Born in woodsy Vermont, traveling through the muddy Mississippi Delta and the soulful city of Memphis, Alice Hasen is a professional violinist/fiddler specializing in rock, folk, roots, jazz and classical music. Currently based in Memphis, she is a member of the Blackwater Trio, a progressive roots group that performs both covers and originals. She also collaborates with Mississippi singer/songwriter John Mohead, and plays “Hot Club”-style gypsy jazz whenever she can get her hands on it!
Beginning her studies at the age of four, Hasen’s primary musical background is in the classical tradition. Prompted by her mother, a flutist in the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, “The question was not whether I’d play music, but which instrument I would choose.” She chose the violin because it was one of the only instruments she could see from the audience.
This seemingly random choice soon grew into a life’s calling. During her youth, Hasen took classes in fiddle music, where she learned to play by ear at Vermont’s many contradances and barn parties. While in high school, she came to lead the Vermont Youth Orchestra as co-concertmaster, performing in China and Carnegie Hall with the VYO and attending state and New England-wide festivals on violin and flute. In 2008 Hasen was the recipient of the VYO’s Hermance Prize for her performance of the Sibelius Violin Concerto.
Between 2008 and 2012, Hasen studied French and Music as an undergrad at Yale University. She became Principal Second Violin of the Yale Symphony Orchestra, while also leading as Concertmaster of the Saybrook and Berkeley college orchestras. She became a founding member of SIC INC, a contemporary music group of student performers, composers, dancers and sound engineers. Her travels within these groups spanned from a second appearance at Carnegie Hall to Le Poisson Rouge in Manhattan, as well as a tour of major cities in Turkey.
Hasen’s years after Yale mark her transition into the rootsy, lyrical voice she has developed as a non-classical musician. Moving down to Clarksdale, Mississippi to teach as a high school band director, she quickly made friends in the local musical scene. Her first “living room jam” with guitarists Seth Stroud and Walt Busby turned into a series of appearances at local bars, and demand grew for the new “Blackwater Trio.” The Trio, which features heavy three-part harmonies as well as a large dollop of fiddle, has since performed throughout the Clarksdale, Cleveland, Oxford, Memphis, TN, Nashville, TN, and Hot Springs, AR, areas and is soon to release a debut original album (preview songs available for streaming at blackwatertrio.com and alicehasen.com).
In addition to the Blackwater Trio, Hasen also collaborates with well-known Mississippi singer and guitarist John Mohead. A master storyteller with a unique blend of country, blues and rock, Mohead invited her to perform with him at the Telluride Blues and Brews Festival in September 2014. There, Hasen’s performance was reviewed as “giving the songs soul and movement… that feeling you get when you put your hand out the window of a moving car and let it fly!” (KOTO Radio, Telluride). Recordings of Mohead’s and Hasen’s collaboration can be found on alicehasen.com as well as on iTunes and YouTube.
Alice Hasen: Soulful Music With Classical Inspiration (Delta Magazine, March 2017)
The Blackwater Trio Travels, Rocks the Valley
Mohead and Band Play Telluride Blues Festival: September 2014
NOTABLE PERFORMANCES AND FEATURES:
Delta Magazine Article Feature – MS Delta & Memphis – March 2017
Lafayette's Music Room – Memphis, TN – January, March 2017
Levitt AMP Concert, Headline act – Cleveland, MS – Nov 2016 and Oct 2015
RiverArts Fest -- Memphis, TN -- October 2016
Otherfest – Cleveland, MS – October 2016
Otherlands Coffeeshop – Memphis, TN – July 2016
Center for Southern Folklore – Memphis, TN – April 2016
Collierville July 4th Celebration – Collierville, TN – July 2016
Hot Springs July 4th Celebration – Hot Springs, AR – July 2016
Hey Joe’s – Cleveland, MS – January 2016
Music in the Hall – Oxford, MS – November 2015
Order of the Memphii – Memphis, TN – October 2015
Delta Magazine Article Feature – MS Delta & Memphis – July 2015
Headline Act, Ole Miss Grove July 4th Celebration – Oxford, MS – July 2015
Summer Sunset Series, Ole Miss Grove – Oxford, MS – June 2015 and 2016
Mississippi River Rally – Greenville, MS – April 2015
Thacker Mountain Radio – Oxford, MS – April 2015
Juke Joint Festival – Clarksdale, MS – April 2014, 2015 and 2016
World Catfish Festival – Belzoni, MS – March 2015
Telluride Blues and Brews Festival - Telluride, CO, September 2014