I've been involved in planning and organizing a new first annual Festival of Texas fiddling this December that I am really excited about. This festival is the fruit of a partnership between two groups that do amazing work (and with which I have worked in the past) Texas Folklife and Texas Dance Hall Preservation, Inc. It is shaping up to be a great festival with a bunch of fiddle masters from great Texas regional and ethnic traditions, all capped by a great western swing band. The festival will present styles of Texas fiddling far beyond just the contest style that most people think of. The whole event takes place in the historic Twin Sisters Dance Hall in Blanco, Texas. (which is conveniently located near Austin and San Antonio, for those of you wondering)

Here below is the press release for the event. I will post more information as it comes out. I hope to see you all there!

Here are some great views of the Twin Sisters Dance Hall in Blanco



Day-long Festival will Feature Showcase Concerts and Dancing at historicTwin Sisters Dance Hall with

Fiddle Workshops by Masters Brian Marshall, Ed Poullard and Howard Raines


Evening dance with Al Dressen’s Super Swing Revue

Austin, Texas – July 30, 2014 – Texas Folklife and Texas Dance Hall Preservation, Inc. (TDHP) are pleased to announce that the first annual “Festival of Texas Fiddling” will be held on December 6, 2014. This festival will be the most comprehensive celebration of the many styles of Texas fiddle music ever held. This festival will showcase the diverse genres, regional styles, and ethnic traditions of fiddling in the state in order to preserve, promote, and celebrate the central role the fiddle plays in Texas roots music.

In many ways, Texas music is synonymous with fiddle music. The fiddle traditions of the state encompass a stunning array of styles: old time fiddling, Western Swing, and virtuosic contest style across the state, Texas-Mexican fiddling in the Rio Grande Valley, Creole fiddling in east Texas and Texas-Polish fiddling in Central Texas. More specific regional styles of fiddling include San Antonio conjunto fiddling and cowboy fiddling. In addition, there are fiddle traditions that did not originate in the state but which have flourished and found unique expression in Texas, including country, blues, bluegrass, jazz, and mariachi fiddling, as well as increasingly popular but little known styles like son huasteca.

The first Festival of Texas Fiddling will be held at the Twin Sisters Dance Hall in Blanco, Texas. The festival will offer a new way of experiencing Texas fiddling through hands-on fiddle workshops, showcase concerts, and a community dance in an historic Texas dance hall. Participants will be able to learn, jam, and dance to the many different varieties of this essential instrument in a beautiful setting. Festival workshops will be led by recognized masters of Texas regional fiddling: Ed Poullard, Creole fiddler from Beaumont; Brian Marshall, Texas-Polish fiddler from Houston/Bremond; and Howard Rains, an old-time fiddler from Austin. The evening dance will feature a full Texas Swing dance band: Al Dressen & the Super Swing Revue.

This is the second collaboration between Texas Folklife and Texas Dance Hall Preservation this year. The two non-profits joined forces last February to present the highly successful Texas Polka Festival and Symposium in Schulenburg. The organizations’ goals go hand-in-hand—preserving Texas roots music and the dance halls where it has been played for over a century.

As times and names of other confirmed participants and performers for the festival become available, other media releases will be distributed and updates will be posted on Texas Folklife’s website:
 http://texasfolklife.org and TDHP’s website: http://texasdancehall.org.
- See more at: http://texasfolklife.org/event/inaugural-festival-of-texas-fiddling-at-twin-sisters-dance-hall#sthash.Ha96mXsG.dpuf


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