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...lighting up the SF Bay Area and beyond...


StringFire's infectious spirit of fun infiltrates the hearts and feet of musicians and dancers alike. With James MacQueen and Annie Turano on fiddle, Patti Cobb tickling the ivories, and Erik Ievins keeping the beat on bass and cello, they take pride in their well-rounded repertoire, working with callers to make music that you can't help but want to dance to. They're all classically trained, all write tunes and have superb improvisational skills – creating an out-of-the-ordinary groove you won't want to miss!

Now that Annie has moved farther away, they often play as a trio without her, but it's even more fun to bring her back. StringFire has added other fiddlers at times, choosing from a select group of high caliber players including Caroline McCaskey, Shira Kammen, and Elizabeth Dequine.         


StringFire picture
StringFire with James & Caroline on fiddles


Erik Ievins provides the foundation on bass with his meticulous and creative style. Classically trained since he was old enough to hold a bow, Erik joined professional symphony and pops orchestras while still in high school, subsequently discovered the joy of fiddle music (on a cello!) and has been delighting dancers around the country. With a gift to hear what's missing and add just the right touch, Erik's versatility is highly sought after on stage or in the recording studio improvising for songwriters. Along with his cello magic and bass exuberance, he's an avid dancer and sound technician. Dance tunes he writes are guaranteed to be the wackiest of the group, though Patti can come close.

Patti Cobb’s strong, solid piano keep dancers' feet moving and grooving, while luscious counter melodies add sparkle and delight. A longtime dancer herself (Scottish, English & contra), Patti sports a degree in music, and has played many dance styles alongside her slumming in rock bands over the years. She writes wonderful tunes that, like most of us, come straight from her soul. Her versatility, kindness and enthusiasm are matched only by her ability to improvise blues— ironic, since she contributes so much to the joy we feel when playing together.

James MacQueen absorbed Scottish fiddle music in the womb, then grew up dancing and playing. When he had asked to learn fiddle and got classical violin lessons instead, he learned fiddle on his own. A prolific song writer and accomplished orchestral and chamber music player, he graduated with a degree in performance and composition from University of the Pacific in Stockton, and a Master's in violin performance at University of Denver's Lamont School of Music. James enjoys contemporary improvisation as well as writing tunes in many different styles, and he brings wonderful energy and great skill and creativity to the band. Not content to let Erik take the honors for wackiest tunes, he's contributed a few of his own.

After asking for a violin at age 3, Annie Turano has barely put it down for a moment since! A graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory, Annie has won concerto competitions and collaborated with many fine chamber and orchestral players including the Zaira Quartet and SF Symphony Youth Orchestra. As concertmistress, she led the Santa Rosa Symphony Youth Orchestra on a European tour. Annie has also explored world folk and improvisational music, and recorded with the Bluegrass-Gospel band, "Living H2O". A stellar performer and teacher, she's transitioning to Indiana to see what life has to offer. We excitedly look forward to any excuse to import her to play gigs and dance weekends with us, home or on the road.

Caroline McCaskey began violin lessons at age nine, and soon thereafter began learning fiddle tunes by ear from recordings. She joined the SF Scottish Fiddlers at age twelve; since then has picked up cello, oboe, percussion, viola and piano. She graduated with a degree in Music Composition from University of the Pacific in Stockton, added a Master's in viola performance, and has won championships playing the musical saw. An avid teacher and chamber music performer in Colorado, Caroline has also toured nationally with the Celtic rock pirate band Potcheen, and was co-founder of and fiddler for the dance band Fiddlerats. Like many Bay Area folk, we heartily welcome a chance to enjoy her enthusiastic collaboration when she comes to visit.



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