Fiddle Club Presents Cajun Music and a Cajun Dance

This Friday, February 17
Blake Miller with Amelia Biere & A.J. Srubas

Seman Violins (4447 W. Oakton in Skokie
Cajun music workshop at 6:30. Cajun Dance at 8pm

Admission to both the workshop and the dance is $20. $10 for just the dance.

Grandson of well known accordion builder Larry Miller, Blake Miller has been surrounded by Cajun music and culture his entire life. Hailing from the small town of Iota Louisiana, Blake, a fluent french speaker and songwriter, managed to acquire a degree in Francophone studier from The University Of Louisiana at Lafayette and in the mean time founded the popular young Cajun band The Pine Leaf Boys and became a member of the premiere Louisiana roots Band The Red Stick Ramblers. He has also served stints in just about every other cajun/creole band of note including Balfa Toujours, Les Malfecteurs and Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole bringing his strong cultural identity and accomplished musicianship to the world. Now plays with the world traveled Revelers for the past 4 years singing and playing his own songs on fiddle and accordion.

Originally from a small town in Wisconsin, Amelia Biere was exposed to many forms of traditional music at an early age. She grew up listening to her dad sing, play guitar, piano, and fiddle. Fate took her to Minneapolis for college, where there were regular Cajun dances. She got hooked! Mentored by a few of the stalwart musicians of the Twin City music scene, Amelia started learning French, playing and singing. Two bands resulted: Ana and the Bel-tones and Millie and the Mill City Heavyweights. In 2014, Amelia decided to move to the source of it all – Lafayette, LA. There she has been soaking it all in, ever expanding her love for the culture. In addition to playing Cajun music, she plays old-time guitar and loves to dance. When not playing music, she is a wedding florist.

AJ Srubas is originally from Green Bay, WI where he grew up playing Irish music in a family band. After graduating high school, he went to study fiddle in Ireland for a few months but upon returning home he was introduced to old-time music when his older brother started to learn claw hammer banjo. Before he knew it, he was completely hooked. AJ now lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota and has been playing old-time music for the last decade. He plays old-time fiddle in the Bootlicker Stringband and Cajun fiddle and pedal steel guitar in the New Riverside Ramblers. When not playing music, he is an apprentice violin bow maker and organizer for The Monday Night Square Dance and other Minnesota festivals. AJ teaches private lessons and has taught at the Central Rockies Old-time Music Association’s summer festival, Berkeley Old-time Music Gathering and many Minnesota Bluegrass and Old-time Music Association events.

Tunes from the South Carolina Broadcasters

South Carolina Broadcasters – Friday, January 27, 7:30pm
Fiddle Club meets at Seman Violins (4447 W. Oakton, Skokie).
Admission is $20 at the door. Reserve your seat here.

Concert set, followed by a jam/workshop. There will be singing.

Solid and spirited old-time playing and singing from the Carolinas. Here is where bluegrass and old-time are so intertwined that it’s just great music. Andy, Ivy, and David will entertain us, and then lead us through some tunes and songs, such as these . . .

Haystack Blues

Lost John

Tell me Truly

Fiddle Club Barn Dance – At The Social
Friday, February 3, 7:30p, Old Town School of Folk Music
Blake Miller & Friends – Cajun Dance,
Friday, February 15 – details to be announced
Steve Gibons – Romany, Klezmer, & Balkan fiddle
Sunday, March 12, 7:00p, Seman Violins

Fiddle Club Guests for 2017

Some hot fiddling to warm our cold winter nights.

Meetings held at Seman Violins (4447 W. Oakton, Skokie).
Admission is $20 at the door.

All meetings begin with a short concert followed by a jam/workshop.

South Carolina Broadcasters – Friday, January 27, 7:30pm
South Carolina Broadcasters
A fine old-time trio from North [sic] Carolina, the South Carolina Broadcasters are made up of Andy Edmonds, David Sheppard, and Ivy Shepherd. Here’s some key words: “a broad and mature mix of sounds ranging from Surry County bluegrass to Carter Family country and even the Cajun sounds of Lafayette,” so you know what to expect. Here are some more: “razor sharp harmonies, exceptional multi-instrumentation, and fabulous song selection” that will make you want to come out on Friday night in January, whatever the weather. The Broadcasters feature two fiddles, along with banjo, guitar, and more. And did I mention harmony singing?
Reserve your seat here.

Just added! Blake Miller, Friday, February 17
Cajun music workshop at 6:30. Cajun Dance at 8pm

Admission to both the workshop and the dance is $20. $10 for just the dance.

