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Thread: Orrin Star Passes

  1. #1
    Purveyor of Sunshine sgarrity's Avatar
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    Default Orrin Star Passes

    Orrin was a great mandolin player and flatpicker. I had the good fortune of taking a few classes and jamming with him many times. Every time he'd see me he'd ask what mandolin I was picking on these days, we'd swap instruments, and take off on a tune or two. RIP my friend and Thank You for the music!

    https://bluegrasstoday.com/orrin-star-passes/

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  3. #2

    Default Re: Orrin Star Passes

    Super bummer!

    Such a great teacher and musician.

    RIP

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Orrin Star Passes

    I am sorry to hear this. I've been spending some time almost everyday with his "Hot Licks for Bluegrass Guiitar" for several months. Great teacher and very into the rise of modern flatpicking.

  5. #4

    Default Re: Orrin Star Passes

    We're very sorry to hear this news and extend our condolences to his extended family and musical friends.

    Used to trade occasional emails with him once in awhile about workshops he was teaching at, and he had 84 posts here as a member over the years. Was there when he won the guitar contest at Winfield in the 80s.

    Rest in peace, Orrin.

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  7. #5

    Default Re: Orrin Star Passes

    I'm saddened to hear of his passing. Orrin Star was a fine guy and great musician.

    I had the chance to teach a few camps with him and we had some great jams. As I recall he was quite the ping-pong player as well. Rest in peace Orrin.
    Steve Smith

  8. #6
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    Default Re: Orrin Star Passes

    RIP, Orrin. He sure taught a lot of people to pick. Screw cancer!
    Byrd
    Coleman Falls, Va.

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  9. #7
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Orrin Star Passes

    Oh my! this is sobering news. Such a great fellow and heck of a picker - both mandolin and guitar.

    I have to take the rewind machine back about 30+ years. We had recently moved to Boston and married. Having just moved from Blacksburg, where I regained my interest in mandolin, I went looking for a teacher - somebody to keep me moving forward. Not sure how it happened, but Orrin ended up being that person. The two of us in his co-op in Cambridge - well and my little cassette recorder.

    I recall Orrin playing his Kettler. Never-ever seen a bench-made mandolin. I, of course, was playing my A3.

    He was a great guy. It was another 25 years or more before I saw him and Jimmy G. at a house concert right here in Richmond! That night it was Jimmy on mandolin and Orrin on his D18 (light-strings?). Heck yeah, he (they) still had his chops.

    So sad. . .

    Fine memories!

    f-d
    ¡papá gordo ain’t no madre flaca!

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    Default Re: Orrin Star Passes

    Truly sad to see this.

    I jammed with OS once, in a bar on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, in the mid 90's. I picked his number Too Much Mustard. He pointed out where I was a bit off-kilter.

    R.I.P

  11. #9

    Default Re: Orrin Star Passes

    This makes me very sad, Orrin was a great guy. Music has brought so many great people into my life. Orrin called several years ago about a mandola I was selling, he ended up not buying it, but we stayed in touch. When he came to St. Louis for some concerts and workshops he stayed with us for a couple of days. He was a fantastic musician and as funny as human beings can be. While he was here he fell in love with the first acoustic guitar I ever built and wanted to buy it. I didn't want to sell & Orrin thought it was for sentimental reasons. A couple of years later he finally talked me into selling and I told him the reason I didn't want to sell it was not sentimental, but because there were so many beginner mistakes on it. It sounded very good and played well, but there were plenty of cosmetic boogers on it, Orrin didn't seem to mind. Good knowing you Orrin Star, may you rest in peace!

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    Default Re: Orrin Star Passes

    I'm so sorry to hear this news. I was just thinking of him the other day. I got to know Orrin a bit over the years when our Contratopia band would visit the D.C. area to play dances at Glen Echo. He often ran sound at the Spanish Ballroom and made us sound good. We were honored to have him sit in with us a couple of times during dances and we always enjoyed comparing instruments, playing a few tunes and laughing a lot. We also talked about health issues a couple of times but I didn't see this coming. A kind, gentle person with a great sense of humor who really knew how to play well with others.

    John G.

  13. #11
    Registered User Toycona's Avatar
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    Default Re: Orrin Star Passes

    RIP, Orrin. He sure taught a lot of people to pick. Screw cancer!
    Very sad about this. I took a class from him, then later saw him at a great house concert where he sang, played mandolin, mandola, guitar, and banjo. He also had a spot on impersonation of race car driver Jackie Stewart ("It's a grrreat, grrreat day for motorrr carrr rrracing").

    He was a super, super picker and overall nice guy.
    Love Calls Us to the Things of This World

  14. #12
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Orrin Star Passes

    Orrin played here years ago, in a guitar duet with Gary Mehalick. I recorded some tracks for a friend's CD in his studio maybe a decade or so ago, and he at the Sultans of String were featured at the Eisteddfod in Brooklyn when I did some workshops there back in the '90's.

