Master Fiddler J.P. Fraley of Kentucky has been a perennial favorite at Fiddler’s Grove for 2 generations, inspiring fiddlers at the festival as well as throughout the country.
His Wild Rose of the Mountain album with late wife Annadeene was widely distributed, and attracted many new fans to Fiddler’s Grove and to traditional music.
J.P. earned the title Master Fiddler by winning the Fiddler of the Festival award in 3 different years.
Here “Doc” Watson appears on stage (right to left) with festival directory Harper Van Hoy and “Doc”‘s grandson Richard Watson. “Doc” Watson, widely regarded as the grandfather of oldtime mountain music, often brings his talents to the Fiddler’s Grove stage, and when he does, he attracts crowds!
Other celebrities, including John Hartford and David Holt, have also appeared at Fiddler’s Grove to promote the traditional music they love.
Mary Hardy Roberts, Ms. Tu-da-la, conducts a fiddle workshop using
her method of teaching by color. Her “First Time Fiddlers” workshop
is one of the best attended at each year’s festival, and the new fiddlers
she creates join her on stage later in the day for their first performance!
Roger Howell, 2001 Winner of the “Heritage Tune Award”. This special competition keeps traditional tunes alive. The tune must be one the fiddler learned by ear from another fiddler, and the contestant must give the story of the tune’s origin on stage as part of the competition.
The Heritage Tune Award is a significant part of the festival in that it teaches the younger generations about the music and traditions of the musicians who played before them.
Kyle Dunn, third generation of the P.Z. Dunn family, competing at the festival with his father Taylor Dunn. When Taylor was about this age, he and his siblings played at the festival with their parents as part of the Dunn Family Band. Taylor is now one of Nashville’s promising songwriters, and Fiddler’s Grove helps him pass the music on to the next generation.
The Cockman Family, a gospel bluegrass band, serves as “Host Band” at the festival. The 5 youngsters in this band began playing with their father at Fiddler’s Grove when they were very young, and each of them has won many awards on his respective instrument. Now the Cockman Family gives hundreds of concerts each year throughout the southeast.
Master Fiddler J.P. Fraley and National Heritage Award winning
banjo player Will Keyes are pictured here performing from the
porch of the Archives Building at Fiddler’s Grove. Accompanying
them are fiddler Barb Kuhns and guitar picker Doug Smith.
Rebecca and Sarah Barker, fourth generation of the
Van Hoy family, carrying on the fiddling tradition.
Dr. Mack Snoderly (left), a dentist from western North Carolina, has won Fiddler of the Festival in 3 different years, and so has earned the distinction of Master Fiddler. Tom Brantley (right) won the Fiddler of the Festival title twice. These 2 fiddlers were Twin Fiddle Champions in 1989.
Ralph Blizard won the Fiddler of the Festival award in 1994, the year Fiddler’s Grove was the subject of the video documentary Fiddler’s Grove — A Celebration of Old-Time Music. Ralph Blizard’s winning song “Midnight on the Water” was the theme song for the documentary, which aired on PBS and distributed worldwide by the U.S. Information Agency.
These young musicians (3rd generation of the P.Z. Dunn family) were photographed clowning around before playing on stage in the Junior Old Time Band Division. Appearing left to right are Carson Dunn, Will Logsdon, and Anna Kate Dunn. Two members of the band are not shown: Kyle Dunn(fiddle) and Alex Dunn (banjo). Carson, Will, Anna Kate, and Kyle are from Nashville, Tennesee, and Alex is from Greensboro, North Carolina.
Their band, “Nashboro Boys and Girl”, placed 1st runner-up in 2003.
Master Fiddler Robin Warren with Guitarist
and Cowboy Roper Doug Smith. Robin and
Doug have performed on stage several years.
Robin Warren and Guitarist Brian Clancey
(Spirit Fiddle) appearing on our concert
stage Saturday evening of the festival.
Also take a look at photos of our 2003 Fiddle Champions – these were the fiddlers who competed for Fiddler of the Festival!