“Tour de force.” - New York Times
“Monster chops and imagination to match.” - Downbeat
“Casey Driessen revels in making his fiddle do things that seem not just left-of-center but downright improbable.” - PopMatters
“Casey Driessen is a rather funky fellow....Music-wise, you might call him the heir to Vassar Clements in that he too, straddles the line between roots and jazz. If you've ever seen Driessen perform live you'll swear his violin plays him.” - Nashville Scene
"You never know what's coming next with Casey Driessen, by far the most unpredictable (in an exciting way) musician around...he flat out demolishes limits and boundaries and extends himself to new levels." - Elmore Magazine
Casey Driessen has never taken the standard path in his music career. He crosses genre boundaries. He’s just as likely to release a series of videos of creative collaborations as he is to release a traditional album. Described by Zac Brown as “a mad scientist with a five-string fiddle,” the fiddle player loves to experiment, collaborate, teach, travel, and push the boundaries of not only his instrument, but of what it means to be an independent working musician in the current climate. It’s a climate where a rare talent like Driessen can be invited to collaborate on-stage alongside the likes of Béla Fleck when only hours before, he was doing shirt counts and looking for the best space in the venue to set up the Flecktones merch table. But such is the price of maintaining creative freedom. You work twice as hard to ensure that you have the opportunity to make the music you want to make. And Driessen has made a career of being a survivor.
Currently, the unconventional gig that keeps him busy yet free to experiment is a recent appointment as Program Director of Contemporary Performance (Production Concentration) for Berklee College of Music’s graduate school at their international campus in Valencia, Spain. Hired in the summer of 2015 by his alma mater, he divides his time between teaching, leading the program and developing outside projects to ensure that his artistry doesn’t get lost in the milieu of being a of running a graduate program.
But Driessen, never one to wear a single hat, is taking advantage of the location and opportunities that come with his new gig. He splits his weekends and school breaks between his family and diving head-first into the international flavor and collaborations that set him apart from most independent musicians. So one weekend that may mean playing a festival in Norway. And the following weekend going into the studio to lay down tracks for a collaborative project with top Estonian fiddler, Eeva Talsi.
Over the past 10 years, Driessen has racked up a catalog and resume that would make many top players exhausted just to read through. His projects and accomplishments over the last few include:
Released three solo records: GRAMMY-nominated 3D (Sugar Hill); the independently released Oog, as well as an album of songs to accompany a solo tour built around loops and a pedalboard, The Singularity.
Toured regularly as a collaborator with Darrell Scott, Tim O’Brien, Bela Fleck, Jerry Douglas, Steve Earle and others as well as being a part of Sparrow Quartet with Fleck and Abigail Washburn.
Travelled the world playing his music in 18 countries on 4 continents and counting.
Launched Fiddle/Sticks: The Drummer Project, which featured rhythmic musical explorations with legendary drummers and percussionists like Kenny Malone (Johnny Cash, Don Williams, Sarah Jarosz), Jamey Haddad (Paul Simon, David Liebman, Esperanza Spalding) and Future Man (Flecktones, Mike Gordon, Whitney Houston).
Developed and launched The Singularity, a one man fiddle show focused on live looping and pedalboard effects, that includes an album and ongoing international touring.
Touring highlights include: Opening a string of arena dates with Zac Brown Band; Being a featured solo artist at Bonnaroo; Invited by the U.S. Olympic Committee to perform for U.S. athletes with Sparrow Quartet at 2008 Beijing Olympics; Performer for Pete Seeger’s 90th Birthday Celebration at Madison Square Garden.
Invited to be a featured speaker and performer at TEDx Asheville.
Created a series of Percussive bowing lesson videos available through his website
Launched a legendary series of high-end private jam events in Nashville. The Red Shoe Stringjam attracted many of the best musicians in the world and was a notoriously difficult invitation to come by.
Hosted the Midnight Jam at MerleFest two years in a row.
Taught at numerous camps and festivals, sharing his progressive bowing and rhythmic techniques with scores of students at some of the world’s most renowned camps and festivals.