Violin students can fiddle around this fall with series of lessons by “Diamond Jim” Hewitt

September 4, 2008

ORACLE, Ariz. – Whether it is the fiddle playing of Vassar Clements or the classical strains of Bach and Mozart, the music of the violin will radiate from Oracle, Ariz., on Thursday nights throughout the fall thanks to Central Arizona College.

Violin for Adults will again be taught by "Diamond Jim" Hewitt at the Wilson Barn Art Center in Oracle beginning Oct. 9. The eight-week session of lessons will run from 6:30-8:30 p.m. each Thursday and costs $60 for Arizona residents.

“We will explore alternative styles from swing to bluegrass to Celtic,” Hewitt stated. “In this eight-week class you will have the opportunity to work on improving your intonation, bowing and sight-reading skills, and to practice solo and ensemble playing, as well as improvisation. And, you can count on having fun while playing one of the oldest and most beautiful of instruments.”

Students who do not currently possess a violin will be provided information by the instructor on inexpensive local rentals.

Hewitt joined the music scene in Tucson shortly after he moved to the city in 1973. He began work on his graduate degree in anthropology at the University of Arizona, receiving his master’s in 1975.

He has been the lead instrumentalist for several well-known Tucson bands: Tucson-Area-Music-Award winning (TAMMIE) Terry Pollock and Thunderhead North; The Blue Prairie Dogs with whom he also won an individual TAMMIE in 1999 for best string player; and in a duo with popular singer/songwriter Sal Valdivia. He has played the Tucson Folk Festival numerous times with these groups as well as renowned singer/songwriter John Coinman.

The nickname "Diamond Jim" landed on his instrument while he was playing several seasons in the Gaslight Theatre orchestra.

One of the founding members of the Fiesta de las Calabazas, Hewitt has been the music promoter and one of the performers at this event since its inception in 2000.

Hewitt taught beginning violin at Sierra Oakes School in Oracle from 2004-06 and has taught adult beginners through Central Arizona College since 2006. He maintains a private recording and performance studio in Oracle where he produces music CD projects and tutors private students in the art of fiddle playing.

To register for the class or for more information, please contact Priscilla Barton at 520-357-2817. For more information about the classes, please contact Hewitt by phone at 520-896-3325 or by e-mail at


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