Jane Wells Scott
2019 Florida Folk Heritage Award
From a southern family with Irish roots, Jane Wells Scott learned her first Irish songs from her mother. She took up the fiddle in 1985, turned to Irish music soon after and has studied with fiddle masters such as Liz Carroll and Florida Folk Heritage Awardee Edward Keeney. As a life-long learner, she attended the Willie Clancy Summer School in Ireland and traveled to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia to explore the region’s unique fiddle style. A gifted instructor, she taught music in the public school system and led the Irish Ensemble at Florida State University for seven years prior to applying her student-based approach to private lessons at Gordon’s String Music in Tallahassee. In addition to performing locally, regionally and internationally in various groups, she is considered the driving force behind Tallahassee’s Irish music scene, mentoring talented young fiddlers that have gone on to participate at the state fiddle contest at the Florida Folk Festival and beyond. In 2011, she published the Tallahassee Irish Tune Book, a collection of more than 265 pieces played at various on-going Tallahassee Irish sessions. The collection includes the history of Irish music, session guidelines and an alphabetical tune index. As a musician, scholar and mentor, Jane Wells Scott has played a key role in the dynamic exchange of folk music traditions in North Florida, learning from masters, documenting and sharing techniques and preserving those skills for new generations. Students and peers alike regard her as a valuable resource and important fixture in the community, and her work elegantly reflects the rich quality of Florida’s folk music heritage.