Members of the Jehile Kirkhuff Memorial Band playing at the 2023 Susquehanna Summer Solstice Fest

Saturday June 22, 2024  /  1:15 pm – 2:15 pm

Jehile Kirkhuff Memorial Band

Contra Dance and Fiddle Folk

The Jehile Kirkhuff Memorial Players are a group of musicians organized by Dan Fassett, a fiddler born 7 miles from where Jehile Kirkhuff, a world-champion fiddler from the 20th century, lived in Lawton, PA. The group is dedicated to preserving and emulating the style and scope of the old- time fiddle music played by Jehile, carrying out his vision of a timeless traditional music rooted in the Southern Tier of NY and Northeastern PA that folks of our region can live (and dance!) with.

Composed of players who first came together in 2021 at the Wyoming County Fair, the Players know how important dance is to old-time music, which prompted them to hold a dance to play many of Jehile’s classic tunes. They are often joined by speakers with personal connections to Jehile, who share many stories of his remarkable life and times.

The group is joined by a caller, Randall Gilson of Binghamton, NY, who calls out the instructions to contra dancers as they weave patterns and figures around the dance floor. It is a fun-filled event that is open to all festival-goers regardless of age or dance experience (and no partner is required).

As the Jehile Kirkhuff Memorial Players return to the Susquehanna Summer Solstice Fest at French Azilum for their second year, what better way to celebrate the summer solstice and the heritage of French Azilum than to kick up your heels with the joy of heart-to-heart music and dancing with others?