Welcoming Maria McCullough & Yahvi Pichardo to Fiddle Club

Friday, September 25, 7:30pm
Seman Violins
(4447 W. Oakton in Skokie)
A concert set, followed by a jam/workshop.
Admission is $15.
Yahvi Pichardo & Maria McCullough
Yahvi & Maria have been with loyal Fiddle Clubbers since our very
beginning in 2008. But they recently moved to El Paso, Texas. We are so glad
they could be our featured guests on a visit back to Chicago.

Here are a couple of tunes to help you get ready. The first is a gusto from Tierra Caliente, a style known as Son Caletano. Maria says, “We learned this tune from master teachers Serafín Ibarra and Jesús ‘Chucho’ Peredo.” Maria once had the opportunity to study with the grand master fiddler from that region, Don Juan Reynoso, who passed away in 2007 at the age of 94. The second is a tune from the Purepecha, one of the First Peoples of Michoacan.

El Tecolote, The Owl (something like this one.)

El De Ichán, Serafín Ibarra teaching Maria

Serafín Ibarra and Jesús 'Chucho' Peredo

Up next at Fiddle Club of the World
BluEagle String Band
Tyler Wilson, Dave Prine, & Jim Chesney
Friday, October 9, 7:30pm
Seman Violins (4447 Oakton in Skokie)

Square Dance with Phil Jamison
& the Volo Bogtrotters

Sunday, November 8, 6:30pm
Kuhn Village Barn (at Fermilab in Batavia)

Notes and Tunes from Our European Correspondent

Maria McCullough, a charter member of the Chicago chapter of the Fiddle Club of the World, represented the Fiddle Department on an exchange program that sent five Old Town School teachers and two administrators to Newcastle, England and Helsinki, Finland this past spring. Armed with a video camera and sound recorder, Maria digitally captured some fabulous folk music moments.

You can visit the Old Town School Connect blog to read Maria’s comments and peruse some of the footage. I highly recommend the videos of the Rapper Sword Dance, performed in a pub in Newcastle, and the demonstration of the Jouhikko, an archaic bowed lyre now being taught to students at the in the Folk Music Department of the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki.

The Sibelius Academy parallels the Old Town School in many ways, including offering ensemble classes dedicated to traditional folk music. Maria got to participate in one such class taught by Olli Varis. A mandolinist and guitarist, Olli is a veteran of some of Finland’s best known professional folk music groups, including Koinurit, Värttinä and the Helsinki Mandoliners.

Olli Varis
Olli Varis

Here’s a three-part tune taught by Olli.

Suden Rita

And here’s the ensemble class wailing away at the tune. The Old Town School’s Steve Levitt joins in on guitar on the right. What is the one major difference between this class in Helsinki and Old Time Ensemble at the Old Town School (I mean besides the fact that the students are reading music off the stands in front of them)? These Finnish students are receiving college credit for learning their old time music!

Sibelius Ensemble Class

For more of the flavor of folk music in Finland and England, peruse Maria’s comments on the On the Road blog. For a taste of fiddling in northern England, try her recording of a lesson with fiddler Ruth Ball. The tune is the “Dunstanburgh Rant.” Here’s a shorter clip of the full tune at a moderate tempo. (Rants are like reels. They should played pretty fast.)

Dunstanburgh Rant

Keep fiddling.

Paul Tyler