About Olivia

Raised in a musical home in Northern Ontario, Canada, Olivia Korkola has been entertaining listeners since curiosity caused her to pick up her great-grandfather’s fiddle at a very young age. Intrigued by the instrument, her love affair with the violin began, and she started classical violin training at the age of 5, and after hearing the music of the Canadian East Coast, she began fiddling lessons at age 7. She continues both today.

Through her teens, Olivia expanded her musical knowledge by learning a variety of instruments, including electric bass, mandolin, percussion and saxophone.

Her passion for the music and undying hunger to grow as a player, led her to jump at any opportunity to attend workshops, summer fiddle camps and private classes. She has studied with a list of influential fiddlers including Jerry Holland, Liz Carroll, and Ashley MacIsaac to name a few. She was thrilled to attend Master Classes with Glenn Dexterow and Itzhak Perlman at the Juilliard School of Music the summer before entering Berklee, although she had to forego attending her high school graduation in order to do so.

Olivia has been recognized with a number of awards for both her classical and fiddle talents.

At 15 years of age, Olivia won the title of Minnesota State Old-Time Fiddle Champion. In 2010, at 16, she released her debut album, “Playing In Traffic”, a unique blend of original and traditional Irish, Scottish, French Canadian, Cape Breton, Texas Swing and original selections that showcase the versatility and musical maturity of this dedicated young performer. The CD features a list of talented Canadian musicians, including Ashley MacIsaac.

“Playing In Traffic” quickly gained international recognition, and Olivia was praised for her “joyful and confident” style. Olivia was nominated in October 2011 for a Canadian Folk Music Award in the category of Young Performer of the Year. Rob Nickerson received Best Recording Engineer at the 2011 Northern Ontario Music and Film Awards (NOFAM) for his work on the album.

Her CD featured one of Olivia’s original tunes, a strathspey dedicated to her brother, Jesse. Since that time she has further developed her skills as a composer and has added to her repertoire.

Olivia has performed with a long list of professional musicians, including Livingston Taylor, Ashley McIsaac, Oli Brown, Tyler Yarema, Pierre Schryer, and the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra. Last May, Olivia was invited to perform at the Berklee College of Music 2013 commencement concert to an audience of 4,000 at Agganis Arena in Boston. The concert featured performances by music industry legends Annie Lennox, Willie Nelson, Carole King, and Kris Kristofferson.

No stranger to the spotlight, this “petite powerhouse” has had hundreds of performances across Canada and in the United States since the age of 11, including a featured guest appearance at the opening ceremonies of the Ontario Special Olympics and the 2010 World Junior Baseball Championships, broadcast live on TSN.

At 17, Olivia was the youngest musician to take the stage at the 2011 Thunder Bay Blues Festival, playing to a crowd of more than 3,000 people alongside headliners such as Grand Funk Railroad, Buddy Guy and Big Walter Smith. For two consecutive years, she was invited to appear as a featured performer at the three day LIVE from the Rock,Red Rock Folk Festival where she entertained audiences as a solo artist and through improv collaborations with other performers.

Olivia is a scholarship student at Berklee College of Music with plans to graduate with a degree in Performance. She continues to write, record and perform while in Boston, Toronto and at home in Thunder Bay.

With grace and humility, this dynamic fiddler and accomplished classical violinist continues to tear up the stage wherever she performs. Dedication to her craft, a strong work ethic, and an engaging smile foretell a bright future for this young artist.

“We’re listening to the start of a great career” - Tom Keller, Folk World, Germany

“Fiddling sensation Olivia Korkola continues to shine! Talk about potential.” - Peter Jabs, The Walleye (“More from the Red Rock Festival” 2011)