Liz Carroll, an Irish-American fiddler, is considered to be one of the best fiddlers by Irish and Americans alike. Performing solo or in a duo, she has always satisfied concertgoers. Students may never get to see a performer of this caliber somewhere so close to home, so the opportunity is golden.
She is scheduled as part of the lineup in the International Performing Arts Series, replacing the originally scheduled Finnish duo Lepisto and Lehti. Tickets purchased for the Lepisto and Lehti show will get you in to see Carroll perform.
Carroll is the third performer in the series, following musical groups from New Orleans and Israel. These performances are just part of the goal of the International Performing Arts Series: exposing people to music they wouldn’t otherwise listen to.
“The opportunity to see someone of this quality is a rare thing,” said Dan Truckey, Director of the Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center. “The concert series is about bringing some of the best performers in the world to Marquette to play on campus, while at the same time exposing people to different cultures and different musical genres,” Truckey said.
Carroll, originally from Chicago, began fiddling at a young age. She won the All-Ireland under 18 Fiddle Championship in 1974 and the All-Ireland Senior Fiddle Championship the following year. Her first recording was in 1978 of a song called “Kiss Me, Kate,” followed by her first solo album the next year.
Carroll now composes and records Irish traditional music of her own. She recently released a book of 200 compositions, both recorded and unrecorded, titled “Collected: Original Irish Tunes.”
“Liz can take a tune that’s been around for a hundred or more years, analyze every note of that tune and work with it to get everything to sound just right,” said Bob Arthur, a fiddler from Iron Mountain. “Liz makes difficult techniques seem effortless,” Arthur said.
Carroll is humble in her fame, though she is well-known around the world, said Arthur.
“She remains down to earth despite her stellar reputation around the world,” Arthur said. “Many young fiddlers have taken lessons from her and become excellent as a result.”
Arthur was Carroll’s student while she was teaching at Irishfest Summer School in Milwaukee. “Liz is an artist in every sense of the word, creative and passionate about what she does,” Arthur said.
Carroll is a role model for young fiddlers everywhere, sharing her knowledge and inspiring with it, Arthur said.
“Liz has always been very friendly, positive, happy, (and) encouraging to students,” said Arthur. “She always has something good to say about their fiddling.”
Carroll is scheduled to play in 102 Jamrich on Nov. 5 at 7:30 p.m. Concert tickets will be $5 for students in advance, and $6 at the door. NMU faculty/staff and seniors (60+) will be charged $13 in advance, and $15 at the door. The general public will have to pay $18 in advance and $20 at the door. Tickets are on sale at all NMU EZ Ticket outlets.