Fiddle-L Anthology 1999

A Tour 'Round The World Of Fiddling

Performer Bio


Zack Kline, Boulder, Colorado (

Zack was born June 15, 1980 in Stanford, California. He just finished high school as a home-schooled student and is also a self-employed musician. Next year he will study music at Vanderbilt's Blair School of Music. His studies will be mainly classical in focus, but he will also study with Mark O'Connor.


Zack's sister also plays the violin, "but, unlike me, doesn't want to be a violinist". Zack began playing about 10 years ago, while living in Davis, California. He started lessons with Diane Wagstaff, a Suzuki teacher who also loved fiddling. Zack has also learned by participating in jam sessions and having conversations about music, etc. He went to Mark O'Connor's Fiddle Camp last October "and loved it! What an inspiration for everyone involved!". He learned his first fiddle tune from Diane Wagstaff ("probably Boil the Cabbage"). Zack has different favorite fiddlers, depending on style. "Mark O'Connor would be first for me for breadth of sound and amazing technique and improvisation."


Zack especially enjoys playing airs, jigs, and concertos in addition to other types of fiddle tunes. He plays in church, mostly classical pieces. He has played with local bands, The Flood Plain Gang, and Runaway Truck Ramp, and has also sat in with Charles Sawtelle and members of Leftover Salmon.


Though he has played in a few and also won a few contests, Zack comments: "I don't like the straight and strict contest mentality. I like to be able to fly free into the realms of wild improvisation and free expression." Zack's biggest win was the Rocky Grass Bluegrass Festival (Colorado) fiddle contest, in which he won a Zeta electric violin.


Zack describes his style as "usually an amalgamation of bluegrass, jazz, Cajun, old-time, Celtic with classical technique thrown in." He names Mark O'Connor as an influence in developing that style. Bluegrass is a dominating style where Zack lives.


E. Martin of Sachsen, Germany made the violin Zack plays. He calls it "a darker instrument, with a sound rich and sweet, like chocolate :)" He uses a Kun shoulder rest and usually prefers Dominant strings. His bow is a Hoyer and he plans to get a carbon graphite Berg bow.


"Love of the music and the good times it helps create."


Zack recorded a "D Minor Medley" (Anniversary Waltz (Traditional), Gammel Reinlander (Traditional), Three Days and Three Nights (Traditional), Fiztorzo (David Grisman). He learned the waltz from Chris Doering (Daring now). A local Scandinavian fiddler, Jeff Barton, taught Zack Gammel Reinlander, a Norwegian tune. Three Days and Three Nights came from Fiddler Magazine. "I recorded this at the beginning of December with help from a friend with lots of cool equipment. I have already improved a lot, which is a good thing, but I wish the tape were even better. My dad, David Kline, played guitar for the Dm Medley. We play a lot of concerts in the living room for the rest of the family, or sometimes much to the annoyance of the rest of the family."