Scottish fiddler Alasdair Fraser and cellist Natalie Haas are making their fifth appearance in Tehachapi Friday, Jan. 11, at 7 p.m., at Mountain Bible Church, 630 Maple St.
Fraser is a major force behind the resurgence of traditional Scottish fiddling in his homeland as well as in the U.S., inspiring legions of listeners and learners through his recordings, fiddle camps and concerts. He is in demand as a performer and teacher all over the world. He weaves through his performances a warm and witty narrative, drawing from a deep well of stories and lore surrounding Scotland's musical heritage.
From Boston to San Diego, when you hear American fiddlers playing Scottish tunes, odds are they have attended one of Fraser’s camps or been taught by one of his students. The Scottish Fiddlers of California, which he heads up, has several offshoots throughout the state. One of those, the Los Angeles Scottish Fiddlers, regularly performs at the Bakersfield Scottish Games. Tehachapi’s own Camp Kiya is inspired by the Scottish Fiddle camps Fraser started, with students of both Fraser and Haas providing instruction.
Cellist Haas, a California native and graduate of the Juilliard School of Music, wasn’t even born when Fraser 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, which was to find a cellist who could help him return the cello to its historical role at the rhythmic heart of Scottish dance music.
Now, Fraser says, “Cellists are coming out of the woodwork to study with Natalie, to learn how she creates a groove and a whole chunky rhythm section. It’s inspiring to hear the cello unleashed from its orchestral shackles.”
The last four concerts given by Fraser and Haas in Tehachapi quickly sold out. Tickets are now on sale and may be purchased, while they last, online at fiddlerscrossing.com, at Mountain Music/Fiddlers Crossing, Tehachapi Treasure Trove, Tehachapi Furniture in Old Town and Lucky’s Barbershop, or reserved by calling 823-9994. Tickets to the concert are $30 for adults and $15 for students. Mountain Bible Church is located at 630 Maple St. in Tehachapi. The concert begins at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
On the horizon: Jim Malcom, Jann Klose, Dulcie Taylor, Whitherward
Deborah Hand-Cutler, a former mayor of the City of Tehachapi, owns Mountain Music where she teaches cello and mountain dulcimer.