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Award-winning fiddle player Junior Marriott and friends will perform at 6:30 p.m. Friday, June 22, on the west side of the Gainesville square. The show, sponsored by the Ozark County Historium and the Ozark County Times, is free, but Historium volunteers will “pass the hat” to take up a collection for the band. The Historium will sell hot dogs and other refreshments during the performance. Attendees should bring lawn chairs. In case of inclement weather, the show will move into the Historium.
Marriott, who recently moved his business, Marriott Music, into the former Hartley Shoe Store building on the square in Ava, won first-place honors in 2010 at the Grand Lake National Fiddle Fest in Grove, Okla., a nationally sanctioned competition in the National Oldtime Fiddlers’ Contest circuit. He regularly hosts jam sessions, dance lessons and square dances at the store, making the old wooden floor resound with heel-tapping. The business is also the site of special concerts hosted occasionally.
Junior Marriott grew up on a farm in the Versailles area; his dad, Bunne Mariott was “a livestock trader,” Marriott said, “and he played the fiddle.” His uncle, Goodson Merriott (spelled differently but still related) was a former Missouri state champion fiddler player, Marriott said.
Marriott also plays and teaches guitar, bass and mandolin as well as fiddle. He teaches lessons in his Ava store and also via Skype video connections from students connected to home computers.
Marriott was asked to serve as a judge for the Grand Masters fiddle competition last year in Nashville and has judged other fiddle-music events as well. He is well-known for presenting crowd-pleasing performances throughout the region.
The Historium is a nonprofit member of the Ozark County Community Foundation. Fifty-50 tickets will be sold as a fundraiser during the show. For information about the event, contact Janet Taber (mailto:janettaber@gmail. com 417-265-3372).