More details to come.

Steve Gibons – Sunday, March 12, 7:00pm
Steve Gibons
Violinist Steve Gibons is the leader of the Gypsy Ryhthm Project, a unique mix of Western jazz and the rich sounds of Romany music from Roumania and Bulgaria, that includes cymbalonist Nicolae Feraru, whose band was a surprise feature at the Fiddle Club sponsored Battle of the Bands in 2015. The concert this night will feature Steve and an accompanist in a intimate, conversational setting. The workshop that follows will introduce us to some common style elements and ornamentation in Klezmer, Balkan and Romany music.

You do not have to be a fiddler to participate in Fiddle Club of the World. We joyously welcome all musicians and all listeners.

More to Come
Ken Keppeler & Jeanie McLerie of Bayou Seco, Friday, May 12
Irish music tba

Fiddle Club of the World Barn Dance, Friday, February 3, 7:30-9:30
Calling by Paul Tyler. Tunes by the Fiddle Club of the World Orchestra.
(This will be a regular event. Next one to be scheduled sometime in April.)

Fiddle Club of the World Orchestra

Will provide music for a Barn Dance at the Old Town School of Folk Music on Friday December 2, 2016. The dance runs from 7:30 to 9:30. Paul Tyler will be the caller.

For more info on The Social, click here, and scroll down a little.

The Orchestra will rehearse at our revived monthly jam at Gideon Welles (4500 Lincoln) on Sunday, November 20 at 7pm. Another rehearsal will be scheduled for the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend.

If you want to be in the Fiddle Club Orchestra, you must know these tunes.
They can all be found on the pages linked above: First Tunes for Jams and More Tunes for James.
Big Betty *
Devil in the Hay Stack *
Golden Slippers *
Snouts and Ears of America *
Hast Schottische *
Storm *
Sullivan’s Polka/Britches Full of Stitches *
Walk Old Show, Heel Come A-Dragging *

Also, it is strongly urged that you learn these:
Vidar’s Vals *
Valse de Los Panos *
Tacco e Punta (aka Heel and Toe Polka or Pattycake Polka)
The Seven Step
Sekmannsril (Soldier’s Joy with a 3rd part)

* Notation can be found in the PDFs or JPEGs linked on First Tunes for Jams and More Tunes for James.

Tunes from Brandi Berry

Brandi Berry – Friday, November 18, 7:30pm
Please note the correct date for the next meeting is Friday, November 18.
(An earlier post had the date as the 19th, which is not a Friday.)

Brandi Berry is a master of both baroque violin and bluegrass fiddle. Her recent musical obsession is with Scottish and English tunes from the 17th and 18th centuries, tunes that have a foot in both baroque and bluegrass music. Here are some examples

John Come Kiss Me Now

Stingo Twice

At Fiddle Club, Brandi will be joined by Brandon Acker on Baroque guitar.

Professional headshot © 2012 Shin Photography www.shinfoto.combrandon_acker









To learn more about Brandi’s rich and varied music career with the Bach & Beethoven Ensemble, click on the fun picture below.

Tunes from Premo & Gustavsson

Laurel Premo & Anna Gustavsson – Sunday, October 23, 7:30pm
Meeting held at Seman Violins (4447 W. Oakton, Skokie).
Admission is $20 at the door or pay in advance here.

All meetings begin with a short concert followed by a jam/workshop.

John Cole, American fiddle tune played by Laurel Premo

Swedish Long Dance, played on nyckelharpa by Anna Gustavsson

Orsapolska, Swedish dance played by Anna Gustavsson

For more about Laurel Premo & Anna Gustavsson, click the picture.

Tunes from Aallotar

Thursday September 15, 7:00pm
Seman Violins (4447 Oakton in Skokie)

A concert, followed by a workshop/jam.
Admission is $20.

We welcome back our friends, Sara Pajunen and Tejia Niku, for an evening of enchanting Finnish folk music from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. After their concert set, we will work on playing a few tunes together. Check out the notation link at the bottom of this post.

Fiddle Club of the World welcomes all players, listeners, and lovers of traditional music.

Aamupolska (Morning Polska)


More Tunes from Aallotar (dots on a page)

And here’s a video view of Tallari.

Fiddle Club Guests for Fall 2016

Meetings held at Seman Violins (4447 W. Oakton, Skokie).
Admission is $20 at the door.

All meetings begin with a short concert followed by a jam/workshop.

