Billy Contreras: Inspired insights from a Country Fiddler and Jazz Master – Creative Strings Podcast Ep. 1

Billy and I sat down to speak live at the 2014 Creative Strings Workshop to discuss Billy’s life, music, and more in the first episode of the brand new Creative Strings Podcast. Later we edited this podcast to include several amazing clips of Billy from when he was young through today. This progression shows how Billy’s playing has evolved, as well as his incredible variety. We structured the podcast to heavily feature Billy’s playing in between interview segments. Please let us know what you think by leaving a comment below!

Thanks to the Greater Columbus Arts Council and city of Columbus, and the Electric Violin Shop for being great at what they do and also for sponsoring our effort.

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Clip in this episode:

Many of the clips included are from the two recordings Billy and Chris co-produced: “Jazz Fiddle Revolution” (2001) and “Jazz Fiddle Evolution” (2005).

In the order clips appear:

  • By the Bay – Live performance
  • Always – Billy with the Nashville Swing Band
  • Walking on Broadway – from Jazz Fiddle Evolution
  • Untitled Blues Jam – from Jazz Fiddle Revolution
  • Dreams – Original Tune with Billy’s wife, Amanda Contreras
  • Maria, Maria – from Jazz Fiddle Revolution
  • W.S. – from Jazz Fiddle Evolution
  • The Way you Look Tonight – from Jazz Fiddle Revolution
  • Crazy Young Billy
  • Black Mountain Rag – Performed by Kenny Baker
  • Dialogue Over Two Themes – from Jazz Fiddle Revolution
  • Tristeza – from Jazz Fiddle Evolution
  • Solo on Original Tune
  • Hotwired
  • Back Home in Indiana – Performed by the Lester Young Trip
  • Sally Goodin – Performed by Ricky Skaggs
  • Sweet Georgia Brown – Performed by Billy at the Grand Master Fiddler’s Competition 2005 (Billy placed 3rd)
  • Dialogue Over Two Themes – from Jazz Fiddle Revolution
  • Sweet Soul Music – Live
  • Practicing at age 17
  • Solo over the Blues – Live
  • Detective H – from Jazz Fiddle Evolution
  • Licks in Ionian and Dorian (from a live masterclass)
  • Confirmation
  • Practicing at age 17
  • Song of the Wanderer – from Texas in my Soul

Show Notes

People and concepts discussed in this episode:

Suzuki starter violin:

Suzuki starter violin 2

Suzuki starter violin 3

Suzuki starter violin 1







Jim Wood – Billy’s first fiddle teacher

Buddy Spicher – Billy’s fiddle teacher

You can download string ensemble charts from Christian and Billy’s first album Jazz Fiddle Revolution by clicking here.

Please take a moment to visit our friends at the Electric Violin Shop. Electric Violin Shop is your one-stop shop for electric instruments, amps, gear & accessories, and most of all, expertise. Use code CHOWES at checkout and take 5% off of your order.

Billy Contreras is a returning faculty member at the Creative Strings Workshop, a week-long intensive camp for improvising string players. Click here to learn more about the Creative Strings Workshop.

Learn from over 200 educational resources and materials at the Creative Strings Academy.

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