A Grammy nominee, designated Master Folk Artist in Maryland and Arizona, recipient of two Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Awards, and winner of Washington Area Music Awards “Best Traditional Folk Instrumentalist,” Andrea Hoag is a highly-respected performer of Swedish folk fiddling and of a broad variety of fiddle styles. Her music has been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered and Performance Today, at the Kennedy Center and Library of Congress, and at numerous venues around the U.S. Known for her versatility and imagination, Andrea’s recordings range from the Grammy-nominated Hambo in the Snow to the Celtic Christmas album Cold Frosty Morning at West River. The first American to graduate from the Folk Violin Pedagogy program at Malungs Folkhögskola (Sweden), Andrea also studied with elder tradition-bearers Pekkos Gustaf and Nils Agenmark. She was a founding member of the cross-cultural Dovetail Ensemble.
A Grammy nominee, designated Master Folk Artist in Maryland and Arizona, recipient of two Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Awards, and winner of Washington Area Music Awards “Best Traditional Folk Instrumentalist,” Andrea Hoag is a highly-respected performer of Swedish folk fiddling and of a broad variety of fiddle styles. Her music has been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered and Performance Today, at the Kennedy Center and Library of Congress, and at numerous venues around the U.S. and in Sweden. With a particular interest in in-depth musical conversations, Andrea has collaborated across genres with many respected artists, from pianist Jacqueline Schwab to blues master Phil Wiggins.
Andrea has devoted herself to traditional fiddling for 50 years. Immersing herself first in southern Appalachian music and culture in the early 1980s, she was overtaken by a love of Swedish fiddling’s unusual scales and rhythms. Awarded a fellowship from the Skandia Music Foundation, she studied at Sweden’s respected Malungs Folkhögskola, earning the certificate in Folk Violin Pedagogy in 1984. She also studied in-depth with elder tradition-bearers Pekkos Gustaf and Nils Agenmark, masters of the complex, demanding Bingsjö fiddling dialect.
Adventurousness and curiosity are hallmarks of Andrea’s career: she’s delved into and performed musical styles from Irish to Klezmer, from country rock to swing. A natural on the concert stage, she also revels in playing for dance. Throughout the 80s and 90s, she toured with bands known for their improvisation and rich arrangements, including Footloose and Future Geezers. Since 2000, Andrea has focused on collaborations and studio work with a variety of performers, including recording the Grammy-nominated album Hambo in the Snow with Hardanger-fiddle virtuoso Loretta Kelley and innovative bassist Charlie Pilzer; two recordings with The Berntsons, a tradition-bearing family from Wisconsin; a CD/DVD with the cross-cultural Dovetail Ensemble; and a Celtic Christmas recording with dulcimist Maggie Sansone, Irish singer Patrick Egan, and Scottish harpist Sharon Knowles. Her compositions have been recorded by artists from Alaska to The Netherlands. Now a resident of the Southwest, Andrea is turning much of her attention to her Swedish-music roots, working on a book and two recording projects as well as intensive work with an apprentice. She continues to work with East Coast collaborators while forging new musical connections.
A devoted educator/coach, Andrea has taught in many settings (including The Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, Ashokan Fiddle & Dance Weeks, Swannanoa Gathering, Värmland Folk Music School, and Fiddle Hell) with students from beginner to professional level. Her students have won contests, earned scholarships, moved into new ways of hearing, found community, marked the magic moments when the tune plays itself and you go along for the ride, become teachers themselves, played their Dad’s favorite tune for him, enjoyed tunes on porches of an evening, grown comfortable in jam sessions…and had a grand time along the way.