World Fiddle Day goes klezmer for 2019


HI folks:  We are happy to announce not only that we ARE  holding World Fiddle Day 2019 event (rumours of our demise greatly exaggerated), but also that it will be a special year devoted to exploring the klezmer tradition, in partnership with the Askenaz Foundation and supported by Polyphonic Ground.  Many things fell into place to enable this to happen this year, and we will be working hard to update all the Website pages in the next few days. MEANWHILE, two things you need to know immediately!

WORLD FIDDLE DAY Toronto 2019 is happening on SUNDAY, May 19, from 10 – 6, (rather than Saturday, in order to avoid the Jewish sabbath), at the Canadian Language Museum on the Glendon Campus, right beside the beautiful rose garden, at Lawrence and Bayview. Watch main page for details, but it’s easy to get to on transit, there’s parking and it’s a beautiful place to spend the day. Our guests, leading us in a day-long Klezmer Orchestra, are re-knowned duo Deborah Strauss and Jeff Warschauer, who will be coming from Pennsylvania to join us.  We will have info on registration soon.

Meanwhile, WORKSHOPS at Long&Mcquade’s (Clinic space, 935 Bloor St. West) are starting on March 31 (note date correction) followed by further dates: April 14, 28 and May 12, same time, same space. So, just the four Sunday afternoons, 1:30 – 4 pm, a chance to get your feet wet in the basics of klezmer music, and learn a few simple rhythms and tunes that we can play in our final concert on the day. These workshops will be led by lAnne Lederman and Martin Van de Ven. (Under 30 and under-employed free,  suggested donation $20 for all who can afford it. Please speak to us if it’s an issue).

Please join us. World Fiddle Day yaay!



Feb. 14: Cape Breton/Scottish Jam at Amico’s

1648 Queen St. West Toronto, 7:30 – 10:30pm. Come join us for a few tunes on Valentine’s Day – those other places are all too crowded anyway.

I have created a shortlist and a Dropbox with some sheet music and mp3s. They don’t all correspond (I don’t have recordings or music for everything), NOR do you have to play anything from the list. We take turns, come play what you want, request something or just come to listen. If it’ son the list, there’s a good chance that at least someone else will know it, but playing solo is also ok.  Hope to see you there.

Thursday night Jams at Amico’s

HI All: I am hosting Thursday jams upstairs at Amico’s Pizza, 1648 Queen St. West, 1st, 2nd, 4th (and 5th if there is one) every week, just skipping the 3rd so as not to conflict with the Toronto Fiddle Collective. 7:30- 10:30 or so, meeting for beer and pizza orders at 7 for those who want to. There are different themes for each jam.

1st Thursday – OPEN

2nd Thursday – In January,  a Tamarack’er Down Play-in, backwards from the end of Book 2 (list available on request). February and subsequent months will be Cape Breton/Scottish jams on this night.

4th Thursday: French-Canadian/Métis

Please join us, all instruments welcome. We will play a little slower for the first hour, encourage people to pick up new tunes. The pace will increase as the night goes on.

We play by ear, going around the circle for start-up or suggestions. For the Tamarack’er Down Play-in, there will be a few copies of books available. Hope to see you there!


Ah, a glorious rainy day. What better way to have a great evening than with the lovely fiddling, singing and dancing of Ariko, along with the violin and vocal stylings of our U.S. guest, Gaelynn Lea.
TONIGHT! at the Small World Centre, 180 Shaw St. Suite 101, 8 pm. $20 Advance HERE,  or $25 at the door.

Join us for a great mid-week Concert

I’m inviting everyone to World FIddle Day Toronto’s kick-off event of the season, a great show tomorrow night: Tuesday, Sept. 25 at the Small World Centre, 180 Shaw St., #101, Toronto, 8 pm. Tickets are $20 Advance, $25 at the door, available here
Ariko – Francophone family band of fiddlers and singers from Penetanguishene who do great 3-part harmonies, fiddle and stepdance. Come here them set the room on fire. 
Gaelynn Lea – More than a singer-songwriter and violin player, Gaelynn has a wonderfully inspiring life story, and is a force for positive change in her community as a disability rights activist. Her enormous personal strength and beautiful music will inspire you.

