Based in Victoria, BC, Miriam Sonstenes is a versatile fiddle player, and prominent fixture in the Canadian west coast folk/roots music scene. A decade of performing and recording with many west coast bands and solo artists has helped shape her original sound, deeply influenced by old time and bluegrass, country and Western swing. She performs regularly with award winning trio The Sweet Lowdown, The Unfaithful Servants, and her newest project, Old Paint Duo.
Formally trained in classical violin, Miriam turned to fiddle music in her mid-twenties. Victoria’s longstanding old time and Celtic fiddling scene provided a wealth of learning and inspiration, which provided the foundation for her current playing, projects and compositions. Freelance study throughout the Pacific Northwest, Ireland and Louisiana has further enriched her knowledge and appreciation of diverse fiddle traditions. She has toured Canada, the US and the UK, and with The Sweet Lowdown was featured on CBC’s Vinyl Cafe with Stuart McLean. In 2015 Miriam was awarded a Canada Council grant to study with bluegrass fiddle legend Bobby Hicks, in North Carolina, and her debut album with Old Paint Duo features some of the tunes she learned in those sessions.
A composer as well as performer, Miriam’s original songs have been published, as well as recorded and performed by musical groups across North America, among them IBMA award winners Balsam Range. In 2020 she published her first book of original fiddle tunes. When not performing and touring, Miriam has a full teaching studio at home in Victoria, and leads workshops at music camps in BC and across Canada.