Fiddle, Guitar, & Mandolin Faculty
Adam Masters grew up in South Carolina where he was forced to go to Suzuki violin lessons and play in the school orchestra. While he did well at that, his love of the instrument didn’t happen until he heard the great bluegrass fiddler Michael Cleveland play at a bluegrass festival in 2000. He knew that his violin looked like that fiddle, but he didn’t know how to make it sound like that.
When Adam moved to Asheville in 2002, he began studying the art of bluegrass fiddle with local legend Arvil Freeman, learning the tunes and melodies and style that defines the WNC style. He later formed a close friendship with Bobby Hicks, one of the premier bluegrass fiddlers of all time, and has learned as much as possible from him over the past fifteen years through countless jam sessions and performances. Adam taught with Bobby Hicks at the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes in Port Townsend, Washington as well as Steve Kaufman’s camp, Flatpik, in Maryville, TN.
Adam is one of the founding fiddlers of the Zuma Jam in Madison County and learned many tunes from Roger Howell, another esteemed Madison County Fiddler. Adam specializes in “twin fiddle,” actively seeking out the role of the second fiddle and finding the harmony line.
Adam is a keeper of the tunes and loves to share his passion for traditional music. He especially enjoys teaching people how to “play anything you hear” by demystifying chord progressions and music theory, and using tunes as the basis of learning. Adam’s goal is to provide a solid foundation through technique so that students can develop the tone and timing necessary to make the instrument sing.
Above all, Adam wants to help students experience the joy of making music with other people and know not only how to do it, but why they are doing it. He has spent years asking questions and interpreting the old masters, and looks forward to sharing his distilled knowledge with the next generation, no matter their age.