Dirk's grandfather was a Kentucky fiddler who won his first instrument in a poker game at the age of 13. The instrument goes back a long way in his family and he spent many years traveling the mountains meeting with older musicians and learning the tradition firsthand. In this class he will focus on open tunings, the use of drones, and bowing techniques while sharing some tunes that are special to him. As his with his banjo class, he will share KY roots while putting some focus on the sounds of the mountains of North Carolina and the things that differentiate that rhythm and allow for the powerful drive that sets old-time fiddling apart from other genres.
In addition to acclaimed releases on Rounder Records, he’s recorded and performed with artists such as Loretta Lynn (playing several instruments on her Grammy-winning release Van Lear Rose), Sting, Jack White, Levon Helm, Jewel, T-Bone Burnett, Ralph Stanley, and Linda Ronstadt. His ability to unite the essence of his culture with modern sensibilities has led to work with many of today’s greatest film directors, including Anthony Minghella, Spike Lee, Ang Lee, Victor Nuñez, Steve James, and Edward Burns. His live performances of powerful Appalachian music with The Dirk Powell Band have inspired audiences across the globe in a wide variety of venues, including such prestigious settings as the Eastman School of Music and Interlochen Academy. Dirk also selected and arranged traditional Appalachian material for Riverdance: The Show, in which he also performed on fiddle.