Black Fiddlers . . . where are they?

One of the places I like to hang out, albeit virtually, is the fiddlers’ discussion list, FIDDLE-L, where all sorts of folk gather to discuss not just fiddling, but old-time, Irish, cajun, bluegrass, and other types of fiddle-related music. One very astute and regular contributor is Tony Thomas, who lives in Florida and plays old time fiddle & banjo.

After reading a very interesting post of his re. black fiddlers, and why there are hardly any left now, I asked him to contribe an article to our “Ideas” section at BlueGrass West! He has graciously done so, and I’d reccomend you take a look at it here: “Why Black Folks Don’t Fiddle”.

Comments, suggestions always welcome.

-Peter

About Peter Feldmann

Peter Feldmann has long been a musical mainstay in Santa Barbara and Southern California. Besides actively performing bluegrass and old time music with a variety of groups, Peter is also known as a bluegrass historian, collector, music consultant, teacher, and producer, both of live concerts and radio/tv programs throughout the area. His music has been heard in clubs, concerts, saloons, universities, pre-schools, at weddings, wakes, parties, barn-raisings, calf-ropings, rodeos, auctions, fund raisers, wine tastings and chili cook offs. Peter founded Santa Barbara's Old Time Fiddler's Convention (1972), UCSB's Old Time Music Front (1964), and The Bluebird Cafe (1971). Through these and other outlets, he was the first to bring many prominent folk, blues, and bluegrass artists, including Bill Monroe, Mance Lipscomb, The Stanley Brothers, The New Lost City Ramblers, Fred McDowell, Furry Lewis, Rose Maddox, the Balfa Brothers, and many others to the Santa Barbara area. Peter also helped others access the music by teaching privately, and in group classes for Santa Barbara Continuing Education, UCSB Extension, and McCabes Guitars. He was the first on the West Coast to produce and market instruction Lps - three on How To Play Country Fiddle, and one each on Clawhammer Banjo, and Maybelle Carter Style Guitar. He still presents lectures on country music history at UCSB, Santa Barbara area libraries, and for various interest groups, festival workshops, etc. In 2006, he presented his monograph titled "The Big bang Of Bluegrass Music" (describing the origins of bluegrass 1938 - 1946) to the worlds first International Music Symposium at the University of Kentucky at Bowling Green. He has also been very active in radio, television, and film work, producing weekly shows on country and bluegrass music over a 21 year period on various commercial and public stations. Peter currently maintains three music-related websites, a music blog, and an entertainment service company, "BlueGrass West!", based in the Santa Ynez Valley in Southern California. Peter performs tunes and songs from the heart of America's musical treasure chest. His shows can include fiddle, guitar, banjo, and mandolin. Well-known as a historian and teacher, Peter is first and foremost an entertainer, sharing his respect, energy and love for the music with his fellow musicians, friends, and audiences.
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One Response to Black Fiddlers . . . where are they?

  1. Michael "Jake" Jacobsen [Visitor] says:

    Black Fiddlers; We had a couple in Athens Georgia when I was teaching there and playing with Art Rosenbaum. Art recorded them and some of those recordings were released. I can’t seem to find my copy. Art may still be able to supply them. He may be contacted at the Dodd School of Art, Univ. of Georgia, Athens

Your comments are always welcome!