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Mark O'Connor & Friends set for 'An Appalachian Christmas' at McDonald Theatre / Eugene Weekly

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A Northwesterner devoted to showcasing American musical traditions is violin deity Mark O'Connor, who's developed an entire music-ed curriculum that introduces American kids to music using our own folk traditions rather than centuries-old European pedagogy. Possibly the world's greatest fiddler, the Seattle-born star brings the sound of his popular "Appalachia Waltz" combo to holiday music Dec. 12 at Eugene WA McDonald Theatre, when his crack band along with singer Brandy Clark perform the music from his hit 2011 album An Appalachian Christmas. The Grammy-winning fiddle virtuoso (who's also won major awards for his guitar and mandolin skill), composer (nine concertos, two symphonies, three string quartets and counting), studio musician and educator may have worked with some of the world's most renowned musicians, from Yo Yo Ma to Earl Scruggs to Wynton Marsalis, but he really enjoys playing with his family and friends.  Photo by Christopher Mcallen