Calvin Cairns is a well known Canadian fiddler, teacher and musical entertainer. He has performed in Russia, Europe, Japan, Australia, United Kingdom, USA and from coast to coast to coast across Canada. He has been in demand by some of this country’s most popular Celtic and Canadiana folk artists, performing and recording with Stringband, Connie Kaldor, Humphrey and the Dumptrucks, Don Freed, Spirit of the West, The Bill Hilly Band and Stewart Mclean’s Vinyl Cafe Orchestra.
Calvin is perhaps best known for his wildly popular band, the Romaniacs. In 1984 he teamed up with the musical mando maniac Steffy Levine (Steve Bengtson) to show his versatility by combining Eastern European, Gypsy Jazz and pop influences to create the band’s special style of musical ethnofusion. The Romaniacs toured every major Canadian folk festival, as well as the Montreal Jazz Festival. They appeared with the Halifax Symphony and the Thunder Bay Symphony, recorded two albums (a third compilation was released to critical acclaim in Japan) and toured Australia.
Calvin’s career in theatrical music began with the Caravan Stage Company, touring in horse drawn wagons across North America in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. A music graduate of Grant MacEwan College in Edmonton (1977-79), Calvin went on to study violin and Alexander Technique with Paul Collins at the Alexander Study Centre, in England. He has since written, performed and directed for numerous companies including Welfare State International (England) and Public Dreams (Vancouver). In 1993 Calvin teamed up with comic genius Gina Bastone. They created The Suzy and Uncle Joe Family Show, a classic comedy team that left a trail of “I can’t believe they did that!” everywhere they performed.
In 1994 Calvin took up residence on Saltspring Island and began teaching fiddle. He founded the Saltspring Fiddlers before moving to Victoria in 1996. He presently teaches folk fiddling at the Victoria Conservatory of Music where he has established the Conservatory Fiddlers Orchestra, an ensemble of over forty fiddlers ages six to eighty-six. He plays in the Victoria Civic Orchestra, and continues to work with the Caravan Farm Theatre near Armstrong B.C. in the summer seasons.
Since 2003 Calvin has played with The Original Stomp Club, a goodtime oldtime ragtime band. Most recently, Calvin has joined forces with singer songwriter and multi instrumentalist Paul O’Brien. This high energy celtic duo performs original instrumentals and Paul’s songs.
Intermediate Advanced fiddle: Calvin will teach a series of tune from “spirit of the east” (gypsy and klezmer tunes).
FiddleFest Folkestra: Calvin will arrange some eastern european and klezmer tunes.