Calvin Vollrath

Calvin Vollrath (born 16 May 1960) is a Canadian fiddler and composer and is one of the few European-Canadian fiddle players playing professionally in the Métis style.[1] He lives in St. Paul, Alberta.

Calvin Vollrath
Born (1960-05-16) May 16, 1960
ResidenceSt. Paul, Alberta
Known forMetis fiddle

He won the Grand North American Old Tyme Fiddle Championship in 1985. In more recent years, he has judged the Canadian Grand Masters fiddle competition, and was awarded a Life Time Achievement Award from them in 2005. He participates in Emma Lake Fiddle Camp. He has played with various other musicians including John Arcand. Some of his music is jazz-like, some from the Métis tradition. He is an inspiration and a mentor to many Canadian fiddlers, including April Verch,[2] Patti Kusturok, and Samantha Robichaud.[3] Jerry Holland has composed a tune in Calvin's honour, named "Calvin, Fiddler's Idol". Calvin has represented Canadian music internationally, such as at the World Music Expo in Berlin in 2000.[4] He became the first fiddler to play at an NHL hockey game when the Edmonton Oilers invited him to play during the Stanley Cup Finals in 1988. He has made recordings with musicians such as Ian Tyson, George Fox, Colleen Peterson, and Laura Vinson. CBC's documentary show hosted by Adrienne Clarkson aired a show about Métis fiddling that featured Calvin Vollrath and John Arcand.

He composed and performed a piece for the 2010 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony.[5][6]


Calvin's love for music began at an early age. He used to mimic his father Art "Lefty" Vollrath with two butter knives. His father developed his own reputation as a great fiddler and passed on the family tradition. Calvin was raised on the Don Messer's Jubilee and at the age of 8, received his first fiddle. It was soon apparent Calvin was a natural. At 13, he entered his first fiddle contest.


Vollrath has composed nearly 600 tunes and released more than 65 albums.

He wrote the theme for the international fiddle convention 'Fiddles of the World', held in Halifax in July 1999.

Vollrath was commissioned to compose 5 fiddle tunes for the Vancouver Winter Olympics Opening Ceremonies in 2010. The tunes were meant to represent the various styles of fiddling our country has to offer.[5]


He won two Grand North American Fiddle Championships and was inducted into the North American Fiddlers' Hall of Fame on July 31, 2011.[7]


  • Me, Myself & I (2017)
  • A Fiddle of This, A Fiddle of That (2016)
  • Fiddle Lickin' Good (2016)
  • TGIF (2016)
  • 'Approved' Canadian Fiddler (2015)
  • 'Certified' Canadian Fiddler (2015)
  • The Journey (2014)
  • Vintage Vollrath (2014)
  • Unmistakable (2013)
  • Super'CALiFIDDLE'istic (2013)
  • Spring Creek (2012)
  • The Homecoming (2012)
  • Fiddle Nation (2011)
  • Dancing Northern Lights (2010)
  • 50 (2009)
  • Fiddle (2008)
  • Looking Back, 25 Years of Recording (2007)
  • The Big C (2006)
  • The Big C02 (2006)
  • Air Mail Special (2005)
  • Strings of Pearl (2005)
  • Métis Style Fiddle (2005)
  • Car Tunes (2004)
  • Just for the Swing of It (2004)
  • New Fiddle Classics (2003)
  • Maple Sugar and Other Old Time Favorites (2003)
  • Friendship (2002)
  • Calvin Vollrath Waltzes (2002)
  • Fiddle According to Cal (2002)
  • Autumn in Vermont (2001)
  • Uncommon Sense (2001)
  • Fiddling My Way (2001)
  • This Old Tune (2001)
  • Live, From Our Place (2001)
  • Fiddillennium, Volume 1 (2000)
  • Fiddillennium, Volume 2 (2000)
  • Steppin' Out (2000)
  • Precious Melodies (2000)
  • Old Time Dance Party (1999)
  • UFO Sessions 99 (1999)
  • Bonjour comment ça va (1999)
  • Let it Jig, Let it Jig, Let it Jig (1999)
  • Thanks to Emma (1998)
  • Jiggin' at the OK Corral (1998)
  • Tamarack'r Down (1997)
  • 20 of my Favorites (1996)
  • Instrumentally Yours: Somethin' Different (1995)
  • Live From Calvin's Kitchen (1995)
  • Métis Old Time Dance Tunes (1995)
  • Red River Trails (1995)
  • Cracklin' Fire (1994)
  • Too Close For Comfort (1994)
  • Wild Alberta Rose (1993)
  • Cat Gut Boogie (1993)
  • New & Used (1989)
  • Fiddlin' Again (1984)
  • Red River Jig & Other Old Time Fiddle Favorites (1983)
  • The Reel Thing (1981)

And many more, including live sessions from the Emma Lake Fiddle Camp and recordings with other musicians.


  1. Lyon 1999, p. 139
  2. Virtucio, V. Paul (4 April 2003). "Master Fiddler April Verch Performs 'Ottawa Valley' Music". Duluth News Tribune. p. 03G.
  3. Monaghan, Alex (2003). "World Famous in Alberta: Canadian fiddler Calvin Vollrath interviewed". Retrieved 22 October 2013.
  4. "The WOMEX 2000 Conference: List of Conference Sessions". WOMEX. Archived from the original on 20 August 2013. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
  5. Iltan, Cigdem (22 February 2010). "Calvin Vollrath brings Canadian tunes to world at Olympics". Edmonton Journal. OCLC 43767023.
  6. Ross, Andrea (10 September 2013). "Fiddler's Roost moving on". Edmonton Journal.
  7. "Calvin Vollrath recognized for musical talent". St. Paul Journal. Archived from the original on 10 March 2018. Retrieved 9 March 2018.

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