BANGOR – Each year, the American Folk Festival features a number of diverse and talented musicians, including some local artists.
Most musicians only dream about performing alongside some of these world-renowned acts.
That includes Gus La Casse, a fast placed fiddle player from Trenton.
When it comes to fiddling, Gus La Casse is a natural.
“I just play,” La Casse said. “I just play.”
The classically trained musician began when he was five, with his infectious energy growing from there.
“It’s the type of music where you just let it out,” La Casse said.
Each note is executed nearly perfectly, with his fingers flurrying on the strings.
“I’m having fun doing what I do,” said La Casse.
The Trenton resident plays from New England to Canada, but one local venue really struck a chord.
“I have been going to the American Folk Festival since I was ten,” said La Casse. “I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would ever play it.”
But this year, at just 17 years old, that dream became reality.
A clip of Gus performing with Boston-based guitarist Eamon Sefton caught the ear of someone at the Folk Festival.
“They saw video of us on Facebook and about a week later the guy wrote and said ‘hey would you like to play at this year’s American Folk Festival?'” La Casse said. “And I’m like woah!”
For most teens, performing in front of thousands would be overwhelming, even nerve wrecking. But Gus? He’s taking it step by step.
“I feel a little butterflies but I know I’m just going to go out there and have fun,” said La Casse.
The homegrown talent is joining the stage with multi-cultural acts from around the world.
“It’s crazy, it’s really cool,” La Casse said.
Even though he’s among the youngest performers at this year’s festival, this teen stays humble.
When asked if he thinks of himself as a prodigy, he responded with a quick “no.”
“I think I’m lucky,” La Casse said. “I think I’m very lucky to be able to have fun playing my music.”
You can catch Gus and Eamon at the Two Rivers Stage on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. and Sunday at 1:45 p.m.
You can also check him out on Facebook by searching Gus La Casse, fiddler.