Cajun Fiddling

with Cathy Mason

Sunday, April 7, 2019

2PM

Cajun Fiddling

  • Fiddle
  • Instrumental
  • Roots
  • School of Music workshop

Cajun music is a wonderful stew of combined influences of Franco-European, African, Creole, Blues and Canadian music. One of the lovely and distinctive things about Cajun music is having twin fiddles, exchanging leads and “seconding” (backing up) each other. This workshop will focus on the melodic, chordal and rhythm patterns that will give your fiddling that Cajun feeling.

We’ll start with the skeleton or vocal line of the tune and then add in simple ornaments and fills to give it that Cajun flavor as well as the basics of seconding.  With any luck, students will learn a two-step and a waltz as well as some of the history of the music from this corner of America.  Laissez les bon temps roulez!  Aieee!

Watch Cathy perform here!

This workshop will take place from 2:00-4:00pm.

Please note: The Passim School of Music is located at 26 Church St. Cambridge, MA. Classrooms are located on the third floor and, unfortunately, we do not have an elevator.

Cathy Mason

Cathy Mason specializes in American traditional fiddle music, primarily Old Time string band and vocal styles, as well as the Cajun and Creole music of Southwest Louisiana.  Cathy’s solo and ensemble playing conveys the soulful, haunting beauty and the quirky, rhythmic drive of these styles.   She also plays guitar and tenor guitar.

After migrating from the south, Cathy has been playing fiddle music for many years in the Northeast, first traveling around New Hampshire with her dance caller uncle, Dudley Laufman, playing for the burgeoning contra dance movement of the 1970’s and 1980’s.  She honed her fiddle skills just after college and the ensuing years with Roaring Jelly and was a founding member of Unstrung Heroes, a popular dance band in New England during the 1980’s and 1990’s.

Cathy eventually returned to her first love –  Southern fiddle styles, including Appalachian Old Time and the Cajun and Creole music of Southwest Louisiana.  She has studied Cajun and Appalachian fiddle with a number of traditional and revival master musicians from both areas.

Cathy performs at dances, parties and concerts all over the east coast and south with her bands, The Dead Sea Squirrels and The High Strung Strummers as well as with other musicians.  She has been a winner of several awards at the Lowell Fiddle and Banjo contest, been on the staff at dance and music camps and was a founding member of both The Rhythm Method String Band, Grand Bois, a popular local Cajun band during the 1990’s and early 2000’s and The Hi-Tone Ramblers.

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