Quince Dillion


from Alan Jabbour:

When I talk about my mentor on the fiddle, Henry Reed, I often mention one of his mentors, Quincie Dillion (born 1810) – or Quince Dillion, as Henry Reed called him.  Several Henry Reed tunes came from Quince Dillion, and one has come in recent decades to bear his name: “Quince Dillion’s High-D Tune.”  

People ask me about Quince Dillion and sometimes speak of him as if he were a legendary fiddler.  They debate about how to spell or pronounce his name.  And they occasionally even tease me that either I or Henry Reed might have just made him up as an archetypical fiddler and fifer from the Appalachian past.  Jim Costa, a great Monroe County fiddler and devoted collector of the artifacts of local culture, is in possession of an animal horn said to have been Quince Dillion’s hunting horn, which only burnishes the archetypical luster surrounding him.

“British Field March” is a tune Henry Reed learned from Quince Dillion. It was specifically identified as a fife tune, and a trill at one juncture–not a normal feature of Henry Reed’s fiddling–must be an echo of the fife original. In calling this piece “British Field March,” he said that it was the march used by the British to retreat in the Battle of New Orleans, where Andrew Jackson and his American forces routed the British contingent.

Henry Reed plays “British Field March”:


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