REDFIELD — An enthusiastic welcome will await internationally known fiddler and North American Hall of Fame inductee Patti Kusturok, who will be the guest artist at the 47th annual Fiddlers Picnic Festival, July 26-28 at the North American Fiddlers Hall of Fame and Museum, 1121 Comins Road, Redfield, New York.
Accompanying Kusturok on her flight from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, will be Jeremy Rusu, her keyboard and accordion player, whom she jokingly calls her “secret weapon.”
The Fiddlers Picnic Festival is made possible in part through a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency, with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
Kusturok’s joy in and dedication to teaching and promoting fiddling go without saying. Local fiddlers have long been learning from Kusturok as she teaches a new fiddle tune every day on her YouTube channel, “365 Days a Year with Patti Kusturok.” Few know that she also teaches private students at home, teaches an entire school on a Hutterite colony once a week and teaches in Northern Manitoba for the Frontier School Division, which has 2,400 students playing the fiddle across the province.
“Fiddling has been my life since I started playing at the age of four,” Kusturok recounts. “I started with the Suzuki method, but my home was filled with the sounds of the great fiddlers my parents constantly listened to and that’s what I really wanted to play. At that time, the fiddling style wasn’t encouraged in the Suzuki program, so my parents decided to find me a teacher that taught both classical and fiddling.”
Kusturok went through the classical exams by the Western Board of Music, Western Canada’s equivalent to the Royal Conservatory of Music, she relates. It was when she received a failing mark for her grade eight exam with the comment, “You play too much like a fiddler” that it made her decide she’d had enough of the classical exam route and she dedicated her life to fiddling.
Kusturok said she is “thrilled” to be coming to play for central and northern New Yorkers and NYSOTFA organizers are thrilled that she is coming. They hope a large central New York crowd will join Kusturok’s Canadian friends and fans who plan to travel here to hear her. Discounted pre-sale festival tickets can be ordered by mailing a check for the number of tickets desired to: NYSOTFA Pre-Sale Tickets, PO Box 24, Redfield, New York 13437.
A Fiddlers’ Picnic Festival schedule of events is listed below. Parking is free and all activities are rain or shine.
Campsites adjacent to the grounds may be reserved by calling the Cedar Pine Restaurant at 315-599-7372. Additional accommodations are listed at www.nysotfa.com.
Facilities are handicapped accessible and include a covered, enclosable, pavilion, a well equipped children’s playground and an adjoining patio with umbrella tables where patrons may watch and listen to the show while enjoying meals from the Fiddlers’ Kitchen.
The Fiddlers’ Hall of Fame and Museum is open all weekend and invites patrons to check out its newly added display space and digitized historic fiddle recordings.
2019 Fiddlers Picnic Festival schedule
July 26: 12:30-5 p.m., Fiddle Workshops with Kusturok, Bill Gregg and Chad Miller; discounted for members; 7 p.m., free jam, all are welcome.
July 27: NYSOTFA annual meeting, coffee at 9 a.m.; free workshops at 11 a.m., never-ever fiddle lesson at the museum; advanced workshop with Kusturok at the pavilion; gate opens at noon; Kusturok in concert from 12:30-1:30 p.m.; chapter performances at 1:30 p.m., followed by open mic; Kusturok in concert from 4:30-5:30 p.m.; fiddle jam at 7:30 p.m.
July 28: Free coffee and donuts at 9 a.m.; Gospel hour at 10 a.m.; gate opens at noon; Kusturok in concert from noon to 1 p .m.; open mic from 1-2:30 p.m.; Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony from 2:30-4 p.m.; Kusturok in concert from 4-5 p.m.
Upcoming free concerts, held from 2-5 p.m. Sundays at the North American Fiddlers’ Hall of Fame and Museum:
August 4: Steve Jacobi of Equinunk, Pennsylvania;
August 12: Kids’ Kamp Weekend – Caleb Brazie & Sterling Brownell, instructors