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I went to the Brooklyn Folk Festival this afternoon with my dad and my daughter, and I brought along my washtub cello for one of the biggest groups I've ever played it with yet. The old-time jam was seven fiddlers, a couple of banjos and guitars, led by fiddler Stephanie Coleman. I found it easy to improvise cello accompaniments for most of the songs, a mix of songs I knew and did not know, and I led a couple -- Will the Circle be Unbroken and I'll Fly Away.
The Kentucky Fiddle workshop was more challenging as both the songs and the playing style were quite unfamiliar. Six of the seven fiddles from the jam stayed, plus teacher John Harrod, and me. I was able to follow the instructions Harrod was giving the violinists, and play along skipping a lot of notes but keeping the melodic structure, a rhythmic accompaniment. Harrod said he was impressed I kept up, and that it was a pleasure to play together. All in all a real nice day.
Old Time Jam, Brooklyn Folk Festival Jeremy Osner on tub-cello
Posted by George Osner on Saturday, April 6, 2019