Fiddling around

Published 5:25 pm Monday, February 28, 2005

By Staff
BERRIEN SPRINGS - Do you like fiddle music?
Celebrating the many styles of fiddle music, Fiddle Fever coming to Andrews University Tuesday evening features champion fiddler, Jeremy Kittel, guitarist Bob Gerics as well as many regional folk musicians, Fiddle Festival contest winners and local bands.
Celtic and jazz fiddler Kittel is rapidly earning a reputation as one of the nation's top young traditional musicians. The US National Scottish Fiddle Champion of 2000 and Junior National Scottish Fiddle Champion the previous two years, Jeremy also qualified for international competition in Irish fiddling four consecutive years.
Kittel has performed at hundreds of concerts and festivals over the past few years including the Millennium Stage of the Kennedy Center, "A Prairie Home Companion," the Ryder Cup Opening Ceremony, Chicago Celtic Fest, Bethlehem Musikfest, Detroit Festival of the Arts &Milwaukee Irish Fest.
His first CD, Celtic Fiddle, was called "one of the top 20 Celtic albums of 2000, and certainly the best by a new young artist," by the syndicated radio show Celtic Connections. His second release, Roaming, received praise from a broad range of publications, and took second place for Best Celtic Instrumental Album in the international Just Plain Folks competition against 14,000 CDs. As one reviewer said, "It's a much over-used cliche, but I really believe this is what genius sounds like. Highly recommended!"
Guitarist Gerics has been a professional musician over 20 years. He has performed extensively as a solo guitarist/singer at pubs, concerts and festivals. He has played in jazz, folk, rock, and acoustic groups, performed on cruise ships. Gerics has two CDs of instrumental guitar music to his credit: On the Other Hand and Second Hand Guitar.
The Fiddle Fever Concert is an annual fund-raising event for the Shady Grove Fiddle Festival, which is held in August in Berrien Springs. In its 6th year, the Shady Grove Fiddle Fest has been founded for the preservation, promotion and enjoyment of America's roots music in the aural tradition. This tradition is passed down from generation to generation by playing music for each other to learn the melodies and ornamentation through various styles. The festival features contests, concerts and workshops on the fiddle and other acoustic instruments.