Vassar Clements, 1928–2005, American virtuoso fiddle player, b. Kinards, S.C. Self-taught, he played with Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys from 1949 to 1956. Though his roots were in country and western music and he began his career playing bluegrass, Clements was accomplished in many genres, including jazz, pop, rock, and swing. Known for his innovative style and technical prowess, he played or recorded with such diverse performers as the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Paul McCartney, Linda Ronstadt, Bonnie Raitt, Jerry Garcia, Earl Scruggs, John Hartford, and Dave Holland. Clements, who made more than 25 solo albums, also played the viola, cello, bass, mandolin, guitar, and banjo.