Since 1986, Jacqueline and Dudley Laufman have been playing for dances as Two Fiddles. Prior to that, Dudley, who has been playing and calling dances for over fifty years, has been the leader of the Canterbury Country Dance Orchestra, the first dance band to make an LP recording, in 1972, of the New England jigs and reels most often used for dancing.
“The two fiddles have strength and unison…The circulation of the melodies quickly links itself to their calls. Rarely getting out of their seat, giving clean but brief instructions, they allow the dance to organize itself as it proceeds.” – Kevin Gardner
As dance fiddlers, Jacqueline and Dudley have an earthy sound that combines with the beating of their feet as they call out the figures for old time New Hampshire barn and square dances. They are self-taught and play by ear, having learned by the oral tradition. They continue this tradition through their own students and apprentices.
TWO FIDDLES has toured widely throughout the northeast as well as the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, Hawaii, Quebec, Wisconsin, Kansas, Minnesota. The kinds of dances they do are Virginia reels, circle dances, square and contra dances, and dances from the colonial period to the present. Everyone is able to join in the dances; no experience needed.
They play in barns, private homes, town halls, schools, fairs, festivals, weddings, camps, Elderhostel programs, etc. They average about 200 engagements per year and are often booked 6-9 months in advance.
Most of their work is in New Hampshire, but they also travel to other parts of New England, United States and Canada. They were selected to represent traditional dancing at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival 1999 in Washington, DC.
Dudley, age 85, began calling dances in l948 Jacqueline is 63 and began playing fiddle in l986. They live on the edge of the woods in a little house they built themselves. In 2016 they produced another Canterbury Country Dance Orchestra recording with 16 musicians for another album of that full, rich Canterbury sound: WELCOME HERE AGAIN.
Jacqueline & Dudley Laufman
PO Box 61
Canterbury, NH 03224
Email: jdlaufman (at) comcast (dot) net