Perfesser Rolland comes from quite the musical family. His grandmother played piano for the silent movies in Hungary. His mother, an outstanding piano teacher, and his father, a world famous violin pedagogue, are both graduates of the Franz Liszt Academy in Budapest. In his early years, Perfesser decided to follow another love that he had, math. He wound up teaching at various colleges and universities for 25 years, but remembers returning to music in graduate school, as a diversion from the rigors of his studies. We’re sure glad he did, because he was exposed to old time music and the rest is history.
In New York City around 1969, Perfesser joined up with a couple of fellers to play those old tunes and had tons of fun doing it! In the early ‘70s he moved to Tucson,AZ where he joined Summerdog Bluegrass Band and Mariachi Swing Ensemble. Tucson in the ‘70s was a fairly strong center for old time music and a good place to learn. During this time, Perfesser started teaching fiddle students and also began to fix, sell and rent fiddles, which he still does today under the name of Rolland String Research Associates. So if your looking for a fiddle, look no further!
Perfesser and his wife Gail, moved to Phoenix in ’79 and raised a family of 4 children, all talented in music. Gail and Perfesser began performing together as a duo called Fiddle-ology, and in the ‘80s were involved in various bands; The Cowboy Fiddle Band, Crossbow, and The Cowboy Legends. Perfesser was playing a show with the Cowboy Legends when Pioneer Pepper first heard him. Pioneer Pepper recalls saying “That guy can fiddle”!
From 1997 – 2002 Perfesser was heard with Tom Hiatt and The Sundown Riders at Rawhide, a western theme park in Scottsdale,AZ. He then did a tour with The Amazing McNasty Brothers to Switzerland and performed regularly with them at the Goldfield Ghost Town. Perfesser performs with his family, The Rolland Family Band, and enjoys spending that time with them on stage. Perfesser’s most recent band, The Night Riders, was tragically altered when one of the members, Rick Felix, was killed coming home from a show. Their CD, recorded before the fatal accident, Tying Knot’s In The Devil’s Tail and Perfessers’ CD Fiddleology are available at the Sunset Pioneers’ Wagon Wheel Mercantile.
The list of Perfesser’s accomplishments is staggering. Here ya go!
- 3-time Certified National Fiddle Champion
- Arizona State Fiddle Champion
- 8-time Arizona State Adult Fiddle Champion
- Teacher of 12 Arizona State Fiddle Champions
- Teaches a course at ASU, Country & Western Music
- Taught old time fiddling at 6 western universities
- Judges Arizona fiddle contests
- Judged National Old Time Fiddle Contest twice
Pioneer Pepper is proud to have Perfesser riding along with The Sunset Pioneers and knows you’ll be thrilled to hear his fantastic fiddling when you come out to see us!
Send email to the Perfesser at firstname.lastname@example.org