Jeremy Kittel is an American violinist, fiddler, and composer. Fluent in multiple musical genres, he composes original music that draws from traditional roots, jazz, Celtic, Classical, electronic, and more.
Kittel performs with his group Kittel & Co., as a soloist with orchestras, and in collaborative and supporting roles with many of today’s leading artists. In demand as a composer and arranger, he has worked with Abigail Washburn and Bela Fleck, My Morning Jacket, Aoife O’Donovan, Camera Obscura, Jars of Clay, Yo Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, Laura Veirs, Sara Watkins, and the Grammy-winning Turtle Island Quartet (of which he was a member for five years). He has also recorded with artists such as Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile, Mark O’Connor, Fleet Foxes, and Mike Marshall.
Kittel & Co. ("Kid-dle and Koh”) inhabits the space between classical and acoustic roots, Celtic and bluegrass aesthetics, folk and jazz sensibilities, and has performed at venues such as Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Celtic Connections, and A Prairie Home Companion. The group released its debut album, Whorls, in 2018, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard bluegrass chart. The album features Kittel along with mandolin phenom Josh Pinkham (named “the future of the mandolin” by Mandolin Magazine) transcendent cellist Nathaniel Smith (Sarah Jarosz and Kacey Musgraves), guitarist Quinn Bachand (Ashley MacIsaac and Natalie MacMaster) and hammer-dulcimer wizard Simon Chrisman (acclaimed for bringing a new tonal flexibility to the instrument). Bluegrass Situation calls Whorls “a feat of new acoustic, string band-rooted chamber music…. whimsical, alluring, and magnificent,” while Earmilk says Whorls is “...a devastatingly beautiful album… a stunning melting pot of classical and folk music, featuring some of the greatest musicians in the genre.”
In 2015, Kittel collaborated with acclaimed singer-songwriter Aoife O’Donovan and orchestral maven Teddy Abrams to compose “Bull Frogs Croon,” a new symphony work featuring O’Donovan and Kittel as soloists. In 2016, Jeremy was commissioned by the Konzerthaus Berlin to compose a new piece for the centennial of Yehudi Menuhin’s birth; “A Compass in the Tempest” premiered that spring and featured celebrated violinists Daniel Hope, Roby Lakatos, L Subramaniam, Gilles Apap, Didier Lockwood, and O’Connor. Kittel’s newest orchestral piece draws from the deep well of multicultural American Revolutionary and Civil War music, and will be premiered with the Orlando Philharmonic.
Believing passionately that music and the arts are central to the human experience, Kittel enjoys teaching music through workshops and clinics at diverse programs such as Berklee College of Music, Belmont University, The New School, International Music Academy of Pilsen, Zurich University of the Arts, Mark O’Connor Strings Camps, the Swannanoa Gathering, Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddling School, and the University of Michigan.
Kittel has a master’s degree in jazz performance from the Manhattan School of Music and received the 2010 Emerging Artist Award from U of M (his alma mater). He is also the recipient of awards including the US National Scottish Fiddle Championship and six Detroit Music Awards, and has contributed to many Grammy-nominated recordings. He was also the first recipient of the Daniel Pearl Memorial Violin.
“One of the most exceptional violinists and fiddlers of his generation…” - WGBH
“[Kittel & Co.]... takes the string band tradition to marvelously rarefied levels of collective virtuosity…. thrillingly spontaneous.” - Times UK
"At the Vanguard of a whole new movement in fiddle music." - Martin Hayes
“The music Kittel is making now has all the precision and virtuosity of the best classical players, but the wonderfully devilish, explosive drive of the best stringbands." - HearthMusic
“Equally skilled in the worlds of jazz, classical, and Celtic fiddling… an exhilarating stage presence" - Strings Magazine
"Every project I have had the honor to work on with Jeremy, he has lifted the songs so far beyond what they were when they came to him…” - Tucker Martine, Flora Recording & Playback
“One of the great violinists and creative musicians of his generation." - Teddy Abrams, Louisville Orchestra