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Peter Feldmann: Bio, part two

(Continued from page 1)

I
n 1970, Peter helped move the Topanga Banjo/Fiddle Contest from Los Angeles county, where it had been banned, to the UCSB campus.  Two years later, officials at UCSB asked him to create their own event.  Thus the Santa Barbara Old Time Fiddlers' Convention was born.  This event, held annually the second Sunday of October, has drawn up to 5,000 spectators and participants, and is considered by many the finest old time music event on the West Coast.  It is now in its 36th consecutive year of operation.
Fiddlers' Convention button
Bluebird Cafe Logo

Tom Mix Stetson

During the Fall of 1971 Peter founded The Bluebird Cafe in Santa Barbara, a music club that is still legendary in its wealth of musical variety and as a "school" for young musicians and bands. "Music and food go together", notes Peter, "in fact, you can think of traditional music as nutritious whole-grain bread, compared to the junky, 'Wonder Bread' product pushed by the pop music industry."

Shortly thereafter he also began a record company Sonyatone Records and Hen Cackle Records which issued a series of old time and bluegrass releases, as well as instruction records for fiddle, banjo, and guitar.  Through these recordings, several thousand people have learned to play fiddle, banjo, and guitar.  For a discography, see the next page.

Over the years, Peter founded and performed with a series of prize-winning bluegrass, old time, and country bands. Peter has performed on stage with Bill Monroe, Ralph Stanley, The Balfa Brothers, Mike Seeger, Byron Berline, Rose Maddox, and many, others.  He's now busy perfecting his concept of combining elements from bluegrass, old time, Cajun, jazz, and early blues styles into what he calls Neo-Classic Country Music. Check out his current bands here, and some of his ideas here. Comments are always welcome at our bluegrass blog.

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