Appalachian Fiddlers’ Influence in Florida

Many fiddlers from the Appalachian region have visited Florida, influencing the musicians and creating an important cultural connection. Some have been “snowbirds” that winter in Florida and others have visited as guests at festivals or events like the Florida State Fiddlers Convention. North Carolina old time musicians, Kirk Sutphin and Riley Baugus were featured guests at the Florida Fiddlers Convention in 2009. Their connections to Tommy Jarrell and other important musicians in the tradition provided an invaluable resource for those learning the style in Florida. Tennessee fiddler, Ralph Blizard spent many winters in Florida and was the Guest of Honor at the Florida Old Time Music Championship in 1984. These are just a few examples of the many fiddlers that will be discussed in this presentation, along with their significance to the musicians and community.