The Fiddler at Leslie Coffee
3-4:00P , December 20, 2019 - March 27, 2020 | Leslie Coffee Co.
It's an overcast early winter day in Wichita's historic Delano district. Inside Leslie Coffee Company, a fiddler sits in the corner as shoppers, students, and people looking for a place to meet with friends sip at hot mugs of award winning coffee. The melodies rise and fall from the fiddler as he plays slow mournful marches that drift into lively Appalachian dance tunes. He makes small talk with two female students hovering over laptops and old friends say hello to him before he drags the bow across the devil's box again.
Leslie Coffee is a historic corner building looking as if it may have served as a pharmacy in the early 1900's. The fiddler's music reaches original tin ceiling tiles and bounces to ornate tiled entries that welcome guests into the space. After an hour of music-making, a middle-aged businessman drops some money into a black fiddle case while the fiddler is overheard talking to his new friends. "We're from Russia", the smiling women say.
It's a scene only found in Historic Delano every Friday from 3-4:00P when award winning Appalachian musician Shawn Craver plays the part of "the fiddler." The fiddler is a lone figure present throughout the history of old cow-towns like Wichita, the coal towns of Appalachia, and the gold fields of California. The fiddler is a glimpse of the past whose music is leading a post-industrial Wichita and one of its historic neighborhoods into the future.