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Photo of Get Up Ollie Boy by Karen Gough

A Street Violinist in Savannah, Georgia

On our last morning in Savannah, my husband and I were treated to some wonderful music in Chippewa Square. A street musician had set up a stand, two chairs, and an open violin case.  In the violin case were loose dollars, a make-shift album cover, and a QR code suggesting that people buy him a kofi (make a donation). He stood in the square and played an acoustic violin, but I could see that his stand also held a white electric violin and a bow.

As the violinist played a good rendition of Pachelbel’s Canon in D, a mother and her two children danced in the square.

Later, I scanned his QR code and looked him up. He has made a start on a website and various social media but unfortunately has little content. I could not find any autobiographical information. I did find that he goes by Get Up Ollie Boy and is available for bookings. Here’s a link to his YouTube channel. I wish he had more information and videos on it!

When he was done playing, I complimented him and observed that he was classically trained. He said that he learned classical so he could “break all the rules,” and laughed. Then he sat in a chair and sang a modern-rock song by the Flobots, called Handlebars. He accompanied himself by plucking on his fiddle. I loved it.

This guy (Ollie?) is an enigma. If any of my readers know anything about him, please let me know in the comments. I wish him growth and success and hope to see him play again someday. In the meantime, here’s a short video I filmed of him. Enjoy!


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