Arvel Bird, a Native American Flutist/Violinist, is known around the world for his dramatic connection between Native American and Celtic traditions, stirring up scenes that echo from North American memory. Dubbed “Lord of the Strings” by fans and music critics, his music evokes the soul of North American history and is thoroughly entertaining, but also enlightening and humanizing. In a language and experience that captures the hearts of all audiences, he’s emotional without being condescending, intellectual without being pretentious. One measure of any art form is when the medium is so mastered that it becomes transparent, allowing its message to be seen, heard and felt. Arvel Bird has achieved that mastery.
Bird’s first private violin teacher in Salt Lake City saw his early potential. She brought the magic of music to life and taught him to play with passion. Bird attended Arizona State University on music scholarship, and later transferred to Champagne/Urbana, IL where he studied classical violin with renowned Hungarian violinist Paul Roland at the University of Illinois.
As he worked to develop his own music style and a large and loyal following, Bird went wherever the music called him, which led him away from classical and towards Bluegrass, Appalachian, Folk and Celtic.
Bird returned to Arizona in 1986 and was quickly hired by Glen Campbell to tour worldwide for six years. In 1991, he moved to Nashville and also toured with Loretta Lynn, Tom T. Hall, Ray Price, Louise Mandrell, Clay Walker, and others.
His dream to record and perform using the violin as a lead instrument – completely contrary to the Nashville view of the fiddle as a backup or side-musician instrument -began in 2001. The result was a fusion of both his Scottish (Clan Kennedy) and Native American (Paiute) roots that are uniquely his own and intricately woven throughout his songs. Bird has released 16 CDs and two DVDs, earning him numerous music awards. In 2009, he took home top honors for Best Instrumental Album and Best Producer/ Engineer (with Grammy-winning producer Tom Wasinger and Nashville engineer Chas Williams) at the Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards for Tribal Music Suite: Journey of a Paiute.
In 2007, he was voted Artist of the Year by his fans and peers at the Native American Music Awards. Bird led with six nominations at the 2010 Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards, and took home honors for Best Traditional Instrumental.
During his years in the Midwest, Bird won the Indiana State Fiddle Contest four times while still perfecting a variety of musical styles.
His continuously evolving music is delighting audiences worldwide. His latest album, Ride Indian Ride, released in January 2010, is a departure from his more traditional cultural music, with an edgier blues/rock feel and a stronger, more soulful sound.
Although based in Nashville, TN, Bird is permanently on the road, connecting with audiences the old-fashioned way…live. This is where Arvel’s emotionally driven performances thrive, igniting concert venues, symphony halls, festivals and more, leaving his audiences inspired, transfixed and transformed.