Tony Elman

Renowned hammered dulcimer player Tony Elman was first introduced to old-time fiddle music in 1974 at a festival in Santa Cruz, CA. When he saw an elderly fiddler perform for the last time, Tony realized that he wanted to be a part of this tradition. Shortly thereafter, he made a pilgrimage to Appalachia and built a hammered dulcimer that he still plays today.

In November 1982, Tony found himself at a friend’s house in LA – with a studio in the guest bedroom – and recorded what became his first album, SHAKIN’ DOWN THE ACORNS, a toe-tapping instrumental folk classic. Buoyed by its success, he went on to record another collection of fiddle tunes, aptly titled SHAKIN’ DOWN THE ACORNS, VOLUME II. Selling thousands of tapes at fairs and festivals all over the West, he founded Acorn Music. A third critically acclaimed release, SWINGING ON A GATE, arrived soon after. Responding to the demand from his fans for a Christmas album, Tony, in collaboration with his brother Pete, produced WINTER CREEK, a perennial favorite described by the Washington Post as “The best chamber-folk offering of the year.”

In 1996, Tony released his first all-original album, EARTH TONES. Produced by Mike Marshall of the Modern Mandolin Quartet, this unique release features an all-star cast of acoustic musicians.

In recent years Tony has been composing, arranging and directing choral music, and developing a rhythm training program called MOKALE. Visit for more information.

Shop Tony Elman recordings on CD Baby

Listen to Little Beggar Man from the album “Shakin’ Down the Acorns: Vol 1”

Listen to Soldier’s Joy/Barlow Knife from the album “Shakin’ Down the Acorns: Vol 2”

Listen to Sally in the Garden from the album “Swinging on a Gate”

Listen to It Came Upon a Midnight Clear from the album “Winter Creek”

Listen to The Little Clown from the album “Earth Tones”


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