Aallotar – Thursday, September 15, 7pm
Sarah Pajunen, of Minneapolis, and Tejia Niku, of Helsinki, make a hands-across-the-water Finnish duo that makes ‘exquisite, sophisticated chamber-folk music’ aimed to explore the differences and similarities of a culture separated by an ocean and the passage of time. Tejia was a Fiddle Club guest in June 2010 with Polka Chicks. Sarah was here with Kaivama and Arto Järvelä in March 2012.

Premo & Gustavsson – Sunday, October 23, 7:30pm
Premo-GustavssonWith fiddle, clawhammer banjo, nyckelharpa, and occasional bi-lingual vocals, the sound of Laurel Primo, from Michigan, and Anna Gustavsson, from Sweden, “is built off of the driving dance-based fiddle traditions from both countries, as well as the adventuresome musicality of 21st century musicians.”

Brandi Berry – Friday, November 18, 7:30pm
Brandi Berry is currently deep into Scottish music, especially from the musically fruitful and culturally vibrant 18th century. She also plays a mean baroque violin and a driving bluegrass fiddle. She is a director of the Bach & Beethoven Ensemble, and teaches at DePaul University and the Old Town School of Folk Music.

Come join us. It’ll be great.

-Paul Tyler, convener
Fiddle Club of the World (Chicago Chapter)

5th Annual Battle of the Bands

The 5th annual Battle of the Bands, sponsored by the Fiddle Club of the World, will be held in Szold Hall at the Old Town School of Folk Music (4545 N. Lincoln) in Chicago on Saturday, July 9, 7-9pm. Part of the Square Roots Festival.

3 bands, 2 hours of dancing, intermittent dance lessons, big fun

The winning band is the one that best fills the floor with dancers. Vote with your feet.

All competing bands regularly play for dancing, but not all feature fiddles. However, the number of fiddlers in the competing bands balances out.Teresa Shine Trio
Teresa Shine Trio
with Jim Dewan on guitar & Mike Austin on bodhran
Irish music : Raised on the South side of Chicago, an area rich in Irish culture, Teresa was first introduced to Irish traditional music from Phil Durkin, an Immigrant from County Sligo, Ireland, who taught her how to play the fiddle. Growing up, she and her siblings spent many years playing with Phil along with the Irish musicians of Chicago at the Ceilis, sessions, and Irish music events locally, nationally, and back in Ireland. in more recent years, she has spent much of her time being a musician for Irish Dancing competitions (feiseanna) and performances, some of which have taken her to World Folk Festivals as a musician for the Trinity Irish Dancers. Currently, She leads a monthly session at Connolly’s in Oak Park and teaches Irish music classes at the Old Town School of Folk music, Chicago Gaelic Park, and Saint John Fisher school in Chicago.

Jafra (Name of a character in Palestinian folk songs>
Ronnie Malley – oud, Dusan Simic – woodwinds & percussion,
Hamze Allham – vocals & shibaba & Ahmed Hamad – dance teacher
The Palestinian members of the group hail from Al-Quds/Jerusalem and Gaza. Ahmad Hamad, the dance instructor, has studied traditional dabke steps and teaches at various workshops around the area and across the country. Ronnie Malley performs, among other instruments, oud and vocals. Ronnie performs with a number of different orchestras/groups and has taken special interest in the tradition of Arab Andalusian music. Hamze Allaham is a vocalist and shibaba player, as well as a poet who performs classical Levantine Arab songs, folk melodies, and his own poetry. Dusan Simic performs various traditional woodwind, string, and percussion instruments from the Balkans/Levant, and his specialty is the calgija and village music of Kosovo/Southern Serbia. While these musicians have strong backgrounds in folkloric tradition, they also contribute modern, unique elements to their performances.

Fiddle Club of the World (Chicago Chapter)
Fiddle Club of the World (Chicago Chapter)
Judy Higgins, Mitzi Lebensorger, Rebecca Brooke Skrede, Vidar Skrede on fiddle
Othello Anderson on flute, Rene Cardoza on vihuela, Gail Tyler on bass
Paul Tyler on fiddle, dance teacher
American, Nordic and Mexican music. Simple set and couple dances from three fiddle-crazy parts of the world: Norway, Mexico, and the US of A. The Chicago Chapter was formed in 2008, and has since hosted 58 guest musicians from 10 countries and 21 US States representing 16 ethnic music traditions and numerous distinctive styles of fiddling. The Chicago Chapter holds monthly jam session to play tunes learned from our guests and other sources.