HANNEKE CASSEL, MIKE BLOCK, and CHRISTOPHER LEWIS
“Exuberant and rhythmic, somehow both wild and innocent, delivered with captivating melodic clarity and an irresistible playfulness,” says the Boston Globe about Hanneke Cassel’s playing. Such charismatic fiddling has brought the native Oregonian many honors and awards. She is the 1997 U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Champion, she holds a Bachelors of Music in Violin Performance from Berklee College of Music, and she has performed and taught across North America, Europe, New Zealand, Australia, India, and China.
Hanneke’s latest release, TRIP TO WALDEN POND, features traditional Scottish and Cape Breton tunes and 17 new tunes composed in the Scottish style. Produced by Finnish musician Antti Järvelä (FRIGG, JPP, Baltic Crossing), the album features cellist Mike Block, guitarists Keith Murphy and Christopher Lewis, fiddler/violist Jeremy Kittel, and pianist Dave Wiesler. The album fuses influences from the Isle of Skye and Cape Breton Island with grooves and musical innovations from the Boston Americana scene and Hanneke’s Texas-style fiddle roots.
HAILED BY YO-YO MA as the “ideal musician of the 21st Century”, Mike Block is a pioneering multi-style cellist, composer, and educator living in Boston. He is part of the Grammy-award winning Silk Road Ensemble, a graduate of the Juilliard School, and an Associate Professor at the Berklee College of Music.
Canadian native Christopher Lewis provides the driving guitar sound in the band. Also a Berklee College of Music alum, Chris has been involved with album production and performance in the Boston indie rock scene.
The trio creates sounds on the cutting edge of acoustic music, while retaining the integrity and soul of the Scottish fiddle tradition.
*2008 USA Songwriting Contest 1st place INSTRUMENTAL 3rd place OVERALL
*2006 Nomination for Boston Music Award Best Folk Act *1998 Berklee College of Music Strings Award
*1997 U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Champion
*1996 Oregon State Texas-style Grand Champion
*1996 Berklee U.S. Scholarship Tour Award
*1992 and 1994 U.S. National Jr. Scottish Champion
“SHE IS ALREADY A RISING STAR in the Celtic skies…her musical ideas are savvy and sophisticated, but her throaty, gusting style is deeply banked in the Scottish and Cape Breton traditions.” -Boston Globe
“…ELEGANT, GRACEFUL…Cassel’s tunes capture the mixture of sadness and hope found in much Scottish and Irish music and give it a fresh West coast spin.” – Dirty Linen Magazine
“…THE RHAPSODIC QUALITY of Cassel’s ballads or slow airs evinces a soul’s fully expressed quest …Cassel’s rhythms are tenacious, and they weave through a set of reels with serpentine grace.” -Boston Herald
“…THE SOUND OF CASSEL’S FIDDLE is mature, it also exudes spunk, which makes her music playful and dance-inducing.” – Fiddler Magazine
“…[ONE OF] THE HOTTEST YOUNG FIDDLERS in Boston…Cassel bases her robust, pulsing style on Scottish and Cape Breton strains.” -Boston Globe
“ONE OF THE MOST TALENTED and fun-loving young fiddlers you could ever hope to meet! This is fiddle music played with great stylistic integrity and personal flair – definitely a joy to listen to!” – Alasdair Fraser
“HANNEKE CASSEL REALLY KNOWS what she wants musically, and on this record she lets us share in her vision of a beautiful world of the violin. Hanneke’s playing is always tremendously expressive, beautifully executed, with a wonderful sense of line and dynamics…” -Matt Glaser
Odd Fellows Lodge – Nevada City, CA
Captured March 3, 2017 by Peter Wilson.