Andrew Collins Trio in Concert at Ashokan

The mercurial, five-time JUNO (Canada’s Grammy) nominee and seven-time Canadian Folk Music Award-winning mando maestro Andrew Collins finds himself — through no actual fault of his own — at the epicentre of Canada’s burgeoning acoustic/roots music scene. He didn’t invent it, but he's certainly a major contributor, having co-founded seriously noteworthy Canadian bands like the Creaking String Quartet, the Foggy Hogtown Boys and, most recently, the Andrew Collins Trio.

As he gathers up innumerable awards and nominations through these various ensembles, Collins, who’s comfortable on mandolin, fiddle, guitar, mandola and mandocello, is zeroing in on the work he does with his beloved trio, formed with fellow string guru Mike Mezzatesta, whose versatility and mastery shine through on guitar, mandolin, fiddle and mandola, and in-the-pocket James McEleney, holding it down on the bass, mandocello and vocals.

Showcasing a collision of folk, bluegrass, new acoustic roots, and jazz — not to mention a dizzying number and energetic interplay of instruments on stage —Collins and company appear to live by the old adage “idle hands are the devil’s workshop,” likely keeping them just ahead of his grasp. Their dynamic genre-hopping show is further propelled by Andrew’s captivating lead vocals and James’ soaring harmonies.

Andrew's career as a solo artist is no less impressive. The Central Canada Bluegrass Association has nominated him five times as Mandolin Player of the Year, which he secured in 2005. His debut solo album, Little Widgets (2005), is a self-produced collection of genre-bending originals that earned him a Canadian Folk Music Award for Pushing the Boundaries in 2006. In 2007, Andrew took a different track, collaborating with world-renowned Celtic musician Brian Taheney to release MandoLore, an all-traditional, all-mandolin-family compilation of Celtic and Old Time gems. His next solo album, Cats and Dogs (2011), continued to build his catalogue of feisty originals, garnering a JUNO and CFMA.

Taking musical cues from David Grisman, the trio of Collins, Mezzatesta, and McEleney have ventured even further down the path of trailblazing roots and beyond, melding multiple genres while tastefully showcasing each of their boundaries, all toward extrapolating brave new musical worlds.

“Light of touch, fast of wit, copiously imaginative, and a musical scholar of the highest distinction, Toronto mandolin virtuoso pulls out all the stops” —Toronto Star

“To call Andrew Collins a master of the mandolin would be putting it mildly.... artfully arranged string music perhaps best described as 'chambergrass' shines through. 4/5 stars" —Exclaim! Magazine



Sunday, February 18, 2018 -
7:30pm to 11:30pm
The Ashokan Center
477 Beaverkill Road