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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Janie Obit: Fiddler Alan Jabbour (1942-2017) (10) Obit: Alan Jabbour 14 Jan 17


Joe Newberry, on Facebook, is reporting that Alan died yesterday, 1/13/17 at his home in Washington DC. No on-line obituary has been posted yet that I can find.

Joe's FB post: "I am so sorry to hear that fiddler, writer, and scholar Alan Jabbour passed away yesterday morning at his home in Washington, D.C. So much of what we play in the traditional music world of 2017 grew out of his collecting and playing in the 1960s.

I was honored to bring Alan to teach advanced fiddle at the Augusta Heritage Center Old-Time Week in 2014. I had decided that we would have a camp-wide tune that every student, from beginning to advanced, would learn. I asked him which tune it should be. Without hestitation, he answered "Over the Waterfall," one of the tunes he learned from his mentor, Henry Reed of Virginia. A number of folks on my staff asked why we would teach such a cliche of a tune. I told them that it wasn't a cliche when he collected it and saved it from extinction, and if Dr. Jabbour wanted that tune, that was the tune we would all teach and learn. When we played it as one at the end of camp, it was thrilling to hear, and it was obvious that he chose perfectly.

My deepest condolences to his wife Karen and their children and grandchildren. And to all of those in the old-time music community. A giant is gone."

I only met Alan once, at a friend's home. I tend to get a bit awestruck around people of note and hang back but he was incredibly warm and even drew me into conversation when he learned through my friend I was from West Virginia and was acquainted, years ago with some of the Hammons family.

He overcame his classical training *grin* to become a fine Appalachian style fiddler in his own right. I'm sure many of us still listen to Hollow Rock String Band, plus have recordings of the Hammons Family and Henry Reed collected by Alan and his cohorts.

He was a significant contributor to the old time revival in West Virginia and beyond. I feel sure an appropriate obituary/tribute will be written and published within the next day or so.

R.I.P. Alan. Thank you so much for your contributions to the documentation and revival of old time Appalachian and southern string band music. Deepest condolences to his family and all who loved him.


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