The Fiddle Club of the World (Chicago Chapter) was convened by Paul Tyler in 2008 under auspices of education programs at the Old Town School of Folk Music. In just over six years, 44 Artist Meetings have been held featuring fiddlers and other traditional musicians from 8 countries, 16 U.S. states, and over a dozen distinct ethnic traditions and musical styles. Nearly all of these meetings were held off-campus with administrative and fiscal support from the Old Town School of Folk Music. Since June 2013, the Fiddle Club’s operations have become independent from the Old Town School. All meetings since January 2013 have been held in a space provided gratis by Seman Violins in Skokie. The Club, however, is fiscally independent.
Until January 2014, the Fiddle Club of the World blog was part of the Old Town School of Folk Music’s website (www.oldtownschool.org). The blog has now fully transitioned to self-hosting on DrDosido.net (drdosido.net/fiddleclub/). For the last two or three years, the blog has been supplemented by a Facebook page (www.facebook.com/groups/fiddleclub/, and more recently by email and twitter accounts (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Open and free jam sessions for members and friends have been held monthly or bimonthly for most of the Fiddle Club’s existence. These have all been held at one or another local bar, off-campus from both the Old Town School and Seman Violins. The Club has also sponsored two old-time barn dances, with club members providing the music. And Fiddle Club of the World has been the formal sponsor of the Midwest Fiddle Championship, since 2009 (the seventh annual). In 2012, a Battle of the Bands was added. The Championship and the Battle are held at Square Roots Festival sponsored by the Old Town School and the Lincoln Square Chamber of Commerce.