Narrative Biography

Darol Anger has spent the last 30 years opening connections between violin styles of the world. Exceptional among modern fiddlers for his versatility and depth, his style and his rhythmic innovations have changed fiddling all over the globe. Darol's career began in 1975 with the legendary David Grisman Quintet featuring guitarist Tony Rice. With these 2 players as Darol's first great musical mentors, the DGQ established the highest-ever standards of performance for a string band up till then. In the Quintet, Darol worked with musical giants such as Stephane Grappelli, Vassar Clements, Bela Fleck, Jerry Douglas, Dr. Billy Taylor, and Mark O'Connor, and met long-time musical partners multi-string wizard Mike Marshall, pianist/vocalist Barbara Higbie, and composer/violinist David Balakrishnan.

After leaving the DGQ, he recorded a string of successful albums for Windham Hill with Marshall, Higbie, and The Montreux Band, working closely with other musical luminaries such as innovative guitarist Michael Hedges, bassist Michael Manring, and steel pan genius Andy Narell.

With composer/violinist David Balakrishnan he founded the Turtle Island String Quartet. Turtle Island blazed a new frontier for the venerable string quartet form, teaching and performing their original music, mind-boggling jazz arangements, and other contemporary music all over the world while teaching their breakthrough style and techniques along the way.

After 11 years with Turtle Island, Darol returned to new acoustic and world string band music, often working with other great fiddlers of the day, forming the bands Psychograss (with Marshall, banjo giant Tony Trischka, bluegrass guitar hero David Grier , and grammy-winning bassist Todd Phillips) the Grammy-nominated Fiddlers 4 (with reknowned cajun fiddler Michael Doucet, Appalachian revivalist Bruce Molsky, and cello phenomenon Rushad Eggleston), Newgrange (with grammy winner Tim O'Brien and Compass Records founder/banjo whiz Alison Brown), the 4 Generations Of Jazz Violin (with jazz violin giants Regina Carter, Johnny Frigo, Joe Kennedy Jr., Matt Glaser and others), and his much-loved long-running collaboration, theAnger-Marshall Duo. His latest collaboration has been with the phenomenally popular early music group the Anonymous 4. These collaborations have yielded a string of important recordings– spanning over 30 years– which define, develop and encompass an entire genre of music.

His group, The Republic Of Strings, is another important step in this process, passing on the knowledge of his mentors' generation to a new generation of brilliant string musicians, with respected guitar innovator Scott Nygaard and a stream of amazing young talent including Brittany Haas, Rushad Eggleston, Jeremy Kittel, Gabe Witcher, Sara Watkins, Tristan Clarridge, Mike Block, Tashina Clarridge, Scott Law, Paul Kowert, and more, continuing in the musical tradition of bandleaders such as Bill Monroe, Miles Davis, Art Blakey, and David Grisman.

An award-winning composer, Anger is also committed to string education and helped create the String Resource Board for the International Jazz Educators Association. He is a contributing editor with Strings Magazine, teaches at Mark O'Connor's Fiddle Camp, and continues to discover and expose new string talent.

He moved to the east coast in 2009 and began a crash course in fiddle building, culminating in two 5-string violins with more on the way. He has become a champion of a new phenomenon: the acoustic 5-string fiddle, which he plays exclusively. In 2010, he became an Associate Professor at the Berklee School Of Music. He also recently began an ambitious online Fiddle School at
He has recently begun an exploration into producing, engineering, and writing in the singer-songwriter genre. The vehicle for this is his festival band, Darol ANger And The Furies, featuring singer Emy Phelps, and numerous luminaries such as harpist-composer Maeve Gilchrist, mandoolinist Sharon Gilchrist, cellist Tristan Clarridge, and other young stars drawn from the exploding New England acoustic music scene.
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updated: 6 years ago