Fiddle queen in Portsmouth

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PORTSMOUTH — April Verch, the internationally renowned Canadian fiddler, singer, songwriter and stepdancer, brings her band to Common Fence Music Saturday night. Born to traditional music in Canada’s hard-working, hard-dancing Ottawa Valley, Verch picked up on the area’s open-minded fusion of Irish, Scottish, French, German and Polish influences, sprinkled with tangy spices of American country music. She became the first woman to win both of Canada’s most prestigious fiddle championships: the Grand Masters and Canadian Open. And when Canada hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics, she was asked to represent her country’s music at the opening ceremonies. On the afternoon of the performance, she’ll host a beginner’s fiddle workshop co-sponsored by the Rhode Island Fiddle Project and Common Fence Music. The free workshop will be limited to 30 participants on a first-come, first-served basis. If you’re interested, Tom Perrotti at tom@commonfencemusic.org or 401/683-5085.

The April Verch Band in concert

WHERE: Common Fence Point Community Hall, 933 Anthony Road, Portsmouth

WHEN: 3:30-4:30 p.m. fiddle workshop, 8 p.m. show (doors at 7 p.m.), Saturday, Sept. 29

COST: Free for workshop; $20 in advance, $23 at the door for show

MORE INFO: 401/683-5085, 866/468-7619; www.commonfencemusic.org

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.