Shows Include Double Bills with Guitarist Grant Gordy, Performances with Sarah Jarosz and Mike Marshall's Big Trio
By the start of May, high school seniors all over the country have sent in their acceptance letters to the colleges of their choice and are ready to take a much deserved vacation before heading off towards their futures.
That is not the case for 18-year old violin phenomenon Alex Hargreaves, who - riding high on the critical success of his solo recording debut, Prelude - is heading out on the road for a series of shows that will take him across the US.
Hargreaves, whose talent was lauded by the All Music Guide as undeniable," will share the bill at three east coast shows with guitarist Grant Gordy, who is best known for his work with the David Grisman Quintet. Grisman himself is among Hargreaves's most fervent champions, having followed his career since Hargreaves was just ten years of age, stating that ...he's destined to be one of the fiddle giants of the 21st century."
Those first three shows will take place on June 23 at Club Passim
in Cambridge, MA, on June 24th at Caffe Vivaldi
in New York City, and on June 26 at the Franklin Park Arts Center
in Purcellville, VA. The double bills are no casual pairing; Gordy's strong guitar presence on Prelude launched a collaborative relationship that will come full circle with Hargreaves' musical contributions to the guitarist's own solo release.
In fact, prior to these three dates Hargreaves will perform as a member of the Grant Gordy Quartet at several concerts in Colorado. On the afternoon of June 12, they will perform at the Swallow Hill Brewgrass Festival
in Denver, followed by an evening performance at the Little Church in the Pines
in Salina. June 16 will find them at Dazzle Jazz Club
in Denver, and on June 17, they'll be at Bongo Billy's Salida Cafe
In July, Hargreaves will perform with another prodigious teen-ager, 18-year-old Sugar Hill recording artist, vocalist Sarah Jarosz, at the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival
in Oak Hill, NY. In August, he'll travel to Alta, Wyoming for the Grand Targhee Bluegrass Festival
to share the stage with Mike Marshall and Paul Kowert in Marshall's Big Trio, on whose 2009 Adventure Music eponymous release Hargreaves made his debut, before once again performing with Jarosz in September at the Four Corners Folk Festival
in Pagosa Springs, Colorado. He will wrap up the month with another double bill with Grant Gordy, in Hargreaves' home town of Corvallis, Oregon, at the Congregational Church
It's only fitting that Hargreaves kicks off his summer performances in the Boston area, as he'll be returning in September to enroll in the prestigious Berklee College of Music's Global Jazz Institute under the artistic direction of world-renowned pianist Danilo Perez. The class matriculating this fall is only the highly competitive program's second since its inception earlier this year. It is composed of only 30 students, who will participate in an innovative curriculum taught by a select group of Berklee faculty that includes Perez, Joe Lovano, Terri Lyne Carrington, George Garzone, Bill Pierce, Jamey Haddad, and Allan Chase. Students will also be mentored by world-renowned visiting artists and artists-in-residence, including John Patitucci and Ben Street.
And, while he may be heading off to study at Berklee, Hargreaves' talents have already secured his position as a teacher himself. From June 28th through July 4th, he'll be performing and teaching at Christian Howes' Creative Strings Workshop
in Columbus, OH.
More About Alex Hargreaves
Alex Hargreaves of Corvallis, Oregon, plays a wide variety of styles including jazz, bluegrass, new acoustic, Texas style, western swing and classical. Mentored by some of the greats in progressive acoustic music, he has already toured with Mike Marshall, David Grisman, Jerry Douglas and Bruce Molsky, and shared the stage with many others including Mark O'Connor, Chris Thile, Tim O'Brien, Sam Bush and Darol Anger.
At the age of 18, Hargreaves has already received countless honors, including the Daniel Pearl Memorial Violin from Mark O'Connor's Strings Conference, and the Alternative Styles Award from the American Strings Teachers Association (ASTA). Alex is also the youngest ever (age 15) to win the Grand Champion division at the National Oldtime Fiddlers' Contest in Weiser, Idaho, and in 2009, won the Grand Masters Fiddle Championship in Nashville and performed on the Grand Ole Opry.
Also an active performer, Hargreaves has played on stages around the world including Austin City Limits, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, Merlefest, Rockygrass, Wintergrass and the Mandolines De Lunel Festival in Lunel, France, as well as venues in Canada and Italy. He is a member of world-renowned mandolinist Mike Marshall's Big Trio, along with bassist Paul Kowert (Punch Brothers). They have toured extensively following the 2008 release of their self-titled album on Adventure Music. In addition, Alex often performs with singer and multi-instrumentalist Sarah Jarosz. He appears on her critically acclaimed album, Song Up In Her Head (Sugar Hill Records), and is featured on her Grammy-nominated instrumental, Mansinneedof."
In February, 2010, Alex's debut album, Prelude, was released on Adventure Music, featuring master acoustic musicians Mike Marshall, Grant Gordy and Paul Kowert, as well as special guests Bela Fleck and Noam Pikelny. Prelude portrays Hargreaves' maturity not only as a cross-genre violinist and improviser, but also as a composer, with his original compositions comprising half the album.
Hargreaves' playing on Prelude has already been acclaimed by critics and musicians alike. All Music Guide cites Alex's undeniable," pure, raw talent," and David Grisman comments, [Alex] plays with wit, authority and soulfulness belying his years. In my opinion, he's destined to be one of the fiddle giants of the 21st century." For Mike Marshall, Alex is arguably one of the greatest improvising violinists in America today" and Matt Glaser, artistic director of Berklee College of Music, American Roots Program, simply states, Truly, Alex Hargreaves is the best young jazz violinist in America."