Get in the Swing of Chanukah with Colorado’s Fiddling Sensation Katie Glassman

What’s the difference between a Chanukah concert and a concert on Chanukah? The first is a concert featuring Chanukah music. The second brings people together to celebrate Chanukah with songs other than “Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel.”

The JCC is going the second route with its rebranding of ACE’s popular Klezmania, traditionally held on Christmas Eve. This year, the Jewish and Christian winter holidays overlap, and the first night of Chanukah is December 22.

That night, lights will blaze and toes will tap as Katie Glassman and Snapshot take the stage in Levin Hall for a concert of world class fiddling – from klezmer to bluegrass and back through western swing. There will be a menorah lighting and a build-your-own donut bar. REGISTER HERE

“I’m thrilled for Katie Glassman and Snapshot to be featured at this year’s Concert on Chanukah at the Boulder J,” says concert producer Sheldon Sands. “I’ve gotten to know Katie over the years through our common participation in Hal Aqua’s popular “Klez Fest” and “Jews Do” concerts in Denver.  She’s an engaging performer, as comfortable playing jazz and klezmer as she is western swing, and on top of all this, a most sweet woman. Her band Snapshot is world class, comprised of well-known musicians Eric Moon (piano, accordion), Greg Schochet (guitar), and Charles Mertens (upright bass).  It’s high time for the Boulder Jewish community to discover the magic of this wonderful Boulderite.”

A local musician with a national reputation, Katie Glassman’s love affair with the fiddle began at the tender age of nine.

Inspired by old-time Texas music, she began playing by ear, and was soon winning numerous honors throughout the West. In 1998, she captured the National Junior Fiddle Championship in Weiser, Idaho, and two years later the National Young Adult Fiddle Championship.

She is a three-time top five finalist in the National Grand Champion Division and in 2011, she won the National Western Stock Show Championship. 2013 was Katie’s biggest year yet for competing, as she took top honors in two of the country’s most prestigious contests: Walnut Valley, in Winfield, Kansas, and Rockygrass in Lyons, CO.

But Katie is no one-trick pony when it comes to fiddling. She studied classical and jazz violin at the University of Colorado in Boulder, graduating with a BA in music performance and a certificate in jazz studies. In 2007 she became only the second American to attend the Centre Musique Didier Lockwood in France, the world’s foremost jazz violin school.

While success in the contest arena is a testament to Katie’s lifelong dedication to her instrument, her singing and songwriting are increasingly taking center stage. 2011 saw the release of Snapshot, her first album of all original material. Katie has since continued to hone her creative process with the same focus and commitment to excellence that she brings to her fiddling. In 2014 she was awarded a prestigious Ucross Residency, where she spent a week in rural Wyoming writing. Her songs explore modern emotional landscapes with sensitivity and wit while still drawing from the deep well of traditional American styles.

Katie Glassman and Snapshot’s most recent release is 2014’s Dream a Little Dream, which features close collaboration and co-writing with her fine band. They have toured extensively in support of the record and have garnered a national following for their marriage of old-time Western music with contemporary songwriting and musicianship.

Oh, and she just might play a swinging version of “Dreidel” on the violin….

About Kathryn Bernheimer

Kathryn has spent her professional life writing about, teaching, and presenting the arts. Founding Director of the Boulder Jewish Film Festival, Kathryn was Director of Menorah and ACE at the Boulder JCC from 2003 through August, 2019. The former film and theater critic for the Boulder Daily Camera, Kathryn is the author of "The Fifty Greatest Jewish Movies" and "The Fifty Funniest Films of All Time."

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