Bio + videos

Matthew Christian has established himself as one of New York City’s most dynamic young trad musicians.IMG_0943.JPG

Originally from North Bennington, Vermont, Matthew studied Baroque violin with Kevin Bushee and highland bagpipes with Donald Lindsay, while sitting in on fiddle masterclasses with Natalie MacMaster, Patrick Ourceau, Alasdair Fraser, Pete Sutherland, and many more.

Matthew first found musical work by bringing the rhythmic drive of contra-dance fiddle to North Bennington’s Main Street, then the New York City subway, where his work as a performer and advocate has been featured in the NY Times and Rolling Stone.

These days, Matthew plays for an exciting mix of opportunities including Irish (see sessions below); stately classical music at CDNY’s English Country Dances; contra dances across the Eastern Seaboard and Midwest; and any new challenges that appear. His greatest current focus is on continued growth in the New York tradition of Irish fiddle and his more genre-fluid contemporary duo work with Max Carmichael.

Irish sessions:

  • Sutton Bar Room with Max Carmichael — Sundays, 7:30-10:30, 59th St and 1st Ave.
  • Patrick’s with Kieran McCarthy Fell and Colin Forhan — Thursdays, 7:30-10:30, Times Square.
  • Guest appearances around town (see Facebook and calendar)


A highlight of the evening…”

– The Irish Echo

Contra projects:


Overview: The trio that took the world by storm! Matthew and Matt Diaz met through Brooklyn’s Iona Scottish Session, and together with drummer man Joe de Paolo, the band brings dancers into a world of tight rhythm and Caledonian flair. Booking weekends now!

Members/subs: Matthew (fiddle, feet); Matt Diaz (guitar/bouzouki); Joe de Paolo (drums)

Links:   Follow us!  |  Video: Dance Flurry main stage

Cake Jam!

Overview: Classical violin meets fiddle style; piano riffs predominate. If you’re all about tight fiddle harmony over driving piano support, with an occasional light-hearted number, this is the band for you!

Members: Matthew (fiddle, feet); Minda Cowen (fiddle); Anne-Marie Edden (piano)

Links: Follow usVideo: Princeton, NJ 2/18, Bob Isaacs calling

Gig Economy

Overview: This cast needs no introduction! Broadway, jazz, and classical backgrounds bring effortless lightness to classic contra tunes, Brazilian choros, and the latest pop covers.

Members: Matthew (fiddle, feet); Chip Prince (keyboard, melodica, euphonium); Dominique Gagné (flute, piccolo).

Links:  Video: CDNY, 4/18