber Players, and now is currently a member of the Symphony of the Hills. Jonathan can also be seen throughout the San Antonio area, performing with several groups including country singer-songwriter Jeffrey Charles, and Jazz trombonist Ron Wilkins, Indie Folk Rock Band December’s End, Trio Azul, Brett Butler, and Joel Dilley and several others artist in an array of styles.

In addition to his performance schedule, Jonathan works as an afterschool orchestra conductor for Youth Orchestras of San Antonio (YOSA) and the Hill Country Youth Orchestra (HCYO), and maintains his own private teaching studio.


“I feel very honored to get the Daniel Pearl Memorial Violin. I know that music can unite people who are different from one another and I hope I am able to use this violin for this purpose. I know that that is what Daniel Pearl would have done. I would also like to be able to make more people aware of the Daniel Pearl Foundation and the life and work of Daniel Pearl.“

Malachi Provenzano began playing violin at the age of 5, after being inspired by his mother’s playing.  At age 8, Malachi started attending Mark O’Connor Fiddle Camps, which introduced him to a whole new world of bluegrass, Irish and Jazz violin.  Now 12 years old, Malachi continues to pursue violin studies at Greenwich House Music School in New York City.  He enjoys playing in many different styles and settings, including duets with his mom.  In his young career, Malachi has already played at Symphony Space, Lincoln Center and Jazz at Lincoln Center as a member of the Inter-School Orchestra (ISO).

Since 2009, Malachi has been a member of the Chamber Music Institute for Young Musicians, under the direction of Asya Meshberg and the Lumina String Quartet.  In 2010, he earned the position of first violin.  Malachi is very honored and humbled to have been awarded in 2010 the Daniel Pearl Memorial Violin.


“To be given this opportunity to spread harmony and love through Daniel Pearl’s life story and this “Peace violin” is a blessing for me. The Daniel Pearl Memorial Violin has the ability to spread joy and peace to all. I am humbled by the thought of all the extraordinary violinists who have played this violin before me, and I am honored to be given the duty to continue sharing his story. The moment this blessing was given to me, I felt that my life had changed, and I am inspired with a higher purpose to spread the message of peace, hope, and harmony. Thank you!”

Jessica Emery, a 16 year old violinist from Tyler, Texas, expresses her joy and passion for life through her artistic talents in both music and dance. Jessica started playing the classical violin at age 7 and the piano at age 9. Her influences in music were instilled in her through the many wonderful teachers, as well as great experiences from Youth Orchestras and summer strings camps. She has competed in Regional Orchestra competitions since age 11, and has previously held high ranking chair positions including Concertmistress, and most recently received a first division rating in Region and State Solo and Ensemble Competitions. She performed with several Orchestras including Tyler Youth Orchestra, Stephen F. Austin State University Honors Orchestra, the Piney Woods Camerata, and Robert E. Lee High School Orchestra and SFA Summer Strings Camp as Concertmistress.

Jessica first learned Celtic style fiddling several years ago. After attending the Mark O’Connor Fiddle Camp for the first time last year, Jessica became interested in other various styles of fiddle and now enjoys playing Texas Swing, Appalachian, and Bluegrass styles. Currently, she performs with the Robert E. Lee Texas Swing Fiddlers for school and community events.

Along with her love for music, Jessica dances in both ballet and jazz performances with Ballet Tyler. She also excels in her academic classes, participates in church activities, and volunteers in the community. Most importantly, Jessica loves to bring happiness to people in all that she does.


"Over the past few years, I have increasingly realized that we can use music to bridge the gaps between generations, races and cultures. Daniel Pearl also shared a similar vision of spreading peace through music. I hope to fulfill his vision by performing on this violin and speaking about tolerance and peace in the world. It is a great honor to be a caretaker of both this violin and Danny s message."

Jonathan is an integral link to the future of jazz, connecting younger generations of listeners with great musicians and band leaders such as Wynton Marsalis, Bucky Pizzarelli, Ed Polcer and the late Les Paul. His youth presentations have helped connect students with jazz while his performances seamlessly integrate modern and popular melodies into the fabric of jazz standards while respecting and acknowledging the golden age of jazz in America and the performers who have come before.

Jonathan was awarded an Alternative Styles Award by the American String Teachers Association in 2005 and is the youngest jazz musician ever invited to play in a master class at Jazz at Lincoln Center taught by Regina Carter. In addition to numerous other awards and distinctions, Jonathan is most proud to have received the U.S. Ambassador's Award in Hungary for his performances promoting mutual understanding and strengthening the friendship between the two countries. Jonathan has appeared as a feature performer with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra at Rose Hall in New York. Those performances at Rose Hall were featured in live broadcasts on XM Satellite Radio and on NPR stations around the world.

