Monday, August 23, 2010

Chasing Sparks: Jeremy Kittel

Prepare to go on a journey when you join Jeremy Kittel in Chasing Sparks.
At times, that trip will hold whimsical touches of humor, as with the opening cut, called The Curious Beetle Set. At other points, you’ll see, in your mind’s eye, the whirling steps of dancers or the quiet walk of friends, the rugged landscapes of Scotland and the gentler ones of Ireland, the hustle of New York and the natural rhythms of the heartland.

Kittel is a fiddler, with a background in Irish and Scottish fiddle, who has been known to play bluegrass, and who holds two academic degrees in jazz. Chasing Sparks goes toward the Celtic Americana sides of his interests, but now and then there’s a hint of other flavors as well.The music comprises are three traditional sets, four covers, and four originals, making a well balanced, thoughtful and engaging program with music and ideas which reveal new facets each time you listen, and sparks of inspiration and orginality all over the place. One of the covers is a set of F Chunes written by Hanneke Cassel, a fiddler and composer you've met before here along the music road. Sitting in with Kittel at varied points are other musicians you’ve met here before as well, among them Natalie Haas on cello, Edgar Meyer on bass, Tristan Clarridge on cello, Brittany Haas on fiddle, and Nick Gareiss on foot percussion.

All the tracks are keepers. Especially worth note are The Rolling Waves Set, The Chase, Remember Blake, and The May Morning Dew, as well as that set of tunes by Cassel.

Kittel, who currently tours internatonally as a member of the Turtle Island String Quartet, grew up in Detroit, and received his undergraduate degree in Ann Arbor. Coming up along the music road in the Great American Road Trip, you'll soon meet another musician from Michigan.

you may also wish to see

Music Road: Hanneke Cassel: For Reasons Unseen
Music Road: now playing: Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas: In the Moment
Music Road: Sarah-Jane Summers: Nesta

UpTake Travel Gem

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posted by Kerry Dexter at


Blogger BIKE LADY said...

This post reminds me of the fiddler I saw in Quebec City this summer. He was a bit crazy, fiddling upside down, arms between his legs, and all kinds of other crazy moves--and I don't think he was Irish--but he did play a little bluegrass, which I love, so your post here on Jeremy Kittel reminded me of that guy. When I find his business card, I'll forward the information to you. You might like his sound anyway.

5:05 PM  
Blogger Jill U Adams said...

We saw Jeremy Kittel play a couple years ago -- PLAY being a key word here. He was so playful, mixing up genres in a single piece, wowing the audience with wizardry and then pulling the rug from under them with a melodic joke.

8:02 AM  

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