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National Champion Fiddler Jeremy Kittel and the Daniel Pearl Memorial Violin in Concert at the Ark

Celtic and Jazz fiddle phenomenon Jeremy Kittel returns to the Ark in Ann Arbor Sunday, December 7th at 7:30pm. Jeremy Kittel is a fast-rising star who is also the first recipient of the Daniel Pearl Memorial Violin.

The award, given in August this year by a committee headed by Mark O'Connor, honors Kittel's exceptional musicianship. The instrument was crafted by Jonathan Cooper of Maine in honor of the slain American reporter, who was also an accomplished violinist and fiddler. Family and friends of Pearl have established the Daniel Pearl Foundation, dedicated to cross-cultural understanding. Kittel will have the violin for a year, and has taken its message to heart. He now plays the violin for part of his concerts and talks briefly about Pearl, the mission of the foundation, and his own hopes for intercultural understanding and world peace.

"Daniel believed in the power of music, a power that can promote understanding, friendship and harmony among people,” says Kittel. "This power is real; there are moments during performances when I feel a profound sense of purpose, communication and joy among listeners and musicians. These moments are the reason I perform, and they show how powerful music can be in making connections between people. Receiving the Daniel Pearl Memorial Violin has given me new inspiration to bring people together through music, a goal that will remain central to me for years to come."

In his upcoming concert at the Ark, Kittel will explore musical styles ranging from Scottish and Irish fiddle to jazz and blues violin with a variety of musicians, including guitarist John Behling, singer-songwriter Seth Bernard, Glenn Brady, and other special guests. Kittel has dedicated two performances -- in Waterford and Detroit -- to Daniel Pearl, as part of the Daniel Pearl Music Day.

Nineteen-year-old Kittel is rapidly earning a reputation as one of the nation's top young traditional musicians. Winner of the US National Scottish Fiddle Championship in 2000, he won the Junior National title the previous two years and also qualified for international competition in Irish fiddling four consecutive years. Now a senior in jazz violin at the University of Michigan, Jeremy recently won the American String Teacher Association's Alfred Award for Best Improvisation and the International Association for Jazz Education's Award for Best Jazz Performance at the first national Alternative Styles Competition.

Kittel has performed at hundreds of concerts and festivals over the past few years including the Millennium Stage of the Kennedy Center, -- Prairie Home Companion,-- Chicago Celtic Fest, Bethlehem Musikfest, Detroit Festival of the Arts & Milwaukee Irish Fest. His first CD, Celtic Fiddle, was called "one of the top 20 Celtic albums of 2000, and certainly the best by a new young artist," by the syndicated radio show Celtic Connections. Jeremy's new release, Roaming, is getting rave reviews from a broad range of publications including Sing Out and Fiddler Magazine. As one reviewer commented, "It's a much over-used cliché, but I really believe this is what genius sounds like." Roaming has received air time across the country, including NPR’s show "The Thistle & Shamrock."

For More Information Contact Pamela Kittel at [email protected] or
(734) 369-2228

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