Students will learn a tune from Nathan Frazier and Frank Patterson, a Black fiddle-banjo duo recorded in Nashville, TN in 1942. The duo is notable for their flexible group dynamic; the banjo and fiddle trade off leading roles, improvising all the while. This class will cover melodic and rhythmic variations for both banjo and fiddle with members of Tui. For the first hour of the class, students will be split into two separate classrooms, depending on their preferred instrument, where they will alternate between listening to recordings of the Frazier and Patterson duo and learning the tune by ear with the help of the teacher. If time permits, they will explore some of the variations happening on the recording. After an hour, the two classes will come together for the last half hour to put both banjo and fiddle parts back together, exploring what it means to play a duet.
Tui is an internationally touring old-time duo made up of Jake Blount and Libby Weitnauer. They draw inspiration equally from rare archival recordings and the music of their peers, and both have extensive experiences with other genres of music; Blount spent years as a funk and metal guitarist, and Weitnauer has an M.A. in classical violin performances from NYU. Tui's diverse influences enable them to create music that is innovative and technically demanding, yet accessible and affecting as only old songs can be. They plan to release their debut album, Pretty Little Mister, June 28, 2019.
Fiddler and singer Libby Weitnauer has degrees in classical violin performance from DePaul University and New York University, but finds her voice in the traditional music of Appalachia. She has performed in a wide array of venues and concert halls, most recently the Smithsonian National Museum of American History after a summer of research and music-making under the supervision of Grammy Award winner Dom Flemons.