Folksy Rhythm


Bertram Levy, of Port Townsend, knows how to please an audience with his trusty bandoneon and banjo.

The founder of Fiddle Tunes performed live Dec. 28 during the Friday Night Live series at Taps at the Guardhouse.

Levy sat up on stage in front of a full house, separated in places by classic prison bars.

During the first half of his solo performance, Levy squeezed out tunes on his bandoneon, before pulling out his tried and true 5-string banjo for the second portion of the show.

On the bandoneon, Levy performed classic pieces including Parisian waltzes and Argentine tangos.

Later, on banjo, Levy performed pieces from his set, “Nylon Runs,” which he said explores his take on the sounds of Southern Appalachia.

Levy settled in Port Townsend in the mid-1970s, and has worked with renowned musicians throughout his career that spans about six decades.

Levy in 1974 was named “banjo player of the year” by Frets magazine in 1974.

In 1977, Levy created and directed the first Festival of American Fiddle Tunes.

In 1989, watching a live bandoneon performance by Astor Piazzolla, Levy decided to pick up the instrument and studied in Buenos Aires and Paris.

In 1999, Levy founded the Tangoheart Quintet to introduce Pacific Northwest audiences to authentic Argentine tango.


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