fiddlers crossing

Nicole Stromsoe will perform at Fiddlers Crossing April 17.

Fiddlers Crossing is celebrating its ninth anniversary this month. The downtown venue opened on April 17, 2010 to present acoustic music styles, from folk and bluegrass to Celtic, old-time, singer-songwriters, acoustic blues and Americana.

Along the way, the venue has ventured beyond the boundaries of traditional “folk club” fare, presenting performers who have blurred the lines between folk, jazz, blues, rock and more. The boundaries will stretch outward once again on Saturday, April 20, as singer Nicole Stromsoe and her trio come to Tehachapi to present their eclectic brand of jazz, old soul, folk and blues.

As the daughter of renowned silversmith Randy Stromsoe, Nicole grew up in the coastal village of Cambria, with the sound of hammers accompanying an ever-playing stereo system. Music was revered in her household and she was introduced to a wide spectrum of musical artists and styles in her early years. Some of Stromsoe’s earliest memories include imitating every nuance of singer Ella Fitzgerald on an album of Gershwin songs at age 5 and playing a collection of Atlantic Soul Classic hits over and over again, studying one of her childhood singing favorites, Barbara Lewis.

She began singing in choirs at the age of 8 and, during her high school years, assembled a jazz quartet. With her ever-increasing focus on music, she transferred to the Idyllwild Arts Academy and started seriously studying classical vocal technique, arias and art songs. While studying in Siena, Italy, Stromsoe became interested in jazz after hearing a quartet perform in a neighborhood alcove.

Returning to California’s Central Coast, she continued her musical education at Cuesta College while starting to perform locally as a jazz vocalist. Eventually, she decided to study at Berklee College of Music in Boston, where she graduated magna cum laude. It was there that she was re-introduced to the folk, Americana and roots music styles she heard as a child, mixing with the hammers of her father’s silversmith work. Stromsoe then began to incorporate these influences into her repertoire, creating an eclectic array of jazz, blues, old r&b, folk and roots music.

Of Stromsoe, jazz guitarist Graham Dechter has said, “She effortlessly draws from her musical influences and presents her listeners with a sound and style that is soulful, authentic and uniquely her own.”

“Her voice is over the moon with stunning emotion, depth, range and timbre. Nicole gives me goosebumps when she sings,” said Jacalyn Kreitzer, mezzo-soprano and vocologist.

Fiddlers Crossing will begin its 10th year with a concert that definitely breaks new musical ground for the venue with the appearance of Nicole Stromsoe with Dorian Michael, guitar, and Ken Hustad, upright bass.

For video samples of Nicole Stromsoe, visit http://www.nicolestromsoe.com or www.fiddlerscrossing.com

Fiddlers Crossing is at 206 E. F St. at Robinson Street. Tickets may be purchased at Mountain Music, Tehachapi Treasure Trove, Tehachapi Furniture in Old Town, Lucky’s Barbershop, or online at fiddlerscrossing.com. They may be reserved by calling 823-9994. Tickets to the concert are $20, and as always, coffee and goodies are included. The concert begins at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

On the horizon: Dan Navarro, John Gorka, The Kick Stomp Ensemble

Peter Cutler is an audio engineer-producer, singer and guitarist. A native of Los Angeles, he has lived in Tehachapi since 2006.