Special Events

Fiddlin's Fun Festival


larry downey



Festival Performers for 2010





Jams and Open Stage



Festival Flyer
(.pdf file -
help us spread it around!)

Jane Rothfield

Jane Rothfield has played fiddle “forever”, starting out competing in many New England fiddle contests and learning directly from French Canadian fiddler Leo Beaudoin.

She has always played in old time stringbands beginning in high school (Mint Julep), college, (The Clear Mountain Stringband), and in Los Angeles (Old Mother Logo) in the late 70’s and early 80’s.

A trip to Scotland in 1978 and meeting Scottish singer/guitarist Allan Carr led Jane to the Celtic side of traditional music, and Jane quickly absorbed the music and culture while continuing to develop her own style and sound. Jane and Allan soon married and were based in Edinburgh, Scotland touring extensively with Allan and Martin Hadden (formerly with Silly Wizard), as "Hadden, Rothfield, and Carr". Their two acclaimed LP’s, "When These Shoes Were New" and "Atlantic Bridge" show their signature old time/Celtic blend of traditional and original music.

Jane’s definitive fiddle style reflects her experiences with Irish, Scottish and old time music, and the musicians who have influenced her and with whom she has played over the years: Johnny Cunningham, Jody Stecher, Cathy Fink, Liz Carrol and Jimmy McCown (Kentucky fiddler and banjo player), to name but a few. Her original tune, Too Late for the Bacon won the 2006 Clifftop Appalachian Mountain Music Festival prize for best non-traditional tune. Jane also has two CD’s featuring her fiddling: In The Moment (5-string productions) and her own project, iFiddle, theyBanjo on ifiddle recordings. Jane currently plays with her rockin' contra/square dance band "Jane's Gang", and the "new" old time band "Red Hen" (www.redhen.info).

Jane's Scottish husband, guitarist (and fellow "Jane's Gang" and "Red Hen" band member) Allan Carr will accompany her at the festival on guitar and vocals.

The Contradictions

The Contradictions present a lively program ranging from Irish jigs and French Canadian reels to enchanting Venezuelan waltzes, slick bluegrass tunes and 1930s swing standards, all designed to get your hands clapping and feet dancing. The Contradictions’ hot rhythms and fiddle harmonies have enchanted concert-goers and contra dancers alike since the group’s formation in 1990.

Fiddler Laurie Hart specializes in Québécois, Scandinavian, French and American fiddle music. She was the recipient of a 2002 Fulbright Award to study the music and dance of Norway and Sweden. She has had articles on Norwegian music published in Fiddler Magazine and has co-authored the bookDance ce soir!: Fiddle and Accordion Music of Québec published by Mel Bay. In demand as a fiddler instructor for both children and adults, Laurie has taught at Ashokan Northern Week and at Suzuki institutes across the northeast.

Fiddler and mandolin player Rick Manning began playing music in college in Texas, and has focused on Texas contest fiddling, bluegrass, and swing fiddle and mandolin, as well as harmony singing, composing and song-writing. Guitarist Tom Hodgson has accompanied some of the great fiddlers of the Irish, New England and Midwest dance scenes, including Randy Miller and Martin Hayes.  He has traveled extensively with the Vermont dance performing group, the Green Mountain Volunteers.  Bassist Dave Davies brings jug-band, blues, swing and jazz influences to the group. He is a regular staff musician at Ashokan Western & Swing Week, and performs with Jay Ungar and Molly Mason. 

The sweet harmonies, diversity of styles and impeccable musicianship of the Contradictions are an exciting addition to this year’s festival lineup.

City Fiddle
City Fiddle offers a savory blend of acoustic bluegrass, Celtic, traditional and original music appealing to the entire family. City Fiddle creates a unique sound characterized by intimate harmonies and infectious energy that sets toes tapping and faces smiling in venues ranging from coffeehouses and contradances to living history events and outdoor festivals.

One of western New York's best known fiddlers for over 20 years, Phil Banaszak is a former New York State Fiddling Champion and, in 2005, was inducted into the North American Fiddlers Hall of Fame. He is a faculty member of Community Music School in Buffalo, where he teaches fiddle, violin and mandolin. His first book of original neo-traditional fiddle music and accompanying CD were released in 2002.

Gretchen Banaszak, an alum of the NewEngland Conservatory of Music, began playing the violin in the fourth grade. In 1997, after a 17-year hiatus from music, she began playing the fiddle with a special affinity for the Celtic and early American traditions.

Tribute to Larry Downey

To honor the tenth anniversary of the Fiddlin’s Fun Festival, the day’s events will include a special tribute to local fiddler Larry Downey, in whose memory the event was founded. Larry began fiddling in 1917 at the age of seven. He played for concerts, coffeehouses, dances, weddings, parties, nursing homes, and school groups throughout the Southern Tier of New York, and was inducted into the New York State Fiddlers Hall of Fame in 1980. In addition to his role as tradition bearer for the fiddle music of our area, Larry was a dear friend, instructor, and inspiration to countless musicians in the region.

Larry’s taste in music was eclectic, encompassing traditional jigs, reels, polkas and hornpipes as well as songs from the 30’s and 40’s, gypsy violin, jazz, and classical pieces. He had a particular love for fiddle harmonies. The tribute portion of our event will feature local musicians of all ages, recipients of Larry’s legacy, performing a mix of Larry’s original fiddle tunes and other music from his repertoire.

Join us on stage for the Big Baltimore Rag!

We'd like to have as many folks as possible on stage playing Larry's tune "Baltimore Rag" as part of his tribute.

Here are links to an mp3 of the tune,  sheet music for the tune, and sheet music for a simpler version of the tune. Let's see how many fiddlers we can fit on the stage!

The Java Joe Jammers
The Java Joe Jammers (now sited at the Cyber Cafe venue in Binghamton, New York) have been entertaining folks in Broome County for over twenty years. Led by Tim and Johanna Masters, this lively group plays a mix of traditional American and Celtic tunes with fiddles, guitars, mandolins, and banjos joining in the performance.

The weekly open jams held by the Java Joe Jammers have served as an incubator for numerous acoustic musicians in Broome County, introducing them to the time-honored tradition of gathering to play reels, jigs, polkas, aires and waltzes with friends and neighbors. A performance by this energetic and talented group is guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

The Toast n' Jammers
Fiddle Tune Club

The Toast n' Jammers Kids Fiddle Tune Club is a group of enthusiastic youngsters (and their families) that meet once a month at the NYPenn Trade Center in Johnson City, N.Y., to learn and play traditional New England, Celtic, southern old-time, and French Canadian fiddle tunes.

The group performs throughout the community, including performances at the Newark Valley Apple Festival, the Genessee Country Village's Fiddlers' Fair, the Roberson Museum's Irish Event, Jackson's Pumpkin Farm, the Waterman Environmental Center's Walk Through Time event on Hiawatha Island, the Bluegrass by the Lake festival, and a feature spot at the Binghamton contradance.

Come out and encourage our next generation of fiddlers and their families!