Born in Vermont and based in Memphis, Alice Hasen is a professional violinist, recording artist, songwriter, sideman, teacher and vocalist. She leads her original band, Alice Hasen & the Blaze, and is part of the Blackwater Trio, an acoustic rock band. Alice is known for her unique playing style, which combines the virtuosity of her classical upbringing with the freedom and creativity of improvisation. She has been called “one in a million” by Alan Rowoth, founder of folkmusic.org, and “a monster talent” by Jim Hurst, nationally-acclaimed guitarist. She is most at home at the crossroads of genre, pushing the traditional sounds of violin and fiddle out of their comfort zones and into the realms of jazz, pop, funk and rock.
Beginning her studies at the age of four, Alice’s primary musical background is in the classical tradition. Prompted by her mother, a flutist in the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, Alice took classes in fiddle music, where she learned to play by ear at Vermont’s many contradances and barn parties. She played in the Vermont Youth Orchestra throughout high school, performing in China and Carnegie Hall. In her senior year Alice played as the Co-Concertmaster of the VYO and won the orchestra’s Hermance Prize for her performance of the Sibelius Violin Concerto.
Between 2008 and 2012, Alice studied French and Music 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 was 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.
Alice’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 made friends in the local music scene and formed the Blackwater Trio. The trio, which features heavy three-part harmonies as well as a large dollop of fiddle, performs throughout the Mid-South and tours the Northeast annually. Alice’s violin, vocals and songwriting play a large part in Blackwater Trio’s full-length album, Cheshire Moon (August 2017).
Alice’s solo project, Alice Hasen & the Blaze, showcases the versatility of her songwriting and playing. Her “fiddle-powered groove band” is rooted in the Memphis heritage of funk, rock and jazz but can stray into pop, hip-hop and even reggae territory. Alice plans to explore all of these and more in her debut EP, “Violintro,” which will be recorded in Memphis in March 2019.
In the media, Alice has appeared on Memphis’ WREG News Channel 3, Thacker Mountain Radio of Oxford, MS, and in Delta Magazine. She was featured in 2018 as a solo artist in Ranger Bluegrass Festival of Senatobia, MS, alongside Missy Raines, Mike Compton, Joe Newberry and the Barefoot Movement. She has also performed in Memphis’ 2018 Indie Film Festival and Shangri-La’s 30-Fest, presented by Shangri-La Records, and in RiverArts Fest in 2016. In 2014, Alice performed in the Telluride Blues & Brews Festival with singer-songwriter John Mohead. Alice has shared the stage with Rock & Roll piano legend Jason D. Williams, The Weight (touring members of The Band), recorded for Tomiko Dixon (granddaughter of Willie Dixon) and opened for Jim Hurst (guitarist for Claire Lynch and David Grisman), just to name a few. A complete listing of her media features and performances with Blackwater Trio can be found at blackwatertrio.com.
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