ONE OF THE premier Celtic violinists on the international music scene
today, Jamie Laval creates rapt audiences with his intensely passionate
performances of traditional music of Scotland, Ireland, Brittany and
Quebec, rendered with hints of classical refinement and ethnic music
from around the world.
Jamie is heralded as “One of North America’s finest practitioners
of traditional Scottish music” (San Jose Mercury News)
and “The next Alasdair Fraser” (Press and Post).
The Asheville Citizen-Times writes, “One of the hottest fiddlers
out there…this act has been turning heads wherever it plays.”
What sets Jamie’s music in a class by itself is the nuance, virtuosity,
and musical craftsmanship he brings to an ancient art form. Simple Celtic
folk melodies are transformed into epic tonal narratives which take
the listener on an emotional journey from quiet melancholy to wild jubilation.
Jamie's accessible sound appeals to families, youth, seniors, and devotees
of ethnic, jazz, and classical music.
The making of his trademark style began at the Victoria Conservatory
of Music where he studied classical violin. Later he pursued careers
as a professional symphony musician, recording studio artist, improvising
violinist, and contra dance fiddler. But his passion for the haunting
sounds of rural Irish and Scottish folk music eventually usurped all other preoccupations,
and he has devoted himself exclusively to Celtic music ever since.
In 2002 Jamie won the U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Championship
and subsequently embarked on a full time touring career which today includes
100 engagements per year throughout the U.S. and Scotland.
Jamie now lives in Asheville, North Carolina and takes a keen interest
in the musical and historical ties that connect his Appalachian home with
the dispersion of Celtic peoples from their original homeland. For five years he served on the faculty of The Swannanoa Gathering, the celebrated summer institute for traditional
arts and music.
Jamie has recorded three solo albums to date. Murmurs and Drones, his most recent, won the popular vote for “Best World Traditional Album” in the 2012 Independent Music Awards. Jamie has also collaborated on numerous television, film, and CD recordings,
including Dave Matthews’ Some Devil, Warner Bros. Pictures’
Wild America, and WB-TV series Everwood.
Recent live performances include the Bijou Theatre (Knoxville), Wintergrass
Festival (Tacoma), the Freight & Salvage (Berkeley), Swallow Hill
Productions (Denver), Club Passim (Boston), The Fringe Festival (Edinburgh),
the NBC Today Show, The West Coast Live radio show, and a private appearance
for Her Majesty the Queen.