A Fresh Look Into Black Fiddlers

Black Fiddlers, is a documentary that for the first time will tell the story of early American violinists, through biographical sketches and newly recorded performances of their music by living Black fiddlers—male and female—who have preserved or reconstructed these long-neglected but foundational musical traditions.


From the early 1700s to the Civil War enslaved and free Black fiddlers performed the music for dances and house parties hosted by elite plantation owners at their farms and town houses in the American south. For the Black community Black fiddlers played a very different role. Black fiddlers combined the European dance music they performed at these high-visibility White social events with ballads and songs, church hymns, African melodies and rhythms and their Caribbean variations to create a distinctive fusion music that served to bind together Black experience in the