Jonathan has been a feature performer at jazz festivals including the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and numerous others throughout the United States. In 2008 he made his European debut at the Bohém Ragtime & Jazz Festival with performances in eight cities throughout Hungary. He has been featured at The Blue Note and has performed at other venues such as Iridium and Birdland.

A student at Professional Children's School in Manhattan, Jonathan studies violin at the School for Strings with Allen Lieb and studied jazz with Grammy Award winner Andy Stein. Jonathan also pursues supplemental studies during the summer at Mark O'Connor's Fiddle Camp. In addition to violin studies, Jonathan is studying film scoring with two members of the graduate faculty of NYU- Ron Sadoff and Ira Newborn.


"I am so honored and humbled by being this year’s recipient of the Daniel Pearl Memorial Violin. This symbol of unity and peace has so much meaning and power behind it and what better way to keep Daniel’s message alive than through this mission of connecting people through music. The Daniel Pearl Violin is simple and profound and I hope to transmit that idea whenever and wherever I play this beautiful instrument."

Violinist, fiddler, and mandolin player Ian Stewart began studying classical violin with Dr. Diane Dickson at the age of six in his hometown of Austin, Texas. His musical journey began with Suzuki lessons and took a turn when he attended his first Mark O’Connor Fiddle Camp at the age of 10. It was there that Ian discovered the sound of traditional American and world music under the instruction of some of the greatest American and international performers and teachers.

Currently Ian is a 16 year old junior at Westlake High school in Austin where he continues to play in the orchestra program under the direction of Mr. James Edwards. He has excelled in region and state contests and will be traveling with his orchestra this year to Chicago to perform at the prestigious Midwest Clinic 2008. Ian is one of the founding members of the cross-genre Americana band The Fireants. They are the current winners of the Old Settlers Music Festival new talent competition and can be seen performing regularly on the Austin music scene.

Composing, performing and exploring all styles of music are Ian’s passions. Studying with the greatest fiddle players both at home and nationally have allowed Ian to stretch his playing skills along with his love of music.


"It is an honor for me to receive the Daniel Pearl Memorial Violin. It has brought upon me the determination and commitment to sending a message of peace through the language of music. It has inspired me to explore new ways of connecting to people and promoting Daniel's mission of tolerance."

Fourteen-year old Sam Weiser began his career in music at the early age of 3 at the Suzuki Music School in Westport, Connecticut. Currently, the First Violinist in the Apollo Quartet; he was Concertmaster for the Norwalk Youth Symphony from 2004-2007, and in 2008 he became the youngest first violinist in its Principal Orchestra. In 2006, he was also Concertmaster of the Fairfield County Honors Orchestra and Concertmaster of his school's Honors Chamber Orchestra, as well as the Future Stars Soloist for the CT Alliance for Music Fundraiser.

Sam enjoys exploring alternative strings styles- jazz, old time, rock and Klezmer. He was the runner up in the 2007 ASTA's National Alternative Strings Competition, has attended Mark O'Connor Fiddle Camps in Nashville and San Diego and has performed with both O’Connor and with Yale Strom, one of the country's leading Klezmer musicians and scholars.

An enthusiastic Mets fan, Sam plays violin, electric violin, viola, mandolin and guitar. He has played for numerous charitable and civic organizations at diverse venues from Carnegie Hall to the Rich Forum to New Pond Farms May Day and currently studies both classical with Asya Meshberg and jazz violin with recording artist Sara Caswell, as well as music theory and composition with Paul Levi.


“I am so very honored to be awarded the Daniel Pearl Memorial Violin! I hope we can all play for peace and harmony during Daniel Pearl World Music Days!”

Born on November 17, 1994, in Dallas, TX, Ruby Jane Smith isone of the world's premiere junior fiddlers and a fast-rising star in the landscape of country, bluegrass-Americana music. With deep familial and cultural ties throughout the Southeast, she resides in Columbus, MS, when not traveling as a musician, actress, or model.

Ruby Jane exhibited a strong connection to music as  early as age one-  responding to the rhythms of traditional Hebrew music.  She began classical violin instruction at age two and at age eight was introduced to old-time and bluegrass music. Subsequently, she began old-time fiddle lessons and after only six lessons won first place in a competition. Granted an apprenticeship with the reknowned old time fiddler Charles T. Smith by the Mississippi Arts Commission, since 2005 she has competed in dozens of prestigious music competitions including  the National Beginners Fiddle Championship which ranked her first nationally in her age category. In 2005, she also was named Mississippi State Fiddle Champion. 

Ruby Jane has acted in film, contributed an original song to a film soundtrack, performed on the coveted Grand Ole Opry stage (making history as the youngest ever invited fiddler) as well as at the Ernest Tubb Record Shop. She is featured in a documentary about the legendary fiddler Jim Brock, with whom she now studies.. Now a veteran to radio, televison, film, and the press, she has appeared in such publications as W magazine, British Vogue, The New York Times, The L.A. Times, and in 2006 CBS News featured her on "Eye on America" , playing on  American Airlines in-flight news program.

