Jazz violinist-mandolinist Jason Anick finds his voice

Andy Cambria

Age: 28

Hometown: Marlborough, now lives in Medford.

Think of: A post-Ornette Coleman version of Stéphane Grappelli (violin), with a bit of Chris Thile (mandolin).


What caught our eye: The young Berklee instructor’s accomplished second CD, “Tipping Point,” on which his compositional voice is as distinctive as his virtuoso playing.

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Lightbulb moment: “I started playing music when I was about 6. But I think if there was one moment when I thought ‘I want to be a performer,’ it was at a Dave Matthews Band concert when I was about 15. I saw the group’s violinist playing with so much energy and the crowd was just going crazy. I thought, ‘That could be me one day.’ ”

Biggest thrill: “The first time I got to play at the Montreal Jazz Festival, in 2007. The thrill of being at such an iconic festival, playing for thousands of people, was so rewarding.”

Biggest surprise: “One year I was competing in a fiddle contest in Martha’s Vineyard and President Clinton and his family showed up and sat in the front row. I must have been around 13 years old. When people ask me now, ‘Do you ever get nervous when you perform?,’ I say that I got all my nerves out the day I performed in front of the president.”

Inspired by: “Charlie Parker was one of the first musicians who got me into jazz. I really wanted to emulate his phrasing on the violin. Then, of course, violinist Stéphane Grappelli. On the mandolin side, Chris Thile and David Grisman.”


Aspires to: “To continue performing and composing and to teach and keep growing as a musician and extending opportunities to travel the world and perform with other musicians.”

For good luck: “I have practice routines before I perform, to get into the right head space and warmed up. And hopefully I’ll be lucky after that.”

What people should know: “I play a French violin from 1886 from a French violin maker, [Charles Jean Baptiste] Collin-Mezin. I had been searching for one for a few years that had the right voice, a voice that really connected with me. I’ve had it for about four years.”

Coming soon: Anick will have a “Tipping Point” CD release show at the Regattabar, Charles Hotel, Cambridge, Feb. 25. Tickets are $18 at 617-395-7757 or

Jon Garelick can be reached at