Non-classical Violin Music

May 2, 2010 at 03:03 PM ·

I thought it would be interesting to see what violinists we listen to who are recording music that isn't your typical, classical fare.  So, who are your favorite recording artists recording music featuring violin that is NOT classical.

I will start with Mark O'Conner and Alison Krauss. 


Replies (24)

May 2, 2010 at 07:05 PM ·

Here is a short list of Avant Guarde Violinists at Wikipedia. As a matter of fact it lists a UK Jazz/Modern violinist Graham Clark who I believe is the Graham Clark that posts here! look up his profile and introduce yourself. I have him as a facebook friend also.  Great and Informative Guy!

Type in Jazz, Rock, Country violinists in your search engines or Wiki....

Zoe Keating is my favorite Advant Guarde Cellist... Check her out on youtube!

Oh, and Jennifer Higdon writes contemporary music for violin. Check her out.

May 2, 2010 at 07:18 PM ·

Who's (one of) my favorite non classical violinists? Jean Luc Ponty! Just gotta say it again, got his autograph on the same piece of paper as Stephan Grappelli.

But Jean Luc is not only a great violinist, but also a great Jazz fusion composer...IMHO

May 2, 2010 at 07:28 PM ·


May 4, 2010 at 12:18 AM ·

 Nigel Kennedy! He is a fair bit more classically trained, but he's done a lot of Jimi Hendrix cover work, and other various jazz stuff.

May 4, 2010 at 01:21 AM ·

O.M.G.!!! Iva Bittova!!! I got her cd at a used cd store because it looked interesting. UNDERSTATEMENT! Czech born, she plays her own avant-garde music, plus has done some Bartok. The cd I have is called "Iva Bittova"....and features solo violin with Iva singing. In concert she wears masquerade masks, very out there....but her music is CAPTIVATING!!! (she was featured in "Strings Magazine" a few years back. You gotta "Czech" her out.

May 4, 2010 at 09:39 AM ·

Here's a few non-classical violinists I have been enjoying:-

Adam Baldych - great young Polish jazz fusion player. He has a true post Lockwood approach. Very guitaristic.

Mark Feldman - top established US contemporary jazzer, plays with John Zorn amongst many others.

Mat Maneri - very interesting electric viola player.

You can find them all on YOutube


May 4, 2010 at 01:18 PM ·

 Check out early L.Shankar - Shakti, 'Natural Elements' has some of the finest violin playing you will hear. It's a fusion of jazz and Indian music.

Nikos Hatzopaulos (sp?) Greek violin

Roby Lakatos - Gypsy



May 4, 2010 at 01:57 PM · Diana Yukawa

May 4, 2010 at 02:51 PM ·

Oh maaan, just look at all this music I've never heard. I'm goin' nuts here! I admit it, I'm stuck in the 70's.

But what I'd like to know is where does one find the time to both practice and listen and possibly eat?

May 4, 2010 at 02:54 PM ·

 Yo-Yo Ma, Appalachia Waltz, Appalachian Journey. Features Edgar Meyer and Mark O'Connor (and Elaine, Alison Krauss shows up in the "Simple Gifts" number) and it's all wonderful.

Actually Yo-Yo Ma has done tons of music collaboration with other non-classical musicians. His "Classic Yo-Yo" CD has a great mix of classic and other. He's one exemplary musician.

Kronos Quartet also does lots of fun non-classical stuff.

May 7, 2010 at 12:17 PM ·

Diana Yukawa is by far the most revolutionary. Sadly her new contemporary album "The Butterfly Effect" is only being sold in Japan through Sony.

There's a rumour that she is recording more music for a UK, Europe and US release??? Very exciting and beautiful tallent...

Violinist Diana Yukawa's website

Listen to the Modern Violinist

May 7, 2010 at 12:39 PM ·

Dom, what do you mean by "revolutionary"?


May 7, 2010 at 12:59 PM ·

I mean a new sound for the violin. She wrote 11 of the 14 tracks on her album and its stuff i havent heard before...

May 7, 2010 at 01:24 PM ·

Thanks for explaining "revolutionary" to us. For a minute or two I thought it was to do with "unwinds", as on her website it says that she often unwinds with a little (and sometimes a lot of) retail therapy.

May 7, 2010 at 01:27 PM ·

ha - so it does. Very funny.

October 4, 2012 at 03:01 AM · Lindsey Stirling. She plays over electronic music.

October 4, 2012 at 09:28 AM · Gundula Gruen, a classically and also jazz trained, virtuoso violinist, focuses on playing Eastern European and Balkan music with a real gypsy spirit both in her quintet, Tatchodrom and her 45 piece London Gypsy Orchestra. Listen to this amazing vibrant and enthusiastic performer on and also visit London Gypsy Orchestra on youtube.

October 4, 2012 at 03:07 PM ·

Joe Venuti & Tony Romano are classic

Jean Carignan

I like these two, they created their own styles.

October 4, 2012 at 04:38 PM · Stephane Grappelli's Jazz Violin. He had a very long career and recorded a great deal, from the Hot Club of France, Yehudi Menuhin, his own groups and many jazz musicians. Two of my favorite recordings

are " Shades of Django" with the Diz Disley Trio

and " The Reunion" with the George Shearing Trio.

October 4, 2012 at 06:26 PM · Jean-Luc Ponty has appeared on many other artists' albums as well as recording a lot of interesting material of his own.

The first non-classical violin that really grabbed my attention was played by David LaFlamme in the group "It's a Beautiful Day" around 1970. If you get the chance, check out "Don and Dewey" from the album "Marrying Maiden" - it's a hard-driving piece that's put together beautifully.

August 23, 2013 at 10:52 PM · Lindsey Stirling!

August 23, 2013 at 11:19 PM ·

August 23, 2013 at 11:37 PM · The barriers are indeed being broken down.

The first classical violinist that I can think of who crossed the line was Menuhin who made several recordings with Grappelli. He had to have all his parts written out and even so he didn't really swing. Nevertheless he broke the ice and made it more respectable for the rest of us.

Yo Yo Ma also recorded with Grappelli and Perlman recorded some jazz with Previn.

Meanwhile Mark O'Connor was playing fiddle music with a technical mastery which any classical violinist could admire, and composing chamber music which he continues to perform with top classical artists such as Yo Yo Ma and Ani Kavafian.

The Kronos Quartet created a whole new paradigm, performing Bartok alongside of music by Jimi Hendrix and Bob Dylan, and establishing new rules for concert dress and etiquette.

Today Rachel Barton Pine plays on a six string Viper when she performs with the heavy metal band, Earthen Grave. She also plays and teaches Scottish fiddling. Zach De Pue divides his time between playing as concertmaster of the Indianapolis Symphony and his string trio, Time for Three, which plays an eclectic mix of ABC styles (Anything But Classical). Perlman has recorded a Klezmer album. Gidon Kremer has devoted himself for many years to the music of Piazzolla.

Times are a'changin!

August 24, 2013 at 10:55 AM · All of the above. And let's not leave out the magnificent Natalie MacMaster, one of the greatest traditional Cape Breton fiddlers.

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