Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas at The Steeple Sessions
30 July 2013
Scotland's premier fiddle ambassador Alasdair Fraser and the sizzlingly-talented young California cellist Natalie Haas drop in from the Isle of Skye for a rare performance in Dublin. The musical partnership between Alasdair Fraser and 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 movie soundtracks (Last of the Mohicans, Titanic). Fraser has been sponsored by the British Council to represent Scotland's music internationally, and received the Scottish Heritage Centre Service Award for outstanding contributions to Scottish culture and traditions. Natalie 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 fulfilment 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.
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