Kids who play soccer generally have a favorite soccer player, and kids who play fiddle should have some favorite fiddle players too.  Heros go a long way at motivating us to get better, so here are some of my heroes for you to check out. This is a very incomplete list and in no particular order, but it is a start. 

Natalie MacMaster: I had signed posters of her on my wall as a kid.   She is a world-renowned musician from Cape Breton who now often performs with her husband and numerous children who all step dance while playing fiddle.  Her children are also some of my musical heroes. 

Casey Driessen: He is an amazing multi-genre player who pushes boundaries of fiddling to new areas.  Lots of chopping and strange sounds, he does amazing things with a loop pedal, and he's worth checking out. 

Brittany Haas: You may know her from the well loved bluegrass band Crooked Still, her new band Hawktail, her regular appearances on NPR's Live From Here, or the numerous other projects she's a part of.  Her fiddle playing is absolutely divine. 

Jason Carter: He plays with the legendary Del McCoury band and just has that lovely high and lonesome sound.

Bronwyn Keith-Hines: I'd love her playing even if I hadn't known her as a kid.  We wen't to a number of fiddle programs together when we were young and now her band Mile 12 is winning all the awards and putting out some amazing music. 

Andrew and Noah VanNordstrand: Again, I'm lucky enough to have known them when we were all younger, and I love everything I've heard them do. In particular they are known for being amazing contra dance musicians. 

Lissa Schneckenburger: Her playing and songwriting are stunning.  

Liz Carroll: One of the best Irish American fiddle players

Martin Hayes:  I grew up on a tape of his playing that I think was a major reason I kept at it.  His playing is something special. 

Sara Watkins:  She was in Nickel Creek with Chris Thile and is an amazing fiddler and singer. 

Vassar Clements: There is simply no way to begin talking about Vassar and his playing. 

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Annika Amstutz