"Particularly impressive."
— The Boston Globe

Photo By SubbusClicks

Press & Bio


“One of the brightest young fiddlers around today.”        — Brian O’Donovan, host of WGBH radio’s “A Celtic Sojourn”
“Particularly impressive”        — The Boston Globe
“Superb, inspiring, and unforgettable! Her magic is such that she sweeps audiences along with the sounds she and her instrument make.”        — Willie Ruff, Director of the Ellington Jazz Series, Yale University
“Mari Black is an extraordinary musician; her sound is musical enthusiasm personified.”        — Dr. John Turner, 10-time U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Champion
“My great revelation of 2014″        — Randy Labbe, Director of the Saltwater Celtic Festival

Photo By Jason Jong
Mari performs her trademark novelty fiddling

Multistyle violinist and champion fiddler MARI BLACK is rapidly building a reputation as one of the most dynamic young artists of her generation. Her energetic playing, engaging stage presence, and commitment to bringing people together through music have made her a favorite with audiences across the country and around the world. Equally at home in a wide variety of musical traditions, Mari is the 2015/2013 U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Champion, 2014 Glenfiddich Scottish Fiddle Champion, 2014/2012 Canadian Maritime Fiddle Champion, 2011 Canadian Novelty Fiddle Champion, 1st Prize Winner at the 2010 American Protégé International String Competition, and 2-time laureate at the American String Teachers’ Association Alternative Styles Awards. On stage, she creates shows that draw on elements from many different styles including jazz, tango, folk, Western classical, as well as Celtic, American, and Canadian fiddling. Her performances take listeners on a musical journey exploring the diversity and celebrating commonalities in the dance-driven folk musics of the world.

Photo By Derick Maxwell
Mari holds the champion’s quaich, moments after winning the 2014 Glenfiddich Scottish Fiddle Championship

An internationally-recognized performer, Mari can be seen playing in all corners of the musical world. She has been featured at Scottish Highland Games, Celtic festivals, celebrated folk venues, jazz concert series, Argentine tango festivals, and world-famous classical concert venues including Carnegie Hall. Mari has appeared with such diverse artists as Irish fiddle champion Liz Carroll, Americana master Mark O’Connor, and jazzman Willie Ruff. Her music has been heard on the BBC Radio Scotland’s “Take the Floor”, Fox and CBS morning news, NPR’s “Here and Now,” WGBH Radio’s “A Celtic Sojourn”, and on dozens of other Celtic and folk radio shows across the country. Mari has been a featured performer at many prominent festivals and concert series, including the Blackstone River Theater's Solstice Fest in Rhode Island, the Austin Celtic Festival in Texas, the Saltwater Celtic Festival in Maine, the Yachats Celtic Festival in Oregon, the Boston Celtic Music Festival, the Fire in the Kitchen concert series in Connecticut, the Sam Hinton Folk Festival and the San Diego Folk Heritage Society in southern California, Brian O’Donovan’s “Burren Backroom” series in Boston, and a sold-out northeast tour with New England Celtic Arts. An enthusiastic collector of passport stamps, Mari has played concerts in Scotland, Brazil, Canada, China, Korea, Zimbabwe, Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Italy, and France, and she can’t wait for the next stop!

Photo By Jason Jong
Mari in concert with her band

Dedicated to education, Mari presents frequent outreach concerts and workshops at schools, conferences, festivals, fiddle camps, and universities. She has taught at the renowned Jink and Diddle School of Scottish Fiddling, the Mark O’Connor fiddle camp, the Julian Family Fiddle Camp, and the long-standing Kinhaven Music School. Guest workshops include sessions at the Yale School of Music, the Acadic Trad School, Boston University School of Fine Arts, “Make Music Day” San Diego, New York City’s School for Strings, and the American String Teachers’ Association national conference. Recently, Mari served as Professor of Music at Bunker Hill Community College, where she developed the framework for a new multistyle music program that produced ground-breaking interdisciplinary arts performances. She currently teaches workshops around the country as a part of her touring schedule, and coaches privately in her hometown of Boston.

Mari’s debut album, “Flight”, was released in the spring of 2014, and features dance-driven music from around the world. She is currently touring nationally with her World Fiddle Ensemble and Celtic Band, performing and celebrating diverse styles of traditional and modern dance music.

Mari’s “Passion in 90 Seconds” video


Hear from some event organizers:

“My patrons are still talking about her turn on the stage of The Coffee Gallery Backstage. Great to have on my stage...perfect in every way. Hurry back!” Bob Stane, booking manager for The Coffee Gallery Backstage, Los Angeles, CA
“I felt lucky to be watching her performance.” Scott Richardson, Music Director of the Punkinfiddle Festival, Wells ME
“She knocked our socks off!” Jan Tappan, Director of the L.A. Scottish Fiddlers
“Mari’s remarkable musical talent plus her ability to engage the audience made for a wonderful evening of fun and entertainment. She infused the performance with quietly beautiful thoughts about reaching out to others. The night was heartwarming and richly enjoyable.” Win Cox, Co-founder of Women's Empowerment International
“I don’t know any musician who has crossed as many boundaries as Mari has — from folk to jazz to classical to world music. Actually, for Mari Black, there are no boundaries.” Tim McLaughlin, concert presenter

Hear what audience members have to say:

“I was captivated immediately and could have listened to you play for hours more.” Donna, New Brunswick, Canada
“Amazing! You make it so I can’t help but dance along to the music!” Ella, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
“What a treat to see you for the first time at Longfellow Square in Portland, Me last evening! You made the Saltwater Celtic Fest really happen for me.” Betsy, Portland, ME
“She gave a formidable performance, incorporating a warm stage presence with sound technique and an interesting interpretation.” Ronnie, Pitlochry, Scotland
“Saw you at the festival yesterday…you were amazing! We really enjoyed it. Thanks for coming to Austin!” Tressa, Austin, TX
“Thank for the joy and energy you bring to your performances! I always feel that I have experienced something unique after seeing you.” Lyn, Farmington, ME
“I love your music, and the life you infuse into your playing! You were the most amazing, fun emcee, and I hope you will play that show again, and tell us your stories and what you’re thinking. It was great. Your playing was beyond the moon.” Sarah, Salem, MA
“We loved your energy and rapport with the audience, and of course your incredible playing. Just delightful!” Jen, Ellsworth, ME
“Thanks for such a unique and memorable performance! Perfect timing, expression, musicality, and emotion. The soul of the violin was with you!” Salvi, San Pedro de Alcantara, Spain

Mari in the News

Click below to listen to a couple of Mari’s radio appearances, including live performances and interviews:

• Mari's interview and live performance from the Glenfiddich Scottish Fiddle Championships on the BBC Radio's "Take the Floor" with host Robbie Shepherd

• Mari joins Americana violinist Mark O'Connor on NPR's "Here and Now" for an interview and live studio performance



Some stories about Mari in print:

• Mari featured as "The Fiddler" in the June 2016 issue of Celtic Life International Magazine

• Describing one of Mari's shows with her World Fiddle Ensemble, Wakefield MA