Jeremiah McLane and Ruthie Dornfeld - Hummingbird
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Jeremiah McLane and Ruthie Dornfeld

This unique duo is pulling together disparate influences from around the world (French musette, Irish reels, tangos,Cajun two steps and Nordic tunes) and making a roots-based music that often borders on the avant garde. Dornfeld's fiddle and McLane's accordion weave and diverge in unique and creative ways.

Mardi Gras

Other recordings you should listen to:
The Clayfoot Strutters
The American Café Orchestra (Ruthie Dornfeld, Morten Alfred Høirup and Anders Hofset)

"With a mix of courtly and spirited dance numbers, the depth and skill of these two players is matched only by their obvious love and respect for the traditional music they play. Both world-renowned virtuosos on their respective instruments, accordionist Jeremiah McLane and fiddler Ruthie Dornfeld can play anything—from French Musette, Irish reels, Argentine tangos, to Cajun two steps—it makes no difference. Each style and composition is approached with the same fire and passion, often with the vigor evident as a hummingbird flaps it’s wings (the inspiration for the title perhaps?). Unless you’ve access to a time machine, you’re not likely to find more satisfying renditions of these beautiful traditional tunes." - Dirty Linen

"Accordionist Jeremiah McLane from Vermont, well known at the stages of St Chartiers and Gennetines (France) has produced a duo CD “Hummingbird” with the brilliant fiddler Ruthie Dornfeld. My friends the chemistry is magic from the first note. The exploration of styles and of music: Irish, Old Time, Cajun, Quebecois, French (center and musette) Danish and Hungarian, where the improvisations and the jazzy colors blend with a joyousness and force, with a resonant sound and rare emotion….and just like the Hummingbird they collect the nectar in all the music they enjoy, a repertoire that is eclectic yet always coherent. They give dance music an esthetic sensibility without distorting it. The majority of selections are compositions from McLane and Dornfeld. There are also three traditional selections: Vals a L’enver (Frederic Paris), La Coulemelle (Jean Blanchard) and Argenteuil (Patrick Desaunay). All in all a stirring and beautiful tribute from across the Atlantic." - Trad Magazine

About the artists:
Vermont accordionist Jeremiah McLane and Seattle fiddler Ruthie Dornfeld , have joined forces to create an exciting new duo that plays traditional music from France, the British Isles, North America and Scandinavia. The duo also features original works in the folk tradition including pieces by Gilles Chabenat, Tapani Varis, Andy Cutting, and compositions of their own. Together, Jeremiah and Ruthie create subtle changes in mood, texture and dynamics that give the listener the impression they are two musicians with the same mind. Their firm grounding in traditional dance music, mastery of their instruments, and innovative spirits make for a musical experience of unforgettable energy, passion, and adventure. Whether it's French Valse Musette, Irish Reel, Argentine Tango, Swedish Hambo, Quebecois Quadrille, or Cajun two-step, these two performers interpret traditional dance music in a way that has never been done before.

From his home in Sharon, VT Jeremiah McLane has traveled throughout the United States and Europe as a performer and teacher. A full time musician since 1989, Jeremiah holds a master's in Contemporary Improvisation from New England Conservatory. He has composed music for theatre and film (including Sam Shepard's "A Lie of the Mind"), and performed at such prestigious venues as the Royal Festival Hall in London, the Picolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC, the St. Chartiers Festival in St. Chartiers, France, and at the Memoires et Racines Festival in Jolliet, Quebec. He is a founding member of Nightingale, the Clayfoot Strutters and Big Table, three pivotal and popular bands with traditional roots. His solo recordings, including Smile When You're Ready, have been widely acclaimed by critics and audiences alike. His musical contributions can be heard on over twenty-five albums, including Jay Ungar and Molly Mason's "Harvest Home". He has performed on numerous live radio shows including WVPR, WNHPR, BBC, CBC, and Radio Wales. New World Festival organizer and radio host Mark Hauser has said: "Jeremiah plays and composes with originality, grace, and unbounded spontaneity."

Ruthie Dornfeld has earned a reputation as one of America’s finest and most versatile fiddlers. In her 35 years of violin playing, she has acquired fluency in a wide range of traditional fiddle styles--Irish, old-time American, French Canadian, Danish, and Hungarian--as well as exploring some nontraditional fiddle areas such as Brazilian chorinhos and free improvisation. Throughout all she maintains her own vibrant, expressive voice. She has performed and taught at festivals, schools, and music & dance camps throughout the U.S., Europe, Russia, and Brazil. During her 15 year sojourn in New England, Ruthie attended Berklee College of Music, was a member of the twin fiddle string band The Poodles, the bluegrass band Boston City Limits, and the Hungarian band The Pulis. She was a mainstay on the contra dance circuit, and toured Europe regularly with tap dancer Ira Bernstein and with the Copenhagen-based group The American Cafe Orchestra. In 1996 she returned to the Pacific Northwest, where she currently performs with guitar master John Miller, in the French cabaret group Rouge, with Balkan singer and accordionist Ruth Hunter, and with percussive step dancer Sandy Silva.

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