MP3 The McKassons - Tall Tales
A passionate contemporary Scottish fiddle album from a brother/sister duo who bring a new exciting edge to an old treasured tradition.
14 MP3 Songs
WORLD: Celtic, FOLK: Traditional Folk
"Tall tales would have been a great CD from anyone who had been recording for years. For a first album it is superb. The McKassons have reached a place where the Scottish idiom has been faithfully captured and wrapped in their own rich musicality. From the great traditional treatment of the Miller of Drone, to the beautifully reflective voices of Ryan''s cradle song for Isla Bryn, their collective musicianship shines. It is a CD to be listened to over and over again." - Calum Mackinnon
Ryan McKasson has been playing violin since the age of four. He began classical viola studies when he was fourteen and at the same time switched from classical violin to begin his traditional fiddle journey with the renowned fiddler and teacher, Carol Ann Wheeler. Under her instruction he explored a wide range of American and Celtic styles, but found a new passion in the music of his heritage, Scotland. In 1993 Ryan attended the Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddling School for the first time. There he heard the fiddling of Alasdair Fraser and Buddy MacMaster, who have since been his greatest influences. In 1995, Ryan was winner of the National Junior Championship, and went on a year later to be the youngest winner of the National Scottish Fiddle Open Championship in Loon Mountain, New Hampshire.
As a fiddler, Ryan has performed with artist Bobby McFerrin. He has also shared the stage with pop artists Elvis Costello, Beck, Bjork, Galvin Friday and composer Phillip Glass. In 2001 Ryan collaborated with fiddler Richard Greene and the Greene String Quartet in Los Angeles for the Harry Smith Project.
An accomplished classical musician, Ryan attended the University of Southern California in Viola Performance as a student of Donald McInnes. He has been awarded fellowships to many prestigious music festivals, including the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara and the Bowdoin Music Festival in Maine.
Cali McKasson is an award winning pianist and harpist. She began classical piano studies at the age of three, making her orchestral solo debut at the age of thirteen. Her interest in Scottish piano began in 1993 at the Valley of the Moon Scottish fiddling school where she became a student of the Cape Breton pianist, Barbara MacDonald Magone. Cali has also been influenced by Cape Breton pianist Tracy Dares and Scottish pianist Muriel Johnstone. Her interest in Scottish piano grew with her brother''s fiddle playing and now she performs throughout the United States bringing audiences her passion for Scottish music.
As a classical musician, Cali is a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she received her Bachelor''s and Master''s degrees in harp performance as a student of Yolanda Kondonassis. Hailed by the Boston Globe as an "expert harpist", Cali has performed as assistant principal harpist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the New World Symphony Orchestra. She was a two-time winner of the Alice Chalifouz prize in Harp at the Cleveland Institute of Music and was winner of the Institute''s Concerto Competition. Cali was twice awarded the fellowship in harp to the Tanglewood Music Festival in Massachusetts and was also principal harpist at the National Orchestral Institute in Maryland. She is now the Principal harpist of the Tacoma (WA) Symphony Orchestra and is active as a professional musician and teacher.
Ryan and Cali were born in Dallas, Texas and relocated with their family to the Pacific Northwest in their teens. They both have recently returned from Los Angeles to live in the Seattle area.