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 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.