Jeremy Kittel is an American fiddler, violinist, and composer. Fluent in multiple musical genres, his original music draws from traditional roots, jazz, Celtic, Classical, electronic, and more.
Kittel performs with his own band or trio, as a duo, and as a soloist with orchestras. In addition to his own projects, he has composed and arranged for such artists as Abigail Washburn, Aoife O’Donovan, My Morning Jacket, Camera Obscura, Jars of Clay, Yo Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, Laura Veirs, 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 and Mike Marshall.
His most recent solo recording, Chasing Sparks (Compass), features original compositions with a stellar cast of musicians, including special guests Meyer, Thile, and Marshall. He is currently working on his fifth solo album. Kittel previewed some of his new compositions on the Oct 10, 2015 broadcast of “A Prairie Home Companion,” (guest-hosted by I’m With Her).
In 2015, Kittel co-composed “Bull Frogs Croon,” a new orchestral work featuring himself and Aoife O’Donovan as soloists. This adds to a growing body of original compositions and arrangements for orchestra, which can be heard in concerts presented around North America. He has performed as soloist with the Detroit Symphony, Louisville Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic, Britt Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony, and more.
Committed to the belief that music and the arts are central to the human experience, he is a passionate clinician and educator. He has taught at such programs 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, and Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddling School.
Kittel has a master’s degree in jazz performance from the Manhattan School of Music, and received the 2010 Emerging Artist Award from his alma mater, the University of Michigan. He has received numerous other awards over the years, including the US National Scottish Fiddle Championship, six Detroit Music Awards and two ASTA Alternative Style awards. He was also the first recipient of the Daniel Pearl Memorial Violin.
“…A super, super musical force as a Violinist, Fiddler, Composer, and Improviser. He has a well-earned reputation as one of the most exceptional violinists and fiddlers of his generation, with influences as diverse as jazz, Scottish and Irish fiddle, bluegrass, classical music, and more.” -Brian O’Donovan, WGBH Radio
“Without exaggeration, Jeremy Kittel is one of the great violinists and creative musicians of his generation. His technical virtuosity and sonic sensitivity are extraordinary, and his work both as a composer and performer are inspired. Jeremy is the kind of musician that you want to work with every day – his stylistic versatility, creative openness, and genuine musicianship are very special.” -Teddy Abrams, Louisville Orchestra
“Jeremy Kittel is at the Vanguard of a whole new movement in fiddle music. In times past, fiddlers stayed within their assigned genres and didn’t manage to cross over very effectively. Jeremy is a new kind of hybrid musician that is equally versed and comfortable in many genres. He has a tremendous capacity to seamlessly blend inventive ideas and techniques from other genres into Irish and Scottish tunes. He does this with stunning virtuosity.” -Martin Hayes, legendary fiddler / National Entertainment Award winner (Ireland)