Next Stage Arts Project announces a live streamed concert “Highlander’s Farewell” by fiddler Alasdair Fraser and cellist Natalie Haas on Friday, March 12 at 7:30 pm. The retrospective concert is dedicated to revisiting and updating parts of the duo’s 20 years of recording and performing cutting edge fiddle/cello explorations of Scottish, Celtic and global music. With a shared passion for improvising on the melody and the groove of traditional tunes, Alasdair and Natalie feature dazzling teamwork, swapping melodic and harmonic lines and trading driving rhythmic riffs. Following the concert, Alasdair and Natalie will host a zoom meeting with the audience.
The musical partnership between Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas is the fulfillment of Fraser’s long-standing musical dream to return the cello to its historical role at the rhythmic heart of Scottish dance music. In the last 100 years, piano and accordion have largely replaced the cello’s gorgeous melodic tones and percussive energy as fiddle accompaniment in traditional music. Alasdair and Natalie’s debut recording “Fire & Grace” won not only critical acclaim, but also the coveted the Scots Trad Music “Album of the Year” award, the Scottish equivalent of a Grammy. The duo has represented Scotland at the Smithsonian Museum’s Folklife Festival, and has been featured on nationally broadcast Performance Today, the Thistle & Shamrock, and Mountain Stage.
Long regarded as Scotland’s premier fiddle ambassador, Alasdair Fraser has a concert and recording career spanning over 30 years, with a long list of awards, accolades, television credits, and feature performances on top movie soundtracks (Last of the Mohicans, Titanic). Fraser has been sponsored by the British Council to represent Scotland’s music internationally, received the Scottish Heritage Center Service Award for outstanding contributions to Scottish culture and traditions, and is a member of the Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame. Through two summer programs that he founded two decades ago, the Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddling School in California and a week-long course on the Isle of Skye, Alasdair has inspired hundreds of aspiring and accomplished musicians.
California–based cellist Natalie Haas first attended the Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddling School at age 11, and responding to Fraser’s challenge to find and release the cello’s rhythmic soul, she played her first concert with him four years later. A graduate of the Juilliard School of Music, she has performed and recorded with a who’s who of the fiddle world including Mark O’Connor, Natalie MacMaster, Irish supergroups Solas and Altan, Liz Carroll, Dirk Powell, Darol Anger, and many more. Touring with Fraser and creating a buzz at festivals and in concert halls throughout Europe and North America, Natalie is in the vanguard of young cellists who are redefining the role of the cello in traditional music.
Advance tickets are $20, and are available at www.nextstagearts.org. For more information, call 802-387-0102 or visit www.alasdairfraser.com, www.nataliehaas.com and www.nextstagearts.org.