Fiddle phenom Jeremy Kittel Takes a Jazzy Turn
He's searching for the perfect melody
Jeremy Kittel, over the course of his short wall-to-wall fiddle-filled life, has accomplished quite an astonishing amount, musically speaking, becoming something of a role model to numerous young fiddlers along the way. He has been seen and heard on countless radio and TV shows: Prairie Home Companion, Celtic Beat, Celtic Connections, and Alice's Restaurant, among others. He has performed at multitudinous festivals–the Ann Arbor Folk Festival in Michigan, the Bethlehem [Pennsylvania] Musikfest, Celtic Fest Chicago, the Indiana Fiddlers' Gathering in Battle Ground. He has appeared on the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage in Washington, DC. And he has served as a music instructor, including important stints with Mark O'Connor's Fiddle Camps in Nashville and San Diego.
Kittel is just 20 years old.
"I guess I've done a lot in a short time," he admits with a laugh. "I've been lucky, I guess, really fortunate."
Ah, luck had nothing to do with it. Kittel is an amazing fiddler. Recently, he played a significant—if rather short—solo on a live Naxos recording of a major new orchestral piece by William Bolcom. Songs of Innocence and Experience: Shewing the Two Contrary States of the Human Soul (William Blake), the three-hour megawork recorded at Hill Auditorium on the University of Michigan campus, includes an expanded orchestra with electric guitars, electric bass and organ, and a huge chorus with scads of solo singers. The recording also features the University of Michigan School of Music Symphony Orchestra conducted by Leonard Slatkin, with Kittel on fiddle—for about 60 seconds.