Ann Marie Calhoun

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Ann Marie Calhoun (née Simpson; born May 26, 1979) is an American classically trained violinist who has performed as a bluegrass and rockmusician in a number of prominent acts, including Jethro TullSteve VaiDave Matthews BandRingo StarrA.R.Rahman and Mick Jagger‘s SuperHeavy. She is the sister of violinist Mary Simpson.

Personal Life

She was born Ann Marie Simpson in 1979 [1] in Virginia to a “hillbilly dad”,[2] a “documented descendant of Pocahontas“,[3] who plays banjo; and a “Chinese mom”,[2] who was a classically trained pianist.[3][4] Her brothers play guitar and her sister, Mary Simpson, is an accomplished bluegrass fiddler.[3][5]

Music Training

Ann Marie Calhoun (Simpson) began taking violin lessons at the age of three. As she says: “I actually don’t remember learning how to play, because I started when I was three. I feel like I’ve always known.”[6] The first hint of her talent came at the age of four when Simpson and her father were watching a Redskins game on television. After the band played “Hail to the Redskins“, he suddenly heard it again, only this time on the violin. “She picked it up through her ears, and it came out through her fingers instantly. I knew she had a gift then.”[4] Simpson began playing bluegrass music with her siblings in the Simpson Family Band. As her father states: “When she was 14, I started taking her to the fiddle contests, and she won just about every one.”[4]

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