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My year started out great - relaxing after the long tours of last year in a cabin by a lake in British Columbia, starting work on a new album and planning a new show for tours later in the year...

However, soon after, unexpected developments concerning my work permit for Canada suddenly forced me to leave the country.

Back in California now, consultations with lawyers over the last few weeks have given partner in crime Dan Frechette and I hope that we WILL be able to play music together again, and hopefully with less stress and uncertainty than being an Canadian-American music duo booking all our own shows and trying to understand legal issues has created in our lives thus far! We could write a book!

Unfortunately, without spending many more thousands of dollars than we have to spend, and probably even then, it will be impossible for me to remedy this situation and return to Canada for any of the tours we've planned this year. Because we spent such a large part of 2013 touring the US, we were focusing our booking efforts heavily on Canada this year, and it's frustrating that we won't be able to tour together and play for all the great friends and fans we've made.

Some shows have been postponed or cancelled, while others Dan will be performing solo, including a month long tour of western Canada starting in less than two weeks.

For that tour, Dan has just recorded a new album, "Genuine Heart", to be released February 11th. I've checked out the preview and have to say, you're in for a treat! I hope you will spread the word to friends in Canada and support Dan as he tours in my absence. Get details about the tour and the CD here:

I'm quite sad to not be able to perform and tour as I'd planned, but am changing gears as best I can and hope to make the most of the year given these enforced limitations. I'll be focusing on building up my Skype, FaceTime, and Zoom, as well as my in-person teaching studios (both in Santa Cruz and again in Monterey) and working on projects I've had on the back burner, including a violin method book and video series I've been gradually working on over several years.

If you've ever thought, "Hey, it'd be really nice to perform with Laurel, have her violin or viola on this or that gig, hire her for a wedding, recording project, have her teach me/my child/my friend some tips and tricks, or write an article on some music topic for my magazine/paper/blog, etc." you're in luck! I'm available! I'm willing to travel reasonable distances or do recordings/teaching virtually. Please spread the word or get in touch yourself!

Dan and I are also hoping to still find a way to write and record a new album together for release in late 2014 or early 2015. So, stay tuned!

Thursday January 23rd, 2014

Please email me at if you have a violin, viola, fiddle, music biz, or practice related question you’d like answered in the blog or on a podcast, have a story or insight to share, or if you’d like to inquire about violin, viola, or fiddle lessons with me, in-person or online via Skype, FaceTime, or Zoom.

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Laurel Thomsen

Violin, Viola, Vocals
Performance, Instruction, Recording

Based in Santa Cruz, California

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Photography by Michelle Magdalena
Skype: laurelthomsen

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