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these exciting gigs coming up in March and April, hopefully see you at one of them...
'Nordanian Nights' (Holland) The Nordanians feat. Fraser Fifield
15 mar Roode Bioscoop 20:30h www.roodebioscoop.nl
17 mar Porgy and Bess, Terneuzen, www.porgyenbess.eu
19 mar Grand Cafe Mahler, Arnhem
21 mar Plaza Futura Eindhoven www.plazafutura.nl
6th apr Fraser Fifield & Graeme Stephen @ The Eastgate Theatre, Peebles
7th apr w/ Corrina Hewitt @ Edinburgh Harp Festival
The 'J-Word' Tour, featuring:
Trilok Gurto/Paulo Fresu/Omar Sosa + Fraser Fifield/Graeme Stephen
Sun 28 Apr Gateshead, The Sage
Mon 29 Apr Perth Concert Hall
Tue 30 Apr Glasgow, The Old Fruitmarket
Wed 1 May Aberdeen Music Hall
Thu 2 May Inverness Eden Court
Fri 3 May Edinburgh Queen’s Hall
Sat 4 May Dunfermline Carnegie Hall
A Piper and Low Whistle player who improvises like a jazz musician. A Soprano Sax player playing the traditional music of his native Scotland like it had always been played on that instrument. Fifield's compositions and his musical language are uniquely his own.
A most individual musician, Fraser Fifield, plays an unusual combination of instruments all to an unusually high standard. Aged 9 years, in rural North-East Scotland, Fifield commenced his enduring relationship with the Great Highland Bagpipes, and through that medium, traditional Scottish music more widely. He learnt from two excellent local Piping exponents winning many prizes at piping competitions around the north of Scotland. After some years of piping, Fifield chose the saxophone as a companion instrument, and continued to study sax through his school years and on to Royal Scottish Academy of Music in Glasgow. A convenient transition, somewhere in between the pipes and sax was found in the Low Whistle which these days we hear him play perhaps more often than the other instruments. On the Low Whistle in particular the influences from the music of pipes and saxes distil into something new. Fifield's whistle playing has solid traditional roots but can soar into passionate jazz inflected soloing.
Scottish Highland Folk Rock legends Wolfstone summoned Fraser, aged 18, to come and play with them which he did. Returning from California to Glasgow 3 weeks after the start of his 2nd college year indicated Fifield's growing desire to get into the real music business. Taking a year off to do some individual work before completing his BA Honours, fourth year Fraser fell in with popular North East Scotland outfit The Old Blind Dogs and continued playing with them for two and half years. The ordinary BA degree came through the post one day and signalled the end of Fifeld's academic pursuits to date.
Moving down to central Scotland Fifield started playing with Edinburgh Latinos, Salsa Celtica, balancing the celtic with the salsa through his pipe and whistle playing and his compositions. Six years with Salsa Celtica included performances at main stages in Cambridge, Womad, Lincoln Centre and many more great concerts and tours.
Honest Water, Fifield's first solo recording, released on his own label in 2002, gathered a lot of great reaction from press and public alike. The Herald's Rob Adams writing, "music with heart, emotion, and tunes that the "repeat play" button was designed for."
The Fraser Fifield Trio was formed shortly after the release of Honest Water with two other North-East musicians, guitarist Graeme Stephen and drummer Stuart Ritchie. The trio went on to play many gigs across Scotland and Europe as far a field as Baku International Jazz Festival in 2005, and recorded the album 'Slow Stream'.
At the request of the late Martyn Bennett, Fraser continues to be involved playing Martyn's music in several different forms, occasionally with his electric band Cuillin Music and also with the maverick classical ensemble Mr McFall's Chamber, resulting in the album 'Birds and Beasts' and 2010's 'Four Corners'.
In 2008 Fifield's fascination with the Bulgarian Kaval led to the album 'Traces Of Thrace' made with one of the most respected kaval players in the world, Nedyalko Nedyalkov, and also featured Georgi Petrov on gadulka alongside Fraser's band. 'A magnificent achievement' said Songlines magazine in Oct 2008. The album featured in the European World Music Chart Top 20 for a time in summer 2008. Fraser often performs on kaval himself these days…the only player working out of Scotland as far as we know!
Fraser's fourth album, Stereocanto, October 2009 was released on Tanar Records to critical acclaim, working electronic textures into performances by a sextet of musicians. "It’s the interplay between intellectual construction, fleeting modal improvisations and sheer emotional sensuality of the music that makes this such a satisfying, and strikingly unified, piece of work", said Songlines magazine about the recording.
Touring with the Afro Celt Sound System in 2011 included a night at Sydney's Opera House whilst Edinburgh's Hidden Orchestra enjoyed success throughout Europe's festival season and invited Fraser along to guest.
A new recording featuring live performances with Graeme Stephen is planned in 2012.