Sunshine 1

Calling all string players! Get along to this brilliant camp in Queensland, Australia. I’ll be teaching the kids and beginner adult classes at the 2018 Sunshine Fiddle Camp, 2-7 January (just after Woodford Folk Festival, and just down the road). If you’re a professional, advanced or intermediate string player, you’ll be learning from legendary American fiddler Darol Anger (co-founder of the Turtle Island String Quartet and pioneer of the percussive technique, chopping), Crooked Still cellist Tristan Clarridge and killer Scottish-Australian fiddler Cathy Fraser. The camp journeys deep into fiddling traditions, with tunes taught by ear throughout the week, while charging forwards into progressive string techniques, rhythms, accompaniments, improv and more.

Check out the Sunshine Fiddle Camp website for more information and to register:

Back from America

It’s been a while since my last post, and that’s for a good reason… I’ve been BUSY AS! My trip to the USA was utterly brilliant. I met a tonne of inspiring people, had a full house for my Boston gig, went to some breathtakingly stunning natural places, recorded half an EP and made music all with old and new friends.


~Boston gig at Club Passim ~ EP recording in NJ ~ Miles of Music camp in NH~


~Sierra Scottish Fiddle Camp~

~Yosemite National Park~

~Shasta Music Summit~

QUBE Effect voting – be part of the action!

Friends, family, supporters and kind strangers! I’m calling on you to take a second (… well 10 seconds) to put your vote in for my video in the QUBE Effect competition! It’s an opportunity for emerging artists in Brisbane to film a video and have the public vote for their favourite. The prize includes a festival booking and $2000, which will help get the artist get to the next stage of their career. Have a watch below, and cast your vote here:

The process is SIMPLE AS! You just click “vote”, no forms to fill out or details to give. However if you want to go even further, please share the voting link around! It’s been so exciting to see it shared, not only by my amazing family and friends, but also by people I’ve never met before – including someone in Germany!

The clock/solar system in the video was designed and created by my sister, Ingrid Bartkowiak (Oh Crumbs Art). During the song she adds stars, moving around the clock in time with the music. This wasn’t really picked up in the video, but I promise it looked great in real life!

What I’d specifically like to put some of the prize money into, if it worked out that way, is vocal lessons with a really great jazz or contemporary teacher. I’ve had classical voice lessons, and I practise all the funny warmups and weird exercises every day (sorry family and neighbours). But it would be a good investment to get some proper contemporary technique, and to hone the songs that I’ll be recording soon.

That money would also really help with some other development activities I’m doing soon. I’m going back to America this year, to go to Miles of Music Camp, Sierra Scottish Fiddle Camp and Shasta Music Summit. Basically I’m going to spend several weeks surrounded by incredibly talented, inspirational folk musicians and songwriters, feeling really stupid, learning a tonne but growing from the whole rollercoaster. The People’s Choice prize would help a great deal with that financially.

This would be perfect timing as well. As the FAA Youth Artist of the Year, I’ve got mentoring for a year from an organisation that knows the industry backwards. If that’s coupled with financial support from this award, I can really hit the ground running.

So there you have it! I’ve got a plan. If you’d like to play a part in making it happen, that link up above is your friend! If you’ve already voted, a virtual hug and kiss to you! I’ve been really blown away by the grass-roots support so far, from both friends and strangers (I’m still pinching myself from that). Thank you for being here right at the start, helping me get a foot in the door. I am so grateful.

FAA Youth Artist Award in the bag! And a Canberra Times article!

WEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!! Back in Brisbane after an incredible festival of gypsy jams, old time sessions and Scottish fiddle hangs, Folk Alliance showcases, hilarious Beach Boys covers (including a dangerous amount of trumpet and melody-pop), old friends, new friends, mind-blowing performances and…

…an award! It means I’ll receive mentoring from the FAA and opportunities to play at national folk festivals over the next year. The Folk Alliance has played a big role in my development over the years as a folk musician. Five years ago, my friend Rhiannon was nominated for the same award as a fiddle player. She asked me (a classical cellist, just graduated from high school) to accompany her. So we smooshed together a 12 minute

faa r n m

2012! Ah we were so cute!

set of traditional tunes and won the panel over with our cute 17-year-old ridiculousness, matching long hair and I suppose, the promise of potential! We were naive but managed to bumble our way through the folk music industry, eventually morphing into songwriters and forming a four piece band. Five years later, I’ve learnt from an abundance of mistakes, I’ve immersed myself in the folk world through camps, festivals and encouraging friends, and I have clarity about where I am and where I want to be. I’ve got a lot to thank them for!

I’m excited about what this year will hold and can’t wait to work with Una McAlinden to keep this solo project moving forward!

Nash FAA 3

2017 FAA Youth Artist Award. Photo: Ian Fisk


Nash FAA 5

All ten finalist acts, including runners up Charm of Finches. Photo: Ian Fisk

The Canberra Times covered the award with an interview and shoot:

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National Folk Festival, Youth Folk Awards

I’m thrilled to announce that I’ve been selected as a finalist for the 2017 Youth Folk Awards presented by the Folk Alliance Australia! The event takes place as a showcase at the National Folk Festival, 12-2.30pm on Sunday 16th April. Can’t wait to meet the other emerging artists, see old friends, jam in the session bar and frolic amongst those festival flags again!

I’ll also be playing a short show at the Borderlands stage (part of the fringe festival) at 10.45am Friday 14th.

More info:

QUBE Effect filming

QUBE Effect is done and dusted! Still pinching ourselves to make sure we didn’t dream it going so smoothly. In the fortnight leading up to the filming day, we did an endless amount of brainstorming, problem solving, plan-tweaking and ripping out of hair in frustration. Turns out it’s hard to paint a solar system around a cellist when you’ve only got four minutes and you’re not allowed to use paint! But we did it, and we can’t wait to share the video with everyone.

You can find more of my sister Ingrid Bartkowiak’s fabulous artwork on her facebook page and blog.

You can find more information about the QUBE Effect here.