Ruby Jane listens to all kinds of music, writes her own original songs and plays several instruments including mandolin, harmonica, guitar, and spoons. She is learning to play bass, banjo, and dobro. Her newest CD “Creekside” is available as well as several videos on YouTube.  



“It's an incredible honor to be a part of Daniel Pearl's legacy”, said Barnett. “Hopefully, the music will bring people together and touch people's lives. Winning this award has made me realize that music is really an international language; that no matter where you are in this world, music can bring people together."

Mike Barnett is an eighteen year-old native of Nashville, Tennessee. Beginning with Suzuki Violin at the age of 4, he started serious fiddle study at age 10 with Crystal Plohman, Director of Vanderbilt’s Fiddling Program at the Blair School of Music who recently described Mike as "one of the hottest, fastest rising musicians in bluegrass music."

Mike moved to New England in 2000 and has performed at a variety of prestigious venues including The Kennedy Center for the Arts, the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Grand Ole Opry.  Mike recently completed a one year festival tour across the country with bluegrass legend Jesse McReynolds and the Virginia Boys. He recently joined the New England based folk/acoustic/bluegrass phenomenon, Northern Lights,  tours with Tony Trischka and Double Banjo Bluegrass Spectacular and often accompanies Amy Gallatin and Stillwater, the New England Bluegrass Band and others. 

Mike placed 9th in the Grand Master's Fiddle Championship in 2005 and was 2006 recipient of the Alternative Styles Musicianship Award-Junior Category from  the American String Teachers Association. He was honored at the 2007 Mark O'Connor Strings Conference in San Diego as a recipient of the Daniel Pearl Memorial Violin made by Jon Cooper.

Mike's debut CD, "Lost Indian" is a collection of bluegrass favorites recorded in Nashville with some of Music City's greatest session musicians. Together with Gordon Stone and Aram Bedrosian he released a second CD, "Rhymes with Orange" a unique compilation of original acoustic melodies and funk adaptations of traditional fiddle tunes. Mike's most recent recorded work is with mandolinist Joe Walsh on" Fly Around" released in Spring 2007. A CD with Northern Lights is expected soon.


“We are honored to receive such a prestigious award, and we plan to ensure the year that we have this violin is one in which we can uphold the honor of a man who lived and died for what he believed in,” John and James stated.

The Abrams Brothers ( burst onto the Canadian bluegrass music scene in 1999 when John and James were 9 and 6. (John is now 16, and James is 13.)  Like Daniel Pearl, they were initially trained on classical violin but have since expanded their musical scope to include playing bluegrass fiddle and mandolin, as well as other stringed instruments. The highlight of their young careers came in October of 2005 when they made their debut appearance at country music’s most prestigious venue, Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry. They also have been featured on a variety of award winning radio shows and have played at many prestigious bluegrass and gospel venues and festivals throughout Canada, the United States and Europe.



“For me, the fiddle is a symbol of peace, and I am truly humbled by being awarded the Daniel Pearl Memorial Violin.  Like Danny Pearl, I believe that music is the one pure force that can bridge the differences between people. Without saying a word, two people who speak different languages can find a deep connection through a single note.  I will treasure the year that I am privileged to play this wonderful instrument.”

Phoebe Hunt, 22, grew up in Austin, Texas, and she has been playing violin since she was six years old.  She currently teaches violin at the Austin Montessori School and will graduate from the University of Texas this December with a history degree.   Although she was trained as a classical violinist, the fiddle has become her passion, and she is a member of the popular Austin-based band, The Hudsons, the self-proclaimed hardest working band in Texas, which is currently working on their third album.


“We are all part of this world, we should live life to the fullest and enjoy each other.”

With over 200 awards, Samantha Robichaud is classed as one of Canada’s best. Samantha has evolved a smooth unique feel and sound to her fiddle and classical playing. Samantha recently won the “Fan Choice Award” at the 2010 East Coast Music Awards, and has 6 albums to her name. Her passion, desire and drive have led her to achieve incredible success in just a short time. Samantha has performed on many prestigious stages including the Grand Ole Opry, Wild Horse Saloon in Nashville, the Calgary Stampede, Klondike days in Edmonton, and Carnegie Hall in New York. As well she was featured in the opening ceremonies at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Samantha has taught at Mark O’Connors fiddle camp in Nashville and has studied and completed her Masters Certificate in Theory, Harmony and Ear training from Berklee College of Music. She also wrote and performed “A Song for Daniel” featured on the musical and narrative documentary, “This Is My America”, along side internationally acclaimed American artists including: Dolly Parton, Kathy Mattea, Charley Pride, Billy Dean, and more.....



