Award-winning Fiddler Jeremy Kittel Debuts As Bandleader At Telluride Bluegrass
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Please scroll down to listen to Jeremy Kittel’s podcast.
Fiddling around takes on a whole new meaning when bravura musician Jeremy Kittel performs at the 44th annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival.
Jeremy Kittel is a contemporary American musician and composer whose primary instruments are violin, viola, and fiddle. Fluent in multiple musical genres, his original sound draws from traditional roots, jazz, Celtic, classical, folk, and electronic. But from Bach to rock, Kittel shoots for the moon.
In addition to his own projects, Kittel has composed and arranged for such artists as Abigail Washburn, Bela Fleck, Aoife O’Donovan, My Morning Jacket, Camera Obscura, Jars of Clay, Paquito D’Rivera, Yo Yo Ma, and the Silk Road Ensemble, and the Grammy-winning Turtle Island Quartet in which he was a member for five years.
Kittel has also recorded with artists such as Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile, Mark O’Connor, and Mike Marshall, all Telluride Bluegrass regulars, all beloved and deeply respected by Festivarians.
Add to that the heaps of kudos Kittel has received including U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Championship, six Detroit Music Awards, and two ASTA Alternative Style nods. He was also the first recipient of the Daniel Pearl Memorial Violin.
Jeremy Kittel played the Telluride Bluegrass Festival with Abigail Washburn in 2011, but his upcoming gig on the Main Stage marks his debut as a bandleader.
“Since my last solo record, I’ve been busy honing my craft and getting to compose, arrange, and perform with some stellar artists like Yo-Yo Ma, My Morning Jacket, Abigail Washburn, Bela Fleck, and many more. At the same time, I’ve been building up a body of music with some of my favorite musicians in the world: Nathaniel Smith on cello, Joshua Pinkham on mandolin, Simon Chrisman on hammer dulcimer, and Quinn Bachand on guitar. If you know these guys at all, well – you already know how amazing they are. I asked the brilliant musician/producer Tyler Duncan (My Dear Disco, The Olllam, Vulfpeck) to join us, and together we set out to make an immersive, enthralling new acoustic record. We’re thrilled with the results so far and can’t wait to share with you,” wrote Jeremy about his epic, new, as yet unnamed release.
And share with us Kittel will – specifically on Friday morning, June 16, 10-11 a.m.
Jeremy Kittel’s latest project, (the one referenced above), is an instrumental acoustic quintet with the unusual configuration of hammered dulcimer, cello, mandolin, guitar, and fiddle. All five young musicians attached to the new release are gifted virtuosos, but their focus is on ensemble playing — melody, groove, dynamics, arrangements – over chops and flash.
“The rough mixes Jeremy sent me from this project are my most listened-to music of 2017,” said Brian Eyster, marketing guru, Planet Bluegrass. “It brings together Celtic, old-time, jazz, and classical with rich melodies and textures. This is a transportive sound that creates its own geography. I put this music on and close my eyes. One of the many places it takes me is somewhere high up in the San Juan Mountains. There are moments that remind me of Strength in Numbers (the highest compliment I can give), and many other moments that take me places I’ve never been.”
Committed to the belief that music and the arts are central to the human experience, Jeremy Kittel is also a passionate clinician and educator, who has taught at programs ranging from Berklee College of Music and Belmont University to the The New School, International Music Academy of Pilsen, Zurich University of the Arts, Mark O’Connor Strings Camps, the Swannanoa Gathering, and Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddling School.
Kittel holds a master’s degree in jazz performance from the Manhattan School of Music and received the 2010 Emerging Artist Award from his alma mater, the University of Michigan.
“…A super, super musical force as a Violinist, Fiddler, Composer, and Improviser. He has a well-earned reputation as one of the most exceptional violinists and fiddlers of his generation, with influences as diverse as jazz, Scottish and Irish fiddle, bluegrass, classical music, and more,” Brian O’Donovan, WGBH Radio.
“Without exaggeration, Jeremy Kittel is one of the great violinists and creative musicians of his generation. His technical virtuosity and sonic sensitivity are extraordinary, and his work both as a composer and performer are inspired. Jeremy is the kind of musician that you want to work with every day – his stylistic versatility, creative openness, and genuine musicianship are very special,” Teddy Abrams, Louisville Orchestra.
“Jeremy Kittel is at the Vanguard of a whole new movement in fiddle music. In times past, fiddlers stayed within their assigned genres and didn’t manage to cross over very effectively. Jeremy is a new kind of hybrid musician who is equally versed and comfortable in many genres. He has a tremendous capacity to seamlessly blend inventive ideas and techniques from other genres into Irish and Scottish tunes. He does this with stunning virtuosity,” Martin Hayes, legendary fiddler/National Entertainment Award winner (Ireland).
To learn more about Jeremy Kittel’s life and work, listen to his podcast.
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