About Stephan Dudash: . . . five-string violist Stephan Dudash will scare the daylights out of you.' - Rusty Russel, Music Row Magazine Stephan Dudash MY AUTOBIOGRAPHY, BY STEPHAN 'THE CAT WITH THE FIDDLE' DUDASH First thing folks, is that I don't play a fiddle/violin. I play a 5-string viola, which I had built for me by a world-class viola maker, David Burgess, from Ann Arbor, Michigan. One of my teachers used to tell me as a teenager, 'you should play viola because you have the hands for it.' Not only that, I always preferred the sound of a viola to a fiddle. My instrument encompasses the strings of both the violin and viola. Because of the size of my instrument (halfway between a normal-size viola and a full-size violin), the sound I get has both qualities . . . sweet yet punchy! Listening to 'Mango Django,' you may not realize that I also play guitar, bass guitar, congas, and mandolin, the last of which I have performed with the NASHVILLE MANDOLIN ENSEMBLE. Here are my vital statistics so you can taste some more fun and factual morsels from my history as a musician/person: Born & raised in Mankato, MN, on a hillside overlooking the BlueEarth & Minnesota Rivers. Around age 5, started tinkering on the piano until age 11 when I had my first piano lesson. Played my first round of golf at age 10. Did some serious listening to Bing Crosby & West Side Story. Switched to violin 6 months later (the same year the Beatles hit the USA). Received a box of 45s from my Aunt Patty containing numerous hits from the 1950s and early 60s. Ages 13-16, I attended Interlochen Arts Academy as a violin major (while being exposed to and becoming a big fan of many other styles of music . . . Jimmy Hendrix, Cream, Frank Zappa, Buddy Rich, Stephane Grapelli and others). At Interlochen, I started playing pop/rock music with Dave Brubeck's son, Chris, and subsequently did some touring with Dave whose band members included sax greats Gerry Mulligan & Paul Desmond. To make a long story short, I moved from Minnesota to Ann Arbor, MI, back to Minnesota, to Boston, MA; to Kankakee (Stelle), IL; to Dallas, TX; to Nashville, TN, where I now reside with my lovely wife, Linda, in a beautiful log house in the country. During all that moving, I managed to get married; have a son (Jaime David Dudash), get divorced; get remarried; and perform with the likes of: the band New Heavenly Blue, The Bone Band, Olivia Newton-John, the band Good Thunder, Billy Bob's Texas house band, the band Palomino, the band Danger in the Air, Opryland USA, the McCarter Sisters, the Grand Old Opry, Janie Fricke, the Ryman Auditorium (Always . . . Patsy Cline & Lost Highway shows), Shania Twain, and Bada Bing Bada Boom. WHEW! Besides touring with the Nashville Mandolin Ensemble (my contributions can be heard on the CDs, 'All the Rage' & 'Bach, Beatles & Bluegrass'), I most recently have been playing some hot gypsy jazz with guitar virtuoso, John Jorgensen (check events page for exact dates and times). Special lifetime of thanks to: God, for all things good including life itself; my parents, Charlie and Helen, for raising me and all their love and support; my son Jaime, for being such a wonderful human being; my wife, Linda, for doing more for me than is reasonably expected and her continued love in spite of my shortcomings. Mango Django - Featuring Stephan Dudash on 5-string viola Mango Django is Stephan Dudash's latest work, a Latin and Gypsy jazz CD released July 26, 2004. Mango Django - Embodies the concept of this album in both title and style, Latin and Gypsy jazz. Seduction - Those hips, those eyes . . . go for it, dance! Groundgog in the Bathtub - Scurrying little feet, slide back down, scurry, slide . . . get the picture? Dedicated to 'Clover,' our true-to-life groundhog. See a photo of Clover My One and Only Love - An absolute classic melody. This arrangement credit goes to my guitar virtuoso buddy, Dave Stone. Love and Thanks. Cat with a Fiddle - A musical cartoon. Check out my niece's vocal. Lizzie Dudash, you're a star. Thanks to Eddie Mugavero for some lyrical gifts. Lyrics to 'Cat with a Fiddle' Primary Feathers - This Latin-style melody makes my spirit fly. Alley of Regrets - Can't heal to it if you don't walk down it. Toucan Be - A touch of Santana, a touch of Dizzy Gillespie, a touch of Stephane Grappelli. Thanks to Laurie Meachem & Van Manakas for chordal support. His Tender Love - My song of thanks to our Lord God & Son, Christ Jesus, whose inner urge in me overcame my fears and made this all possible, WOW! Lyrics to 'His Tender Love' Defective Detective - One of my faves! Sneaky & swingy. Maybe I can sell this one to Jim Carey. Take Me, Shake Me - Dedicated to all my swing pals from the band BadaBingBadaBoom. Lyrics to 'Take Me, Shake Me' Mark's Song - Betsy Foster's 'Zhivago style' melody, entitled for her husband. I am honored to have this on the album. My title would have been 'At Peace'. God's peace to all who share this music.