“I can't believe how many times I've started jamming with someone I don't really know, and then suddenly it feels like we're best friends. I can't think of a better way to bring people together than through music." - Alex Hargreaves in regards to his responsibility as an ambassador of peace.

Alex Hargreaves has been playing violin and fiddle music for more than nine years. Along the way, he has studied a wide variety of string music styles including classical, jazz, bluegrass, newgrass, Scottish, Texas style, and western swing.

A boundless enthusiasm and open minded approach to string music has led Alex to pursue musical study from a wide variety of mentors, in an array of settings including the Mark O'Connor Strings Conference; as well as many others. Although his main instrument is violin, he aspires to be a multi-instrumentalist and has been studying the mandolin, piano and guitar, as well as singing in a choir.

As a classical player, Alex has performed as concert master with the Willamette Chamber Orchestra, and as a guest soloist.


“I feel very honored to have received the Daniel Pearl dedication violin, and I feel spiritually connected to the cause of this musical mission of peace.  I think its one of the most beautiful things ever to see people of all backgrounds come together, to be moved and transported to heaven by music, overcoming all the ugliness, hatred, and greed in the world. Our calling as musicians is to keep making beautiful music so that people are constantly being reminded of the positive side of Life.”

Kailin Yong came to the USA in 1999 to help found the Aerith String Quartet, performing extensively in the USA and Asia. Kailin eventually settled in Boulder, CO, and now performs across the USA as a solo artist as well as playing with Boulder Acoustic Society (neo-acoustic jazz), the Colorado Mahlerfestival Orchestra, the Tango Camerata (Argentine tango), and Saltanah Ensemble (Middle Eastern).

His band Boulder Acoustic Society was the winner of the Notes@9000 Emerging Artists Competition. Kailin combines his multitude of interests in the multi-genre project Infinite Possibilities Of the Violin (IPOV). He is also involved with Colorado chamber music outreach programs Up Close and Musical Ensemble and Art Reaching Kids. Kailin has been a teacher of violin and improvisational styles for more than ten years, and was invited as a soloist and instructor at the First Asia Suzuki Conference.

In 2005, Kailin Yong and the Boulder Acoustical Society composed a new piece of music dedicated to the memory of Daniel Pearl. “Karma,” written for acoustic quartet and symphony orchestra includes elements of free improvisation, world music, and the western classical tradition. The piece premiered on May 15th in a concert with the Boulder Youth Symphony Orchestra. Students of BYSO were taught to reach beyond their expectations of orchestra music and asked to speak a mantra calling, “Peace, For Humanity, Through Music.”

Visit the Boulder Acoustic Society to hear "Karma"



"Daniel believed in the power of music, a power that can promote understanding, friendship and harmony among people. This power is real; there are moments during performances when I feel a profound sense of purpose, communication and joy among listeners and musicians. These moments are the reason I perform, and they show how powerful music can be in making connections between people. Receiving the Daniel Pearl Memorial Violin has given me new inspiration to bring people together through music, a goal that will remain central to me for years to come."

“Outstanding Michigan Celtic-jazz-bluegrass fiddle wiz Jeremy Kittel” (-The Boston Globe) is rapidly earning a reputation as one of the nation’s most creative young musicians. Classically trained, he grew up in the Irish, folk and jazz music scenes of Ann Arbor and Detroit. As a youth he often traveled to Ireland and Scotland to study traditional music. In addition to performing with his own band and as a soloist with orchestras, Kittel tours worldwide as the newest member of the Grammy-winning Turtle Island Quartet.

The 24-year-old fiddler/violinist/composer has earned an impressive list of accolades including multiple U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Championships, Alternative Strings Awards from the American String Teachers Association and Detroit Music Awards for Outstanding Folk Artist, Jazz Recording, and Jazz Composer. Kittel graduated at twenty from the University Of Michigan School Of Music and was awarded the Stanley Medal, their highest musical honor. At 23 he earned a masters degree in Jazz Performance from the prestigious Manhattan School of Music. Kittel has performed at over a thousand concerts and festivals over the past few years including the Kennedy Center, “A Prairie Home Companion,” the Ryder Cup Opening Ceremony, and Carnegie Hall. He has appeared as guest artist with the Vancouver Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, and Darol Anger’s Republic of Strings, and has taught at many camps and schools including the International Music Academy in the Czech Republic and Mark O’Connor Fiddle Camps.

Kittel’s first CD, “Celtic Fiddle,” was named “one of the top 20 Celtic albums of 2000” by the radio show Celtic Connections. His second, “Roaming,” took second place for Best Celtic Instrumental Album in an international competition. His most recent recording, “Jazz Violin,” won the 2006 Detroit Music Award for Outstanding Jazz Recording. His fourth CD, soon to be released, features special guests including Edgar Meyer and Chris Thile. Last January he traveled across America with his brother, from New York City to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he currently resides.