Scottish fiddle and cello duo Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas will perform in a live, online streaming concert at 7 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 21. The event is being produced by the Mandolin Concert Livestreaming Platform with Tehachapi’s acoustic music venue Fiddlers Crossing acting as a local affiliate. Mandolin-produced concerts are known for their high quality and professionalism.
Fraser and Haas have appeared several times in Tehachapi in recent years, presented by Fiddlers Crossing, and have built a loyal and enthusiastic audience here in town.
Alasdair 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 Natalie 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.
“Cellists are coming out of the woodwork to study with Natalie, to learn how she creates a groove and a whole chunky rhythm section,” said Fraser. “It’s inspiring to hear the cello unleashed from its orchestral shackles.”
The Mandolin platform includes a chat area where audience members can express themselves about the concert and communicate with each other.
Tickets for the online concert are $20 and can be purchased via a link in the “Featured Events” section of the venue’s website fiddlerscrossing.com. The link is also available on the Fiddlers Crossing Facebook page as well as other Tehachapi pages.
Peter Cutler is an audio engineer-producer, singer and guitarist. A native of Los Angeles, he has lived in Tehachapi since 2006.