Instructors for the 2015 Fiddlekids Camp

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Julian Smedley is the camp director for fiddlekids. A brilliant swing-jazz fiddle player and an eight-year veteran of the fiddlekids teaching staff, Julian possesses stratospheric expertise balanced by a down-to-earth teaching style, effortless patience, and a natural ability to pace his delivery. The kids love his inventiveness, spontaneity, and wit, and also his swingin' impact on camp.  Julian's early forays into the vibrant London music scene of the 1970's - BBC shows, concerts, recordings, and tours - eventually led him to the West Coast where engagements with Ralph Towner, Paul Horn, Mike Wollenberg, and The Hot Club of San Francisco helped establish him as a jazz violinist. Julian currently coordinates the music programs at the Seattle Waldorf High School while maintaining a full schedule as a performer, producer, and music educator in Seattle, his home since 2011.


aroline McCaskeyCaroline McCaskey's enthusiastic teaching style has fostered a love of music in both children and adults for over 15 years. Caroline joined the San Francisco Scottish Fiddlers at age 12, and went on to tour Northern California for 7 years as the leader of the Fiddlerats contra dance band. She is the Program Director of City Strings, which brings violin, viola, and cello lessons to over 100 at-risk youth in the Denver, CO metro area. She is certified by the Suzuki Association of the Americas for Violin books 1-7, and will soon add Cello books 1 and 2. She plays the musical saw, and has performed solo with the San Francisco and Colorado symphonies. Caroline began as an assistant at fiddlekids in 2002, and joined the ranks of the Instructors in 2009. She is so excited to be back!


Harry Liedstrand is an inspired and energetic fiddler of traditional music from America and the Celtic countries.  He studied violin at the UOP Conservatory of Music and earned a Master’s Degree in Ethnomusicology at CSU Fresno.  Harry began fiddling with Kenny Hall and the Sweets Mill String Band in the 60’s.  For 25 years as an elementary school teacher, Harry creatively demonstrated a love and understanding of the art of teaching children. Firmly grounded in the American tradition, Harry has been on the teaching staff at fiddlekids and the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes. His performances are positive and uplifting, whether in the classroom or on the stage.


John BlasquezJohn Blasquez is a superlative, seasoned performer in bluegrass, old-time, and Celtic genres, and his fiddling expertise is matched by his remarkable gift for teaching. Patient, encouraging, and creative, John is especially skilled in connecting with kids. Having served on staff for most of its years, he has contributed immensely to fiddlekids. John was fiddlekids program director in 2012, 2013 and 2014 and teaches private lessons in the S.F. East Bay. We welcome his ingenuity, motivational talents, and great sense of humor.



Karen Cella HeilKaren Celia Heil, a skillful, fun, and enthusiastic teacher, is an expert fiddler and guitarist with a special love of old-time southern American fiddle music. Karen has been part of the teaching staff at the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, the CBA's Grass Valley Camp, Lark in the Morning Camp, the ongoing Berkeley String Band Class, and Gainsborough Festival in the UK. She performs with the Bucking Mules (two-time Appalachian String Band Music Festival winners in the Traditional Band category), San Francisco's Knuckle Knockers, and KC & the MooNshine Band. A natural livewire, she brings lots of spark and current to fiddlekids, and to fiddling at large!


vie LadinEvie Ladin is a banjo player, step-dancer, singer, songwriter and square-dance caller with a lifetime of experience in traditional American cultural arts. The polyrhythmic funk of her clawhammer banjo, resonant voice, real stories and rhythmic dance - have been heard from A Prairie Home Companion to Hardly Strictly Bluegrass.  Evie started playing banjo at the age of eight, clogging at five, and has a fluid expressiveness in these traditional Appalachian arts, even as she brings a contemporary vision to her own music. Based in Oakland, Evie tours solo, duo with Keith Terry, with her stringband Evil Diane. She is also the Executive Director of the International Body Music Festival.  Evie has two solo CDs, three CDs with the Stairwell Sisters, two with Crosspulse, plus two instructional DVDs: Buckdancing for Beginners and Part Two: Freestyle.
An experienced and patient teacher, Evie teaches banjo, harmony singing and percussive dance. She has taught at
 fiddlekids for over ten years and skillfully connects the music to their dance traditions, firmly believing understanding the music and the dance makes any player a better musician.


Anna RainerAnna Rainer loves encouraging students to try something new. Kids love Anna because she brings fun, unique, engaging and amazing projects to the classroom. She's an art instructor who thinks of herself as a “possibility-maker.” Her motto is “There is an artist within each child.” Currently she teaches art at Oxford Elementary School in Berkeley and at CCA (California College of the Arts). She's been making and teaching art for over 20 years.


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