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About

 
Bio
 

The featured fiddler on the soundtrack for the Billy Bob Thornton movie, “The Astronaut Farmer”, Clarence Ferrari began playing Bluegrass fiddle at the age of five. He won his first Old-Time fiddle contest in Nashville when he was six.

Clarence has performed with countless musicians including Pete Seeger, Tom Chapin, Tom Paxton, Roswell Rudd, Davey Arthur of The Furies, Les Binks of Judas Priest, and The Brooklyn Philharmonic.

Clarence studied fiddle with Jay Ungar and Dewey Balfa, jazz composition with Jimmy Heath, Donald Byrd and Roland Hanna, and classical composition with Thea Musgrave and Bruce Sailor.

Bringing his “fast and floating fiddle” to the world of Irish music, Clarence began touring North America and Europe at the age of nineteen with well-known Celtic groups such as Lenahan, The Jodee James Band, Ffynnon and The McCabes.

For five years Clarence had his own Bluegrass band named "Blue Harvest". Blue Harvest performed at festivals and taught workshops up and down the East Coast in addition to being a fixture in the NYC Bluegrass/Country scene. Along the way, Clarence sat in with such luminaries as Mark O’Connor, Chris Thile, Tony Trischka and Greg Garing.

Clarence has performed for a over a decade with Dominic Chianese, best known as “Uncle Junior” from “The Sopranos”. With Dominic, Clarence plays everything from Broadway standards to Tin Pan Alley to Italian ballads.

In addition to public performances, Clarence has performed at hundreds of private events, bringing the same level of passion and professionalism that he brings to the stage.

Although he is best known as a performer, Clarence is also a respected violin teacher. Clarence has taught violin privately for twenty years in addition to working for four years at The Hoboken Charter School and six years at The Boys' Club of New York. Clarence has taught hundreds of students of all ages and levels. He even taught his daughter to play violin when she was four. Besides getting people started on the violin, Clarence has helped his students get into several specialized schools including the Pre-College division at Julliard.

In addition to being a violin teacher, Clarence is an accomplished music teacher. While at The Hoboken Charter School, Clarence taught an Ethnomusicology class. This class exposed children to music from all over the world, while providing a social and historical context for that music.

With his band "Blue Harvest", Clarence taught several workshops on the history of American music including presentations for The Brooklyn Children's Museum, The Staten Island Children's Museum and the prestigious Elgin Academy.

Since 2012 Clarence has presented "A History of Irish Music". Combining music and history, this program was created for the New York Public Library. It has been performed at libraries throughout Manhattan and New Jersey.

Whether he is on stage, in the classroom, in the recording studio or playing your family's wedding, Clarence brings a wealth of knowledge and a lifetime of experience to everything he does.

 
Why you should contact me instead of that "other" fiddle player/teacher...
 

As you can see, I've been around the block once or twice, but being a "first call" musician requires a great deal more than just being a good player. Whether I am appearing at a theater, a club or a catering hall, I treat every performance like it is Carnegie Hall.

Over the years I've built up a sterling reputation as a performer by:

• Promptly returning phone calls and emails
• Making sure that I am always on time
• Wearing the proper attire
• Always bringing professional gear (amps, cables, etc.)
• Taking the time to learn any new material for the show/private event including: acquiring sheet music whenever possible; if no sheet music is available, writing out my own charts; making myself available for rehearsals
• Knowing when to "turn it on" when I am being featured, while also knowing when to "get out of the way" when the vocalist or another instrumentalist is being featured
• I am easy to work with and can quickly adapt to any performance situation

I apply the same discipline and sensitivity that I have as a performer to my craft as a teacher:

• Promptly returning phone calls and emails
• Making sure that I am always on time
• Maintaining a professional appearance
• Making sure that I am prepared for the lesson/class; for instance if the student is working on a piece of music that is outside of my curriculum, I take the time to learn it
• I am strict about technique and maintaining a practice regimen, but otherwise I am easy going and can quickly adapt to my student's needs
• Being a father, and teaching my own daughter how to play, has given me a unique insight into how to relate to my younger students in addition to gaining a deeper appreciation of the power that music can have on someone's life

 
 
 
©Copyright 2008 - 2014 Clarence Ferrari