Quantcast

Blind fiddler nominated for Grammy

Posted: Updated:

WAVE — Michael Cleveland of Charlestown, Indiana, remembers the first time he heard the fiddle. He was with his grandparents at a bluegrass music festival and heard the song "Orange Blossom Special."

"That song captivated me for some reason," Cleveland said. "And from that moment on, I knew I had to play the fiddle. Most people I know don't remember anything about being four years old, but I'll never forget that."

But Michael couldn't read music — he was born blind. He says in a way that worked to his advantage.

"Most people that I know of, their teachers tell them to practice in a dark room," Cleveland said. "You shouldn't look at things. Listen to things when it comes to playing."

During the week at the Kentucky School for the Blind, he took classical lessons. On the weekends, it was all about bluegrass music.

And now, he's up for a Grammy. His album "Fiddler's Dream" is nominated for Best Bluegrass Album.

- Read more from WAVE