Tessa Lark’s new album The Stradgrass Sessions is available now on First Hand Records. The long-awaited album from the American violinist explores the violin’s stylistic capabilities through a classical lens, with features from some of America’s most distinguished multi-genre composer/musicians around today – jazz pianist Jon Batiste, bassist Edgar Meyer, fiddler Michael Cleveland and mandolinist Sierra Hull. The album also features the premiere recording of American composer John Corigliano’s STOMP.

Explaining the vision behind The Stradgrass Sessions, Lark said:

“This album is a snapshot of the way I live in music. Diversely; organically; intimately; sometimes collaboratively, sometimes solitarily; always sincerely; and anywhere, be it a concert hall or home studio.

Stradgrass is the exploration of the violin’s stylistic capabilities, through various American folk styles, from a Classical lens. The word ‘Stradgrass’ first came about in 2015, from the novelty of performing Bluegrass on the Stradivari I was playing at the time: the 1683 ex-Gingold violin, on loan to me until 2018 as a result of my silver medal finish at the 2014 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis. Hearing Bluegrass played on a Strad is unusual, unfortunately, so I thought it warranted its own term. The word has caught on in the social media world and seems to succinctly encapsulate what one might partly expect from a recital of mine.

Stradgrass seems to be a type of musical exploration that is becoming more common within Classical violin training, and I hope this album will further encourage us all to continue that direction.”

Listen to Lark talk about the album on The Strad Podcast here.

Stream and buy The Stradgrass Sessions here.

Photo credit: Lauren Desberg