Black Fiddlers is a documentary film project exploring the roots of violin playing traditions in early American music. The film was commissioned by Early Music Project, and it will be produced by Heritage Film Project with the support of the Robert and Joseph Cornell Memorial Foundation under the direction of Eduardo Montes-Bradley. 


Black Fiddlers is centered in the legacy of Beverly and Eston, two of the six children that Thomas Jefferson fathered with Sally Hemmings, a subject thoroughly researched by scholars David McCormick and Loren Ludwig, fellows at the International Center for Jefferson Studies. However, the film will also explore, in a style that has define the documentary works of Montes-Bradley, the experiences of other Black enslaved and freemen fiddlers before and after Emancipation.


“Black Fiddlers” will be filmed in and around Charlottesville, New York, Boston, Richmond and possibly, depending on script developments, Paris and Vienna. Black Fiddlers, founded in part by Early Music Access Project of Charlottesville and by a generous gift from The Robert and Joseph Cornell Memorial Foundation, will be completed in time for the Virginia Film Festival 2021. HD | 60 min. Color & BW. 


Status: In Development Estimated running time 60 minutes. Executive producers David McCormick and Eduardo Montes-Bradley. Made possible with the support of Early Music Access Project of Charlottesville and The Robert and Joseph Cornell Memorial Foundation Advisory Board: David McCormick, Loren Ludwig, Lucia “Cinder” Stanton, Jonathan Vacanti.


Written and directed by Eduardo Montes-Bradley.

© 2021 | Heritage Film Project