    Great musician, and I found him easy to work with in the studio. Another sad loss to cancer. I also believe he had a try at combining music and stand-up comedy; my memory's a bit hazy, but I think that was a career diversion for a while.
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  15. #13
    Registered User Cheryl Watson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Orrin Star Passes

    This is so sad to hear. My condolences to Orrin's family and closest friends.

  16. #14
    Registered User Tom Haywood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Orrin Star Passes

    The only "official" lesson I ever had on guitar and mandolin was from Orrin Star, maybe 10 years ago. Two hours each over two days. I took the first mandolin I had just built. He was skeptical at first, but after listening to it for a while was very complimentary and encouraged me to keep building. He was a great musician, an excellent teacher, and someone who shot straight but remained humble with his observations. I'm not a cat person, but I will miss Orrin's cat chronicles and his occasional emails. Rest in peace.

  17. #15
    Registered User Richard Singleton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Orrin Star Passes

    so sad to hear this news...one of my favorite videos that I've saved from youtube and listen to frequently was Orrin playing "Stars and Stripes Forever" on the mandola.
    Richard Singleton

  18. #16

    Default Re: Orrin Star Passes

    cancer sucks, but now is in a better place & picking pain free. God Bless you Orrin & I hope your picking up a storm up there my friend.

  19. #17
    Registered User loess's Avatar
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    Default Re: Orrin Star Passes

    An old band I was in used to cover Orrin's jig "The Partners", and if I recall correctly, that was a result of Orrin posting on the forum about this new composition back in 2011. I was drawn to it enough to learn it and bring it to the band. A lively tune with the A part in D Minor and the B part in D Major. Thank you Orrin. Rest in peace.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ggpB1_X5Ck

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  20. #18
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    Default Re: Orrin Star Passes

    It's nice to see how many people knew Orrin. I took lessons from him for about three months back around 2010. The only reason I stopped was due to my first bout of serious elbow tendonitis which eventually stopped me playing anything for about three months. By the time I was better I just didn't have the money for lessons due to a move from a cheap group house in the 'burbs to a single in DC with my GF. Damn high rent.

    Anyway, Orrin was such a good teacher. The guy was no-nonsense and I really appreciated that. He never took up lesson time with random personal anecdotes or small talk - when you were there, you were there to learn. I've had instructors who spent time I was paying for doing anything but teaching, but that was never the case with Orrin. I've recommended him as a teacher countless times over the years and I've met people who complained that he was too much of a taskmaster and all I could think was, "yes, he was...but he was never mean, rude, or unpleasant...he was just very focused on sticking to the point of the lesson, which was learning the music. How could you have a problem with that?"

    The times he did just sit around and talk about bluegrass or show me random things he'd been working on were always after the official lesson was over. He was a very smart guy with a very dry but very clever and quirky sense of humor that I loved. Something they missed in that bluegrasstoday piece was that he was a deathly serious table tennis player who, as I recall, was actually internationally ranked at some point. He also loved his cats and frequently they would sit on the table in front of us while he was giving a lesson. I love cats too (and dogs) so I thought it was pretty cool to have one or more of his cats there hanging out and listening to us play.

    I've recently been getting back into guitar and was thinking about calling him up for some lessons next year. So sad, for many reasons, that that will never happen. RIP Orrin...the world is a dimmer place without you around.

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  22. #19

    Default Re: Orrin Star Passes

    I was also saddened when Orrin passed away on November 29. We were in touch recently and
    I'd hoped to get him to our Hudson Valley Bluegrass Association for a workshop and/or a concert.
    Jimmy Gaudreau saw my email and contacted me with his memories of Orrin, including working
    dates with him in the early 2000s. In Orrin's memory, Jimmy graciously offered me two of his
    instrumentals with Orrin. I have added them to my previous Star & Mehalick recording page....

    http://frobbi.org/audio/starrmehalick.html

  23. #20
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Orrin Star Passes

    Here's some early inspiration from Orrin. My buddy and I have since worked this up. Me on mandolin and he on hammered dulcimer. (We've actually worked up all three parts of this sonata.)

    Here's Orrin doing his thing. RIP.

    https://youtu.be/hkueCbUs_gE

    f-d

    (can't get the embed to work, so click the link if interested.)
    ¡papá gordo ain’t no madre flaca!

    '20 A3, '30 L-1, '84 1N, '97 914, 2012 Cohen A5, 2012 Muth A5, '14 OM28A

  24. #21
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    Default Re: Orrin Star Passes

    Orrin was one of the first people I played fiddle with in 1976 in Cambridge Ma. From 1985-2005
    we played about 75 gigs in New England NY and Jersey. He was easy to work with and a good person.
    Very solid rhythmically too. Orrin spent a lot of time thinking about how to play music for people, and
    keep it interesting. Playing & singing all sorts of styles: Bluegrass, Western swing, Celtic, contemporary
    folk songs, and a lot of fiddle tunes. Mixing it all together with humor and stories as he did, was a good
    template for a virtuoso folk instrumentalist's career. It was a pleasure to be part of it and kind of sad
    to know its done. --Joel Glassman

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