Gaelynn Lea and Ariko in Concert, Sept. 25

HI All:  World Fiddle Day Toronto is co-sponsoring a very special concert NEXT TUESDAY, Sept. 25, 8 pm, at the Small World Music space (180 Shaw ST. Suite 101, where we did “Spirit of the Narrows” last year) and we really hope as many of you as possible will join us for it. We are presenting ARIKO (Franco-Ontarian band from Penetanguishene) and GAELYNN LEA (an inspiring singer-songwriter whose main instrument is violin). Here are their lovely pictures, and below is lots more info. This will be a wonderful night.

Tickets are $20 if you buy them in advance HERE

Why are we doing a WORLD FIDDLE DAY concert in September? 

As part of the Polyphonic Ground Collective of World Music presenters in Toronto, we have a mandate to put on several co-sponsored events before December 31, 2018. This is our FIRST Fall concert, and we are aiming for at least one more. So, we would like to hear from you if there’s a particular kind of fiddling, or a particular fiddler you would love to have in Toronto. LET US KNOW, and please join us on Sept. 25.

MORE INFO on both artists HERE, videos etc.

A Polyphonic Ground event, this concert is co-presented by


Beginner Fiddle Class: Rose Bolton

HI Folks: The Beginner class at RCM (Tuesdays 6:15 – 7:45) has been postponed til Oct 9 and will run as a 10-week class. It is a great deal: 90 minute sessions every week for just over $30/class and Rose is a great teacher.  This is for people who have never played before, so if you know anyone who’s interested, please encourage them to come out.

The RCM was having website issues with all their classes this Fall, so things are taking a little longer to get going. The Intermediate class (2nd year fiddlers, 8-9:30 pm Tuesdays), the Québécois/Métis/Cape Breton class (at least 2 years experience, Mondays, 7 – 8:30) and the Celtic Orchestra (3 or 4 years experience, Sundays 11 – 12:30 am) are up and running , but have each had only one session and it would still be easy to join.

Everything is taught by ear, with recordings and music to back it up (Tamarack’er Down: A guide to Celtic-Canadian Fiddling method books for Beginner and INtermediate) To Register, just go to: and search for “fiddle”, all the classes will come up.

So, come join us in the rhythmic world of trad fiddling. . fun may rear it’s head.

Monday night class: Québécois, Cape Breton, Métis

Hi all: I have just started my Monday night class at RCM in Québécois, Cape Breton, Métis repertoire, style, tech, the whole shebang. Come and improve your playing, and your musicianship while learning a great repertoire of tunes played in different parts of Canada. This is a small group class (4 right now) and we definitely could use a few more.  For Intermediate players (at least 2 years experience). I just spent a month in Quebec and a few weeks in Scotland, so am chock full of great tunes to pass on. We started this week with a couple of Québécois classics: La turlutte d’Antonio Bazinet, and Le reel du poteau blanc (also called Boule de neige). You would be able to pick them up quickly and carry right on with us. .

Fourteen 90-minute sessions are only $460 (about $32 session), Mondays from 7-8:30 at RCM. TO REGISTER: www.rcmusic. ca


Emilyn and Filippo: Cd Release at HUGH’s Wednesday, Sept. 12

Hi all: If you love great instrumental music (which we know you do), great musicianship and a wonderful stage stage presence, please come down to Hugh’s Room Live tomorrow night to see Emilyn Stam (one of our lead fiddlers at the Aga Khan), and Italian button accordion player Filippo Gambetta release their new CD (on BOREALIS). It will be wonderful. The show kicks off at 8:30 (and you can come earlier for dinner).

Here’s the link for tickets: Emilyn and Filippo’s Amazing Concert