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Alasdair Fraser

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Alasdair Fraser is one of Scotland's most influential tradition-rooted fiddlers. A two-time winner of the open competition of the Scottish National Fiddle Championship, Fraser continues to expand the musical traditions of his homeland with his expressive and virtuosic playing. In addition to performing more than 50 times on BBC radio and television shows (and, in the U.S., on A Prairie Home Companion), Fraser has been featured on the soundtracks of such films as Titanic, Braveheart, The Spitfire Grill and The Last of the Mohicans. Fraser's 1996 album, Dawn Dance, which represented his first all-original recording, received a NAIRD award as best Celtic album of the year. The album's success inspired Fraser to form a band, Skyedance, with the musicians featured on the album. The group includes Eric Rigler (a veteran of concerts and/or recordings with Paul McCartney, Rod Stewart and Michael Oldfield on Scottish and Irish bagpipes, Chris Norman (a member of the early music ensemble The Baltimore Consort and a founding member of the international trio Helicon) on wooden flute, Peter Maund (a founder of the medieval and renaissance music group the Ensemble Alcatraz and the president of the San Francisco Early Music Society) on percussion, Mick Linden (known for his adapting R&B and African rhythms to the bagpipes) on standup bass, and long-time Fraser collaborator Paul Machlis on piano and keyboards. Fraser and Skyedance released their first album as a band, Way Out to Hope Street, in 1997. The album included 13 group composed instrumentals and a reworking of a medley of traditional dance tunes that Fraser and Machlin recorded in 1986. Fraser has appeared as a guest during concerts by Los Angeles Master Chorale and the Waterboys. ~ Craig Harris

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14 May 1955

Years Active:

'80s, '90s, '00s