StringFire's infectious spirit of musical fun infiltrates the hearts
and feet of musicians and dancers alike. The combination of classical
training, tune writing, and superb improvisational skills creates an
out-of-the-ordinary groove you won't want to miss!
StringFire's dynamic, wide-ranging repertoire is driven by Patti
Cobb’s bluesy piano and Erik Ievins' vibrant bass and sonorous,
sparkling cello. The fiery, intricate work of dual fiddles completes
StringFire's signature sound, developed by James MacQueen and Annie
StringFire with Annie & James on fiddles
Now that James and Annie have each moved to
other states, Caroline McCaskey has taken the lead fiddler role.
(She is featured on StringFire's
debut CD Spindriftin’.) James and/or Annie may join in if either is in town or can travel,
and spectacular local fiddlers Shira Kammen or Elizabeth
Dequine may also fill the fiddle bill when they can.
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 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 keeps 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.
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, Caroline has also toured nationally with the
Celtic rock pirate band Potcheen, and was co-founder of and fiddler
for the dance band Fiddlerats. After living in Colorado for several
years, we are pleased that she has returned to call the SF Bay
Area her home.
James MacQueen absorbed Scottish fiddle music in the womb,
then grew up dancing and playing. When he 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. James' life has transitioned to Ohio as he follows
his musical spouse to grad school, but he still manages to join
us once in a while for musical excitement.
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 look forward to any excuse to
import her to play gigs and dance weekends with us, at home or
on the road.