The Cat and The Fiddle strives to provide the highest quality musicians and teachers possible 
in order to give every student their best chance at success.


Dakota Karper (Owner of The Cat and The The Fiddle), fiddler and vocalist, was born and raised in rural West Virginia where she grew up surrounded by Old-Time Appalachian String Band music. From a young age she took to this music with great abandon. Absorbing as much as possible, she apprenticed under fiddler Joe Herrmann, spent weeks at Augusta Heritage Center, and various music festivals in and around West Virginia as well as studying classical violin at the Shenandoah Arts Academy in Winchester, VA. 

After living in Baltimore, MD for 7 years, Dakota moved back to her roots in Capon Bridge, WV where she has opened her own traditional roots music school 'The Cat and The Fiddle', as well as performing in the the surrounding areas. 

Dakota was a founding member of the 'Short Mountain String Band', and 'Hay Fever' releasing albums with both bands.  Whether performing, teaching, or jamming, Dakota is always looking for a way to share her passion for mountain music. 

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Jack Dunlap

Jack Dunlap has been playing music for over 13 years. Starting on mandolin, he quickly moved to add guitar, bass and more recently ukulele and fiddle. He has made a name for himself performing as a full time member of the group Bud's Collective as well as alongside artists such as Danny Knicely, Larry Keel, members of Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, Blue Highway, Dailey & Vincent and many others. He has recently made a splash in the D.C. area with his group the Jack Dunlap Band; a fusion group of just about every genre of music you can think of. He also hosts a concert series at the Bright Box in Winchester, VA called Spotlight Sessions. 

Jack has been teaching for over 7 years now. He has taught privately, as well as at various schools in VA such as Blue Ridge Community College in Weyers Cave, VA, The Front Porch in Charlottesville, VA, The Drum and Strum in Warrenton, VA, Shamrock Music Shoppe in Purcellville, VA, Divinum Auxilium Academy in Front Royal, VA and his own private studio in Old Town Winchester, VA. He also served on the Board of Directors for the non-profit organization Cacapon River Arts in Wardensville, WV. 


Guitarist, singer, and songwriter Mike Everson started playing guitar 15 years ago in his hometown of Omaha, NE. Initially self-taught, he played blues and rock music as a hobby in high school. In 2008, he was accepted into the University of Nebraska-Omaha School of Music, where he began playing jazz-guitar as a student of guitarist Jeff Scheffler. During his college years he was routinely playing in bar-band gigs, and began teaching guitar at the School of Rock-Omaha. He also collaborated with a few friends in a band called “The Penrose Stairs”, releasing the album Apophenia (2013). Upon graduation in 2012, Mike continued to teach and became Music Director of SOR-Omaha until his departure in 2014. 

After one year of traveling and working as a farmhand, Mike moved to Hampshire County, WV with (his now wife) Johanna Murray. Together they released the album Mother Tree (2017), which featured original songs inspired by their travels. Currently residing in Capon Bridge, WV, Mike continues to perform as a solo artist, in a duo with his wife called “Mike&Jo”, and as a guitarist and vocalist for local rock-band “The Bad McCrees”. 

Mike teaches and explores the acoustic roots and evolution of blues, rock, and jazz music with his students. He understands the initial struggles of beginners, and appreciates the company of intermediate or veteran players who want to learn some new tricks.