Wesleyan portrait of Craig  Edwards

Craig Edwards

Traditional Fiddle Styles Instructor


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Craig Edwards

Craig Edwards (Wesleyan 1983-Music/Ethnomusicology) performs and teaches American roots music styles on a number of instruments- fiddle, banjo, guitar, mandolin, button accordion, and voice. Craig's undergraduate field work learning from West Virginia fiddlers Ernie Carpenter and Melvin Wine led to subsequent study with Cape Breton, Irish, Quebecois, Bluegrass, Blues, and Cajun source fiddlers. He has spent over forty years performing with Old Time string bands, New England Contradance bands, Irish bands, a Sea Chantey group, Cajun and Zydeco bands, and original roots/rock bands, and has performed throughout Europe, Canada, and the U.S. 

Craig was the Coordinator of Music Programs at Mystic Seaport Museum and Director of the Mystic Seaport Sea Music Festival for thirty-five years. He served as "cultural attache" on several Williams College/Mystic Seaport Maritime Studies Program field seminars in Louisiana, and taught a Williams College intersession course on the Cultural Geography of Louisiana. He has been on the teaching staff at numerous traditional music camps, including the Traditional Music and Dance Week at the Pinewoods Folk Music Camp, Blue Ridge Old Time Music Week in Mars Hill, NC, and Banjo Camp North. Craig has played for countless dances, from Appalachian square dances to Zydeco dances. He has led a weekly Old Time session in the Mystic, Connecticut area for over twenty years.

Craig Edwards learned his first fiddle tunes on a fiddle belonging to his father, who was a traditional square dance caller from Asheville, NC. In 1976 he went to an event called "Stompin' 76" near Galax, VA, which featured many of the then-current acts that would be called "roots music" now- Doc and Merle Watson, John Hartford, John Prine, Bonnie Raitt, Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs, Ry Cooder, Vassar Clements, Papa John Creach, New Grass Revival, and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, to name a few. He left knowing what he wanted to do for the rest of his life. A visit to Wesleyan while researching colleges convinced him with one look into the World Instrument Collection room. He worked with ethnomusicologists Mark Slobin and David MacAllester as well as Neely Bruce, Abraham Adzenyah, Jim Cowdery, and other faculty and graduate students to shape a major that culminated in a two-part thesis: fieldwork resulting in a written study with the unimaginative title of 'Four Musicians of Central West Virginia,' and a performance component entitled 'The Roots of Southern American String Band Music,' which included performances  of Irish, Scottish, Ghanaian, Shape Note, Blues, Old Time, Bluegrass, and "Newgrass" music with a variety of ensembles. 



Academic Affiliations

Office Hours

I live in Mystic, Connecticut. I'm happy to arrange office hours at a mutually convenient time by appointment.


Fall 2024
MUSC 405 - 36
Music Lessons for Non-Majors

MUSC 406 - 36
Music Lessons/Music Majors