Kathy Sommer is a violinist, fiddler and mandolinist known for her tasteful and polished style, for her versatility, energetic stage presence, and for playing from the heart. Her violin study and performance began at age seven at the Eastman School of Music under Project Super, the first Suzuki program in the United States. Classical music dominated her early training and she eventually branched out to study and play a dizzying variety of styles including folk, swing, bluegrass, cajun, and jazz. Over the years Kathy has participated in numerous fiddle and dance camps, and jazz camps with the Turtle Island String Quartet, latin jazz pianist Eddie Palmieri, and gypsy jazz at Django in June, and she has been coached by some of the best contemporary fiddlers.
In addition to violin, Kathy also plays mandolin and a handful of other instruments and coaches budding guitarists in the national Guitar4Vets program. Her violin and mandolin playing is featured on four cds with her long-time band The Buskers, a triple-fiddle album with her newest band Fiddlers Three, a cd with the all-women swing band Sweet, Red Hot and Sassy, and on numerous other artists recordings.
Until 2021 Kathy also had her own long-running and popular music camp in New Hampshire, Fiddleheads Acoustic JamCamp, utilizing teaching and group coaching skills she has acquired from the camps she has attended and through years of private violin teaching. She has coached at the Pete Wernick bluegrass camp and been both a coach and guest performer at the NYS Old Tyme Fiddlers' Association. She is a resident of northern New York State, where she performs regionally as a solo folk and classical artist.