John Mailander
John Mailander
Fiddler - Composer - Teacher

Available January 5th, 2019.

 Artwork by  Megan Lightell .

Artwork by Megan Lightell.


John Mailander is an acclaimed multi-instrumentalist who moves listeners in concert halls, festivals, and music camps at home and abroad. A sought-after performer, teacher and recording artist, John is known for his deeply rooted voice on the fiddle, mandolin, and other stringed instruments.

John is a member of Bruce Hornsby & the Noisemakers, joining the band beginning in May 2018. He has toured and performed with some of the greatest names in the acoustic music world and beyond, including Billy Strings, Joy Williams, Darol Anger, Molly Tuttle, Tony Trischka, Col. Bruce Hampton, Joe K. Walsh, Lee Ann Womack, Missy Raines, Danny Paisley, Laurie Lewis, and John Reischman, to name a few. He was the featured fiddler for Steve Martin & Edie Brickell's musical, Bright Star, for its debut run in Poughkeepsie, New York.

A San Diego native, now based in Nashville, TN, John is an in-demand session musician. His debut solo album, Walking Distance, features his original compositions, recorded with an all-star cast of improvisational musicians from the New England music scene. He is at work on an anticipated new album of original music, entitled “Forecast”, to be released in January 2019.

As a teacher, John has been on staff at some of the most prestigious music camps in the Americas, including the Augusta Heritage Center Bluegrass Week, Swannannoa Gathering, Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, California Bluegrass Association Music Camp, and Nimblefingers Old Time & Bluegrass Music Workshop. He also keeps a busy private instruction schedule, teaching students all over the country in person and online. His first instructional book, A Fiddler's Guide to Moveable Shapes, was published in Fall 2017. He is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA.

John plays instruments by Jonathan Cooper, Lawrence Smart and Austin Clark. He endorses D'addarrio strings. He also recommends Grace Design Preamplifiers, Earthquaker Devices, Bartlett Fiddle Mics and Alchemist Brewing.

"My interest in music began early on in California, especially through attending the Strawberry Music Festival in Yosemite," John recalls. "The music and community cultivated by artists like the Grateful Dead, John Hartford, and Bill Monroe revealed the language, joy and healing power of music - things I try to model every time I am on stage or with a class of students."

 Photo by Anthony Norkus.

Photo by Anthony Norkus.

“All of John’s qualities - kindness, intelligence, humor, curiosity, integrity and love of beauty - show up every minute in his musicianship."

- Darol Anger

"John Mailander is a wonderful fiddler, with great improvisatory and compositional skills. He's rooted in tradition but can stretch in many other areas. He's diligent and focused and one of the nicest people you'll ever meet."

- Tony Trischka

“John Mailander’s music sits squarely at the intersection of taste and skill. His prodigious musical abilities are surpassed only by the incredible heart in his playing.”

- Joe Newberry


  Forecast, 2019

Forecast, 2019

  Imagine - Single, 2017

Imagine - Single, 2017

  Walking Distance, 2014

Walking Distance, 2014

Selected Discography




December 20th. Atlanta, GA. Variety Playhouse. Holiday Hootenanny, a benefit for ATL Habitat for Humanity.

December 22nd. San Diego, CA. Winston’s OB. Holiday Homecoming with Tyler Grant (Grant Farm) and Kellen Asebroek (Fruition).


January 5th. Nashville, TN. The Basement. “Forecast” CD Release Show.

February 12th. Scottsdale, AZ. Arizona Musicfest. With Ruth Moody.




John is available for private instruction on Fiddle, Guitar, and Mandolin-family instruments. He teaches from his home in Nashville, TN, as well as online via Skype.

He works with all ages and levels, with an emphasis on listening, theory, technique and improvisation. Lessons are tailored to each student's individual interests and styles.

For lesson inquires, pricing and scheduling, contact



Name *


A Fiddler's Guide to Moveable Shapes


A Fiddler's Guide to Moveable Shapes is the world's first fretless stringed-instrument focused chord-shape theory book / psychedelic folk-art colouring adventure for visually-inclined music makers of all ages.

A Fiddler's Guide combines striking visuals with traditional music notation for a unique learning experience. It features original handmade artwork by screen-printing maestro John Fabke, and editing by esteem'd musical luminary Nick DiSebastian. Each copy comes with a set of custom fiddle scroll coloured pencils for your creative pleasure.

Also available in digital download format.

"This slim volume from fiddler John Mailander could be a life changing experience for students of the instrument."

- Bluegrass Today

"A unique and helpful way to look at playing chords on the fiddle."

- Fiddler Magazine

Walking Distance


John's debut solo album of original instrumentals, featuring the musicianship of Tony Trischka, Molly Tuttle, Joe K. Walsh, Jacob Jolliff, and more.

Click here for more info / digital downloads.

"The way that John's character shines through in these songs is astonishing. He pours himself into the songs and his personality comes out in the music. What truly shines is the collaborative effort in this record. With all of the guests and sharing of breaks, the chemistry of the players, the emotion that is revealed. All of this makes that "community" theme hit home for this record, and it's a grand slam."

- Red Line Roots

"John Mailander is the latest bright light in the fiddle world."

- Bluegrass Today