Local Musician Creates First Album
Between the sounds of the fiddle and the amazing stacking layers of four part harmonies, bluegrass music has been winning hearts around the world since the 1940’s. The sound of bluegrass music has been growing exponentially over the past 25 years, and there is a whole generation of young musicians coming up because of this musical movement. Bluegrass music is truly an American art form. Its music today encompasses everything from the jamgrass of Yonder Mountain String Band to the traditional sound of Del McCoury to the more eclectic flavor of Trampled by Turtles.
Cori Jo Hawkins, who is from Lake Lotawana and attended Lee’s Summit North High School, is a part of that growing movement.
“I began learning how to play the fiddle when I was 7 years old, and I was bluegrass and classically trained. My dad played in a bluegrass band, so I grew up going to festivals all over the Midwest, jumping up on stage fiddling and singing with my dad,” said Cori.
Since then, Cori has grown into a phenomenally- trained musician, and her incredible talent and unparalleled passion for music has been capturing audiences wherever she plays.
“Having a hobby and a love for music that is so strong has given my life more meaning. It’s my identity, and it’s part of who I am. It has always given my life a drive and direction,” Cori says.
Cori started off listening to bands like Alison Krauss and the Dixie Chicks. From there she began to enjoy the sounds of Jack Johnson, M. Ward, and Angus & Julia Stone. Her love for bluegrass has opened up doors for her to play all over the country, and in addition she has opened up for multiple big country artists like Clint Black, Alabama, Diamond Rio, Tracy Lawrence, Jack Ingram, Uncle Kracker and Easton Corbin, just to name a few.
She is most excited about her newest project that she is currently working on called LOXO.
“It has a folk/bluesy influence,” says Cori. “I am really taking it back to my roots. It is the most genuine expression of music I have done yet, and I feel empowered with every song I finish. Since I live on a lake, it has a lot of influence on my writing. I feel centered around water, and it always seems to seep into my writing.”
The reason she chose the album title LOXO is because it is short for Loxodonta, which is the scientific species name for the African Elephant. When her album is finished, she will be putting a percentage of her album sales toward organizations that are trying to make a difference in saving African Elephants and Rhinos.
Cori is currently teaching violin and fiddle lessons in downtown Lee’s Summit at Shining Light Music. “The most important thing I stress and teach is learning the love of music. I want my students to love playing music,” says Cori. “I believe the violin is one of the hardest instruments to learn and master. I tell my students all the time that it is not a sprint but a long-distance run.” However, Cori believes that learning the violin at such an early age has allowed her to transition to other instruments pretty easily, as she enjoys playing the guitar, mandolin and banjo as well.
You won’t want to miss her live at the Canoe Club at Lake Lotawana, on July 29th. If you are interested in booking, email her at email@example.com or call 816.809.2009. You can also follow her and her music at LittleMissMammoth.com.