Liz Carroll: Three Reels and an Air
Irish American fiddler Liz Carroll from Chicago, Illinois, is renowned as both a virtuosic musician and a gifted composer. A junior and senior All-Ireland Fiddle Champion (an honor she won at the young age of eighteen), she went on to become the first Irish American musician nominated for a GRAMMY and the first American-born composer to be honored with the Cumadóir TG4, Ireland’s most significant music prize. In 1994 she was awarded a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts in recognition of her profound influence on Irish music in America.
At the 2016 Ralph Rinzler Memorial Concert, Liz Carroll’s mastery was on full display. Joined by Jake Charron on guitar, she played three original reels—“Barbra Streisand’s Trip to Saginaw,” “Michael Connell’s,” and “Save the Ham”—followed by a beautiful slow air, “The Island of Woods,” inspired by an old name for Ireland going back to the days when the island was covered by forests.
Videography: W.N. McNair, Shaun Weber, John Wetmore, David Caleb
Editing: Helen Lehrer
Marjorie Hunt is a curator at the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage and was a co-coordinator of the 2016 Ralph Rinzler Memorial Concert.