Folk Arts Quartet (FAQ) fuses the worlds of folk and chamber music in a wild amalgam they call ChamberGrass. With firm roots in Celtic and American fiddle styles, FAQ enlivens traditional tunes and new compositions through innovative arrangements, recordings, and performances.
“It’s not uncommon for a modern string quartet to play some crossover material,” remarks cellist Liz Davis Maxfield, “but what we’re doing is different. We aren’t a classical quartet playing ‘an arrangement of a folk tunes.’ We are fundamentally folk musicians, who know the traditions and styles, but we also happen to have extensive technical training and chamber music experience.”
The founding members of Folk Arts Quartet met in 2008 while studying at Berklee College of Music (Boston, MA), piloting their groovy, contemporary arrangements in Boston’s fertile folk music scene. At Berklee, FAQ had the honor of being mentored by some of today’s best contemporary string players, including Eugene Friesen, Mads Tolling, and John McGann. FAQ’s sound quickly grew in popularity as the quartet performed for audiences at venues such as Club Passim and WGBH’s St. Patrick’s Day Celtic Sojourn.
“Evidently passionate and extremely tight, it was an absolute delight to see them perform,” wrote Anja McCloskey, writer for Wears the Trousers Magazine.
In March 2009, FAQ released its debut, self-titled album prior to spending the summer touring throughout the U.S. and Canada. In response to FAQ’s performance on the main stage of Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, the Festival’s musical director touted FAQ as one of her “favorite bands to watch this year.” (Cover Lay Down, 8/09)
While the band is currently on hiatus, their album is still available for purchase, as well as sheet music of their arrangements.