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Deborah Greenblatt

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Deborah Greenblatt has been teaching, performing, composing, recording, and writing professionally since 1971. She received her degree in violin performance from Boston University School of Fine Arts.

Deborah was the first woman to win the Nebraska State Fiddling Championship as well as the Mid-America Fiddle Championship. She was inducted into the Mid-America Old-Time Fiddler’s Hall of Fame and is a past President of the Nebraska American String Teachers Association.

Deborah sings and plays a wide variety of styles of music from various cultures on fiddle, violin, viola, recorders, guitar, banjo, mandolin, hammered dulcimer, baritone ukulele, mountain dulcimer and nyckelharpa.


“James Whitcomb Riley
the Fiddling Children’s Poet”

Using Riley’s own words, Deborah Greenblatt has woven together a whimsical glimpse into the world of this famous Hoosier poet. This show features musical settings of Riley’s poems composed by Greenblatt, as well as portions of Riley’s lectures and memories.

“In my dreamy way I did a little of a number of things fairly well --
sang, played the guitar and violin, acted, painted signs and wrote poetry.”

He was warned against the womern--
She was warned against the man.--
And ef that won’t make a weddin’,
W’y, they’s nothin’ else that can!”

“The poet of the people should wear overalls.”

“The bobolink plays first fiddle all the time.”


Poems in this show include: “When the Frost is on the Punkin”, “Little Orphan Annie”, “Uncle Sidney’s Logic”, “Give Me the Baby”, “My Fiddle”, “The Raggedy Man”, “At Aunty’s House”, etc. (30-60 min.)


Also available through the
Humanities Nebraska’s Speakers Bureau


“Fiddle Fables”

With the help of her fabulous five-string fiddle Deborah Greenblatt explores some of the trials, tribulations, and lessons that fiddlers often have in common. There is advice for the beginner (“It Starts With Your Feet”), advice for the fiddler’s families (“Have Mercy”), for the growing fiddler (“Shopping For a Fiddle Blues”), for the brave fiddler (“I’m Gonna Fiddle In a Contest”), as well as the fiddler who plays the viola (“Out of Fiddle, Out of My Mind”). There are also inspiring stories of real-life fiddlers (“Cactus Pete”), teachers (“Alice Johnson’s Jig”), and students (“Mary Ann the Fiddler”). (45-60 min.)


“Tales of Avoca”

Deborah Greenblatt, shares some of the repeatable stories, in song, verse, and prose, about living in the Old Schoolhouse in this charming Cass County village. Stories include “The Old Gym Floor.” “When the Superintendent Wasn’t In,” “Avoca Polka,” Pencils Down the Floor.” (30-60 min.)


“Fiddle Styles”

This Concert/Lecture explores the great folk traditions of the fiddle, including Irish, Cajun, Klezmer, American, original tunes, etc. Techniques include the famous double shuffle, pizzicato, twin and triple fiddling, cross-tuning, as well as singing, playing, and dancing at the same time! (30-60 min.)


Residencies

Debby is also available through the Nebraska Arts Council’s Artist-in-the-Schools/Communities Residency Program as a master artist.


Check out Fiddler Magazine’s article on Deborah.


Debby

Quotes...

“I wanted to thank you for your superb role in the evening! Your music added a wonderful touch to the event, and was even more welcome given that things were running a bit behind schedule... But who could be grumpy with such beautiful music in the air?”
...Executive Director, Humanities Nebraska

“Debby, you were perfect, on time, on your game, and responsive to our audience without being intrusive. Will surely keep you in mind for our next event...”
...Mother of the groom, Plattsmouth, NE

“How can you be so funny and keep a straight face? I think you are awesome. I liked it when you played the violin.”
..Boy Student, McCook, NE

“You were fabulous at the Family Night Dinner. I loved the selection of music you played and your talent is astounding!”
...Director of Activities, Rose Blumkin Jewish Home, Omaha

“You play so beautifully, and we were all very happy with the lovely service.”
...Grandmother of the bride, Omaha, NE

“A fascinating mix of traditional and new folk! So much fun! Very interesting to hear Riley’s story through song and poetry.”
...Member of Lincoln Music Teachers Associatioin

“She really brought the poetry to life in a musical, comical way. Great!”
...Fan, Fremont, Nebraska

“Incredible musician. She can play the fiddle extremely well.”
...Principal, Riley Elementary School, Lincoln, Nebraska

“She was a joy and an amazing talent.”
...Teacher, Zion Lutheran School, Kearney, NE

“Both audiences (kids and adults) enjoyed the program and the way she involved them in making the music was fun.”
...Librarian, Beatrice Public Library, Beatrice, NE

“One of the real pleasures in creating this new radio show for KIOS is knowing that you have given us permission to use your original music for our theme music...far and away the best... Your music really livens up the opening and closing of the show.”
...Lucy Duncan and Mary Heise,
Producers of “Storytelling Tapestry”

“Thank you for coming to us and the people of the Rose Blumkin Home with all those amazing instruments. My favorite instrument was the blobby viola because I play a regular one and it was pretty cool.”
...4th Grade Student, Friedel Academy, Omaha, Nebraska

Nyckelharpa

Fiddle Cat


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