Alex Hargreaves gets Berklee scholarship

Virtuosic young fiddler Alex Hargreaves has been named the recipient of the Jimmy Lyons Scholarship at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. This is a competitive award, named in honor of the founder of the Monterey Jazz Festival, and given primarily to exceptional musicians from California.

At age 18, Alex has already made waves in a variety of musical spheres, having performed and recorded with Darol Anger’s Republic Of Strings, Sarah Jarosz, David Grisman and Mike Marshall. He won the Grand Champion division at Weiser at age 15, and was awarded the Daniel Pearl violin when he was 13.

His solo recorded debut was in February of 2010 with the release of Prelude, which featured other scary young monsters like Paul Kowert, Noam Pikelny, and Grant Gordy, along with veritable old timers like Béla Fleck and Mike Marshall.

Gordy bragged heavily on Alex in an interview we did when his fine CD, Grant Gordy, was released earlier this year. That album showed Hargreaves to be a fearless improviser, which is also evident on his own project.

Here are a couple of amateur videos that show Alex turning heads during last year’s IBMA week in Nashville. First, in a swing jam somewhere in the convention center complex…

… and a snippet from his winning entry in the 2009 Grand Masters competition.

Here he is in an acoustic string jazz setting wearing out John Coltrane’s Equinox along with Gordy on guitar, fellow fiddlers Billy Contreras and Jeremy Kittel, and Bridget Kearny on bass.

Hargreaves’ Berklee scholarship will allow him to attend tuition-free through graduation. Hearty congratulations to this extraordinary musician for this well-deserved honor – and to Berklee for such a fine choice.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.