Just a short, incomplete list of alternative string players who have greatly influenced me.
Mark O' Connor - incredible fiddler. Check out Appalachia Waltz and Appalachian Journey with Mark O' Connor, Yo-Yo Ma and Edgar Meyer.
Darol Anger - master of chop and all-round fiddling.
Turtle Island Quartet - the stuff they write and play is just incredible.
Itzhak Perlman - Not only a true legend of classical violin-playing. Have a listen to his klezmer album!
Kenny Baker - great american bluegrass fiddler.
Didier Lockwood - so beautiful and refined playing from this french jazz-violinist.
Stephane Grapelli - the old master of hot-jazz.
Florin Niculescu - Romanian gypsy-swing violinist with a great smile.
Roby Lakatos - fast-fingered hungarian fiddler with an incredible moustache.
Casey Driessen - triple-chop guru. If you haven't seen the triple-chop in action, it has to be seen to be believed!!
Rushad Eggleston - brilliantly insane cellist.