Liz Knowles began the violin at the age of seven in Kentucky but this doesn’t even begin to explain the story of her musical life. While being educated as a classical musician, focusing on new music and the very old (baroque and early music), she began to wander into other styles, discovering Irish music quite by accident. It was like discovering a new language that had all of the right vocabulary and phrases to express all that she had to say.
Today, she is well-known as an Irish fiddler, performer, composer/arranger, and teacher. She was the fiddler for Riverdance, played on Broadway, and was featured in the soundtrack for the film Michael Collins and has performed with artists as diverse as Marcus Roberts, the Bang-on-a-Can Orchestra, Bobby McFerrin, Paula Cole, Steve Reich, Eliot Goldenthal, Rachel Barton, Don Henley, Ricky Skaggs, Tim O’Brien, the String Sisters, and actress Fiona Shaw. Today, she travels with her trio, Open the Door for Three, and the Martin Hayes Quartet.
Her travels have taken her to Europe, Asia, the US and Canada, South America playing in concert halls, performing arts centers, clubs, festivals, house concerts and even a bullring in Mallorca. After a few very long conversations at a teaching festival about touring life and the carbon footprint of touring musicians, Liz and fiddler Laura Risk co-founded STAC, The Sustainable Touring Arts Coalition, which aims to look at the folk music industry as a whole and hopes to make quantifiable changes to various issues of sustainability.