biography

Galen Fraser is an accomplished fiddle player, composer, engineer and producer from the foothills of Northern California. Best known for his modern take on celtic traditional music, he tours with the praised Galen Fraser Quartet, Soulsha, and the Europe-baised Atlantic Folk Trio.

 "Fraser's fiddling entwines the robust crunch and skirl of the old world with the airy ostinato and shimmering tremolo of the new."
                                                         -Pat Moran, Strings Magazine

Galen has performed at The Mandavi Centre, The Palace of Fine Arts, Symphony Hall in Boston, Ma, with members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and many other esteemed venues in the United States and Europe.

 With a love for improvisation and composition, Galen's passion lead him to pursue music as a career, earning his Bachelors Degree in Songwriting from Berklee College of Music. In August 2016, Galen released his debut solo album, "Mischief Managed" featuring all original fiddle music and songs with guests such as Natalie Haas, Alasdair Fraser, Jenna Moynihan and Conor Hearn. 

Galen Fraser’s playing contains all the traditional elements that you would
expect, beautifully executed ornamentation and chording, but surprises with fresh tunings and startlingly touching and deeply thoughtful arrangements.

                                                          -Desiah Melby, Fiddler Magazine

 

Follow Galen on
Facebook & Instagram

 

Publications

Berklee Now: "Stay at Home Festival Brings Relief to Fans and Artists" 

"Cofounded by alumnus and fiddler/composer Galen Fraser, the livestreamed event series helps keep artists off the road and in business. 

Up until very recently, the idea of a concert festival brought to mind a fairly specific picture: huge outdoor stages with walls of speakers, dozens of artists to choose from, and throngs of revelers in sunglasses huddled together in celebration of their favorite music. In the last month, that picture has shifted dramatically, with major festivals like Coachella and South by Southwest (SXSW) postponing or canceling outright due to global concerns over containing the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 

We’ve already seen many artists take to video (including our own students) and streaming from their homes as a way to keep spirits up while so many people are quarantined for a still indefinite amount of time. And while sustaining morale is important, many musicians are even more worried about sustaining their careers in general. That certainly was the case for fiddle player, composer, producer, and engineer Galen Fraser B.M. ’13, who is currently in lockdown in Valladolid, Spain. Soon after the lockdown began on March 13, Fraser was quick to rethink just what a concert festival could mean during a crisis. Along with fellow musicians in lockdown, María and Diego San Miguel, he began planning the Stay at Home Festival. 

"If we can bring different people closer together through music and community, it will help everyone feel less isolated and alone.” 
—Galen Fraser B.M. '13, cofounder of the Stay at Home Festival 

“For the last couple weeks, we have watched our livelihood slip out from underneath us as the pandemic spread of COVID-19 forces events to be canceled, and music venues to close,” Fraser said. “We watched as the same happened to all our musical peers and thousands more across the globe.” A week after the lockdown began, the trio had put together a full roster of artists willing to perform from their homes, worked out all the logistical kinks, and held live-streamed concerts from March 20 to 23, raising more than $30,000 in donations—all of which went directly to the artists. 

“Once we got the idea in our heads to make an online international music festival, we basically gave up sleeping for a week to push the project out,” Fraser explained. They worked tirelessly to enhance their extra-musical skill sets, from graphic design to event planning to working out how to broadcast the concerts, continually driven by the desire to, as Fraser put it, “set an example and keep people from getting totally discouraged by the current pandemic. If we can bring different people closer together through music and community, it will help everyone feel less isolated and alone.” 

Many of the performers had Berklee connections as well, including faculty members Natalie Haas and Mike Block, former program director for Valencia Casey Driessen, and Berklee alumni Hanneke Cassel B.M. '00, Rushad Eggleston '03, Laura Cortese B.M. '02, Louise Bichan '19, Ethan Setiawan B.M. '19, Duncan Wickel '11, Frankie DeRosa '14, Jenna Moynihan B.M. '13, and Alex Hargreaves '13. 

The event was so successful, in fact, that Fraser and crew are already gearing up to host the second festival, which will occur from April 3 to 5, and will feature an entirely new slate of performers. And with so much in the world feeling unpredictable, it’s hard to know how long festivals will need to be held remotely, but Fraser said that he, María, and Diego “are committed to bringing joy and light to the people for as long as we are in this situation. We want to show the world how important it is to shine in difficult circumstances like this and how necessary arts and music are for people's souls.”"

- Bryan Parys

Boston Globe: "Stay at Home Festival unites roots musicians from across the Atlantic on livestream" 

"As unprecedented coronavirus-related event cancellations and travel restrictions piled up by the day last week, many touring and gigging musicians have found their lives (and their income flow) suddenly screeching to a halt. Under a strict lockdown in Valladolid, Spain, siblings Diego and María San Miguel and Berklee College of Music graduate Galen Fraser put their heads together and assembled an international squad of musicians in myriad flavors of folk — Scottish and Norwegian fiddle music, American old-time, flamenco, bluegrass, and more — to raise both morale and money by livestreaming sets from at least seven different countries throughout this upcoming weekend (March 20-22). 

The festival lineup was still expanding and finalizing as of press time, but performers include “cello goblin” Rushad Eggleston, percussive dancer Nic Gareiss, and flamenco guitarist Raúl Olivar. In an email, the organizers said they hoped a busy weekend of music would entice fans to stay home and watch. “By avoiding (physical) social spaces ... we give the hospitals a chance to take care of those affected instead of being completely overwhelmed,” they wrote. 

Join the fun on the festival’s website, www.stayathomefestival.com; or on Instagram at @stayathomefestival. The organizers strongly encourage donations, which will go directly to the artists."

- Zoë Madonna

Link Boston Globe Article