“In the world of Scottish music, Alasdair Fraser sets the gold standard,” said GNWCA President Charlie Jordan. “He is legendary in his influence and expertise when it comes to the promoting Scottish fiddle worldwide. This is a rare opportunity to see Alasdair and Natalie right in our home region. If you love Scottish music played to perfection, it is a show you certainly are not going to want to miss.”
The musical partnership between Alasdair Fraser and the talented young California cellist Natalie Haas may not seem an obvious one. Fraser, acclaimed by the San Francisco Examiner as “the Michael Jordan of Scottish fiddling,” has a concert and recording career spanning 30 years, with a long list of awards, accolades, television credits, and feature performances on top of movie soundtracks (“Last of the Mohicans,” “Titanic”).
Haas, a graduate of the Juilliard School of Music, wasn’t even born when Alasdair was winning national fiddle competitions on the other side of the Atlantic. But this seemingly unlikely pairing is the fulfillment of a long-standing musical dream for Fraser, whose cutting-edge musical explorations took him full circle to find a cellist who could help him return the cello to its historical role at the rhythmic heart of Scottish dance music.
Natalie Haas was just 11 when she first attended Fraser’s Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddling School in California. She responded to Fraser’s challenge to find and release the cello’s rhythmic soul, and four years later, when Natalie was just 15, Fraser and Haas played their first gig together. Now regularly touring with Fraser and creating a buzz at festivals and in concert halls throughout Europe and North America, Natalie is in the vanguard of young cellists who are re-defining the role of the cello in traditional music. “Cellists are coming out of the woodwork to study with Natalie, to learn how she creates a groove and a whole chunky rhythm section,” says Fraser. “It’s inspiring to hear the cello unleashed from its orchestral shackles”
The duo performs frequently in Europe, and throughout the U.S. and Canada. They have been featured on NPR’s “Performance Today,” “Thistle and Shamrock” and “Mountain Stage,” and represented Scotland at the Smithsonian Museum’s Folklife Festival. In addition, Fraser and Haas have busy teaching schedules, including summer fiddle courses in the U.S., Scotland and Spain. Natalie also teaches at the Berklee College of Music in Boston.
Tickets have already begun to sell—advance tickets can be purchased at Fiddleheads on Main Street in Colebrook or by calling to reserve them at 237-9302 or 246-8998. Tickets will also be sold at the door on the night of the concert.
For more information about the musicians, visit alasdairfraser.com and nataliehaas.com. To learn more about this or other upcoming GNWCA concerts, visit www.gnwca.org.