Arts and Entertainment

Q&A with Brandon Vance

Brandon Vance, of Seattle, and Mark Minkler, of Lopez, will be playing a concert of Scottish, Irish, and Cape Breton style music at Isle Be Jammin’, Thursday, Dec. 1, 7 p.m. - Contributed photo
Brandon Vance, of Seattle, and Mark Minkler, of Lopez, will be playing a concert of Scottish, Irish, and Cape Breton style music at Isle Be Jammin’, Thursday, Dec. 1, 7 p.m.
— image credit: Contributed photo

Brandon Vance, of Seattle, and Mark Minkler, of Lopez, will be playing a concert of Scottish, Irish, and Cape Breton style music at Isle Be Jammin’, Thursday, Dec. 1, 7 p.m.

Vance is known as a “stunningly hot” fiddler. He is a two time U.S. national Scottish fiddle champion and a recent graduate of the Cleveland Institue of Music with a masters in violin performance.  Minkler’s versatility and sensitive accompaniment on guitar, piano and flute create a finely tuned musical experience.

The duo will be playing music from their CD, "Beyond the Borders,” as well as new material from their upcoming recording project.

Tickets are now on sale at Isle Be Jammin’for $10.

 

Journal: How did you and Minkler meet and why do like playing together?

BV: Mark and I met at the U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Championship back in 2001.  I had just won the competition, and was holding an open jam session at my family's house in Anacortes.  I immediately caught on to Mark's stellar DADGAD guitar playing, which works great with the Scottish and Irish fiddle tunes.  Later I discovered his superlative talents in the piano realm, with his bouncy Cape Breton-style backup.   We've always worked together really well, and I feel that, despite experience and age differences, we are really on par with each other musically.  Mark is like that friend who you haven't seen in a long time, but you pick up right where you left off.

 

Journal: How would you describe your music?

BV: Our music is rooted in Scottish and Irish folk music, while allowing subtle influences from jazz and even classical music to seep into the musical fabric.

 

Journal: What music has inspired you?

BV:  J.S. Bach is a huge inspiration for me.  I could study his fugues and contrapuntal techniques indefinitely and still have more to learn.  I also love Bartok's music, as well as his focus on folk music as a vehicle for composition.  Some of my favorite fiddlers are Johnny Cunningham, Jerry Holland, Stephane Grappelli, Itzhak Perlman, and Gil Shaham.

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