The Fiddler in Question:
Liz Carroll


Topic: Irish Fiddle

Recording Now Available. See Details Below!

Liz Carroll is an Irish fiddler, composer, and recording artist. She is the first Irish-American musician to be nominated for a Grammy, and the first American-born composer honored with the Cumadóir TG4, Ireland’s most significant traditional music prize. She has toured as a solo artist and with The Green Fields of America, the group Trian, as the duo Liz Carroll & John Doyle, String Sisters, and now as a duo with guitarist and pianist Jake Charron. Featured on fourteen albums and appearing on many more, her duet album with Jake Charron, Half Day Road, was released in February of 2019.

She will soon publish a new book of recent compositions following the sold-out success of Collected - Original Irish Tunes in 2010.

Liz was born in Chicago, Illinois, of Irish parents, and is proud that she was recently presented with a 2019 Artist Fellowship Award by the State of Illinois in Ethnic and Folk Arts.

Liz began her musical studies at Visitation Grade School on Chicago's Southside. She began violin lessons when the piano her parents had rented couldn't make it to the second floor of the home on Garfield Boulevard. As the truck pulled away, and over Liz's tears, her parents agreed that Liz should take up the fiddle.

Liz's first teacher was Sister Francine, who would often admonish Liz after a lesson, "Now, who worked harder, me or you?" Actually, Sister Francine had an inspiring love for music, and recognized a kindred spirit in Liz.

When Sister Francine transferred, Liz continued classical training with Herbert Silberstein, a great violinist and conductor in the Chicago area. But it was in the latter stages of her time in grade school that Liz recognized that she'd had enough of the classics, and told her parents "I don't want you to waste your money."

From then on, Liz learned at the literal feet of the great Chicago traditional musicians, especially those of the Chicago Irish Musicians Association. Phil Durkin, for instance, formally taught Liz fiddle for about a year's time just before she became a teenager. From then on, Liz learned the tunes, and tested her own compositions, at the local seisúns held at local pubs, as well as in the basement of Old St. Patrick's Church in Chicago's West Loop. The list of these musicians is exhaustive, but Liz's key influences include the fiddler Johnny McGreevy, piper Joe Shannon, the Galway accordion player Joe Cooley, and flautists Seamus Cooley and Kevin Henry.

Liz also has been influenced by those who grew up alongside her in the music, including Jimmy Keane, Marty Fahey, Johnny Harling, and Michael Flatley, among many others who either grew up in Chicago or who came to the city and found a nurturing community of musicians.

Details of Purchase: 

  • Did you miss this session?  Don't fret!  If you purchase a ticket, you will receive a private link to the recording of the workshop that you can watch and rewatch at your leisure, regardless of if you attended or not.
  • We will strive to present a program that will ensure everyone will walk away with something they didn't know before.  All levels of fiddlers (and even non-fiddlers) are encouraged to attend, but if you have questions about whether these workshops are for you, please reach out.
  • If you wish to attend or receive recordings of all 7 workshops, you can buy that ticket here
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