Born: April 12, 1953 Primary Instrument: Violin
Paul Anastasio began playing the violin at age nine and he was soon drawn to the sounds of fiddle tunes, bluegrass music and hot swing. In his early 20s Paul began studying jazz violin with the great Joe Venuti. His first job on the road was with Merle Haggard's backup band, 'The Strangers'. Following six months with Merle, Paul went to work with the western swing band 'Asleep at the Wheel' and jobs with Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers and Loretta Lynn followed. In 1992 a chance encounter with Mexican violinist Juan Reynoso turned his life upside down ‹ Paul began to travel to southwestern Mexico to study Juan's remarkable regional fiddling style. Now, six years after his first encounter with Juan, Paul has spent fifteen months in Mexico, recorded nearly 2000 hours of music, and transcribed over 500 pieces from Mexico's Hot Lands.