Vi Wickam – often known as Vi the Fiddler – is a champion fiddler, singer, and inspired performer who brings his full energy to every performance. Drawing from blues, bluegrass, jazz, rock, old-time fiddle, and classical music, Vi regularly performs as both a solo artist and as a member of several prominent groups. “Some people say you can tell a lot about the sound of someone’s music by the expression on his face,” says popular fiddler Megan Lynch. “You know that smile you see on Vi’s face every time you run into him? You can hear it in every song.”
Drawing from styles such as bluegrass, jazz, rock, old-time fiddle, and classical music, Vi regularly performs as both a solo artist and as a member of several prominent groups, including Vi Wickam and The Band, The Whiskey Chickens, Fritto Misto, and Fiddle Whamdiddle, whose 2014 album, Old School Old Time and 2016 album Not My Monkey were on the Grammy Ballot. In 2018, Vi had 2 albums that made it into the top 5 on the Folk DJ Radio Chart: Armadillo on a Hot Tin Roof was #4 in April (and spent 7 months in a row on the chart), and ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas was #5 in December.
Vi is well known in bluegrass and fiddling circles for his 2012 “Fiddle Tune a Day Project,” where he recorded a different tune every day, wrote an article about it, and posted it to youtube and his blog. Vi fulfilled this pledge each of the 366 days that year. Tens of thousands of people still watch these videos each month.
Vi served for three years as the secretary treasurer of AFM Local 1000, the traveling musicians union, and is a voting member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (the Grammy Academy). He is an active member and presenter in the Colorado Chapter of the American String Teachers Association, and has presented a TEDx talk on the power of music as an educational tool.
Born in 1976 and currently based in Loveland, Colorado, Vi comes from a long line of musicians dating back to his great-grandfather, Joseph Wickam, who was a professional violinist, published composer, and music teacher, and great-great-great-uncle George R. Poulton, who wrote the music to Aura Lea, the melodic basis for Elvis’s Love Me Tender. From 1985-1995, Vi performed regularly with his brothers, father, and grandfather as The Wickam Family Band. Among other engagements, this group performed from 1992-1995 on Blinky’s Fun Club, an iconic children’s TV show recorded at KWGN Denver that ran for 40 years and over 10,000 episodes.
Vi is a four time Colorado State Fiddling Champion, and has been a finalist four times at the Grand Masters’ Fiddler Championship. He is in demand nationally as a fiddle contest judge, and judged the National Old Time Fiddler’s Contest in 2012. He also directed the Indiana State Fiddle Contest from 2006-2009.
He currently performs with several groups, including Vi Wickam and The Band, a band featuring a mixture of Americana, Old Time, and Popular tunes; Fritto Misto, a fiddle and cello (Dan Delaney) duo frying up a mix of Swing, Pop/Rock, and Traditional music; and Fiddle Whamdiddle with dulcimer player Steve Eulberg. Beyond his performing, Vi is also an accomplished teacher. He teaches regularly at workshops and camps around the US, and is one of the founders of myTalentForge.com, an online music school containing over 700 fiddle lesson videos.