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Local musicians get some schooling in swing

Posted at 4:41 PM, Feb 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-24 18:52:33-05

Some Acadiana fiddlers and guitarists learned some tricks and tips for swing and jazz today at Sola Violins in downtown Lafayette.

The store hosted a workshop with violinist Paul Anastasio and guitarist/vocalist Albanie Falletta.

“This is a great opportunity for people to enhance their skills in playing their instruments,” says Anya Burgess, owner of Sola Violins. “It keeps people inspired, and we just love hosting workshops here.”

Burgess said she’s mostly hosted violin workshops, so it was great to have guitarists in her shop today.

“It’s really fun environment for learning music, a small group with personal teaching and instruction,” she said. “It’s a good time. And we just love having people come into the store for these workshops.”

Anastasio offered simple tips for jazzing up melodies on the violin, and Falletta offered instruction in swing guitar rhythm and melody playing.

According to his website, Anastasio began studying the violin at age nine. He was classically trained, but also explored pop and folk music, and was performing as part of a bluegrass band and competing in fiddle contests while still in his teens. He has played with jazz and country performers, including Joe Venuti and Merle Haggard. Today he is considered not only a fine performer but a respected popular music historian as well, as he has spent almost fifty years seriously studying the role of the violin in American popular music.

According to her website, Albanie is a native of Monroe who was exposed early to the local music of Louisiana: the sounds of Cajun, Zydeco, blues and gospel musics at festivals and backyard parties. She now lives in New Orleans, where she performs solo and with traditional jazz and swing ensembles. Well known in the Austin music scene from her years performing there, s he now performs mainly in and around the crescent city, and tours as a solo act, performing New Orleans traditional tunes, acoustic blues, ragtime, and original songs.