We are delighted to welcome Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas as our guest fiddle and cello tutors this year!
The musical partnership between consummate performer Alasdair Fraser, "the Michael Jordan of Scottish fiddling", and brilliant Californian cellist Natalie Haas spans the full spectrum between intimate chamber music and ecstatic dance energy. Over the last 18 years of creating a buzz at festivals and concert halls across the world, they have truly set the standard for fiddle and cello in traditional music. They continue to thrill audiences internationally with their virtuosic playing, their near-telepathic understanding and the joyful spontaneity and sheer physical presence of their music.
Fraser has a concert and recording career spanning over 30 years, with a long list of awards, accolades, radio and television credits, and feature performances on top movie soundtracks (Last of the Mohicans, Titanic, etc.). In 2011, he was inducted into the Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame. Haas, a graduate of the Juilliard School of Music, is one of the most sought after cellists in traditional music today. She has performed and recorded with a who's who of the fiddle world including Mark O'Connor, Natalie MacMaster, Irish supergroups Solas and Altan, Liz Carroll, Dirk Powell, Brittany Haas, Darol Anger, Jeremy Kittel, Hanneke Cassel, Laura Cortese, and many more.
This seemingly unlikely pairing of fiddle and cello is the fulfillment of a long-standing musical dream for Fraser. His search eventually led him to find a cellist who could help return the cello to its historical role at the rhythmic heart of Scottish dance music, where it stood for hundreds of years before being relegated to the orchestra. The duo's debut recording, Fire & Grace, won the coveted the Scots Trad Music "Album of the Year" award, the Scottish equivalent of a Grammy. Since its release, the two have gone on to record four more critically acclaimed albums that blend a profound understanding of the Scottish tradition with cutting-edge string explorations. In additional to performing, they both have motivated generations of string players through their teaching at fiddle camps across the globe.
Bruce MacGregor – fiddle
Founder of Blazin’ Fiddles & Blazin’ in Beauly. Bruce also presents Travelling Folk on BBC Radio Scotland.
Jenna Reid – fiddle
Jenna has been a Blazin’ Fiddler since 2010. Originally from Shetland, Jenna was taught by the late, great Willie Hunter. Having started her musical career with Dochas & Deaf Shepherd, Jenna has since appeared on Transatlantic Sessions and released her own albums to critical acclaim. She can also be found performing with RANT.
Rua Macmillan – fiddle
Hailing from Nairn, Rua Macmillan is one of Scotland’s top fiddlers. Having graduated with a B.A.(Hons) in Scottish Music from the R.S.A.M.D. (now Royal Conservatoire of Scotland), and being awarded the prestigious title of BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year in 2009, Rua has toured extensively throughout Europe and North America, inlcuding performances at some of the world’s most prominent Folk Festivals, including Celtic Connections (Sco), Cambridge (Eng), Ortigeuira (Spn), and Winnipeg (Can). His debut album, ‘Tyro’ (CDTRAX346) was voted instrumental album of the year in the Fatea Awards, and was picked by Songlines Magazine as a ‘Top of the World’ album. Rua joined the multi-award winning ‘Blazin’ Fiddles’ in 2014.
In addition to touring, Rua is in great demand as a tutor, and teaches regularly with Fèis Rois, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow Fiddle Workshop, as well as internationally.
Kristan Harvey – fiddle
Orcadian fiddler Kristan Harvey has been a regular on the Scottish folk scene since being crowned BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year 2011. Having left Orkney in 2007 to study music at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, she remains in Glasgow, performing and teaching around Scotland and further afield.
Kristan is currently a member of several lineups including Blazin’ Fiddles, Fara, Robyn Stapleton and Orkney’s The Gathering. Over the years, she has also enjoyed touring with bands such as The Rua Macmillan Big Band, The Paul McKenna Band and her own band The Sanna, as well as joining string sections for Admiral Fallow, Belle and Sebastian, Rod Stewart and duetting with Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti.
Anna Massie – guitar
Anna plays the guitar in Blazin’ Fiddles but is also excels in fiddle, tenor-banjo and mandolin playing! She also plays with a whole host of other folk including Bella Hardy & The Midnight Watch and her duo Mairearad & Anna. Winner – Young Traditional Musician of the Year 2003
Angus Lyon – piano
Through his duo with fiddler Ruaridh Campbell, his work with the marvelously pigeonhole-resistant Halton Quartet and his achievements as producer on myriad recordings, accordionist and pianist Angus Lyon is one of the traditional music scene’s most creative talents. As well as his own projects Angus is also a member of Blazin’ Fiddles and has also performed with some of the biggest names in the music world including Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens), Paul McCartney, Bobby McFerrin, Craig Armstrong, Scott Mathews & many more.