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Mairi MacInnes

Scotland
Mairi was born in Baghasdail A Tuath, a small township on the beautiful island of South Uist in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. She spoke Gaelic in the home and it was not until Mairi went to school that she learned English. She enjoyed singing from an early age in Gaelic and in 1982 became one of the youngest winners of the prestigious Gold Medal at the National Mod in Skye, achieved at her first attempt. The following year Mairi won the Pan Celtic Festival in Killarney, Ireland.
Since then, Mairi has become a well established singer and is often heard on television and radio.
Prior to Mairi’s first album Causeway, which was released in 1989, she recorded and performed with Runrig. Mairi was becoming a much sought-after artist and was approached by the Gaelic dance group Mouth Music. She toured the USA and Canada and recorded the EP Blue Door Green Sea before returning to a solo career.
Mairi’s publishing company Monamore Music was named after the Monamore burn which flows close to where she lives in Lamlash on the Isle of Arran.

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All Fired Up

Cape Breton
These three brothers from Foot Cape, Inverness County, have been playing music together since they were young. Kyle MacDonald is the fiddler of the group, and also plays mandolin, and percussion. Kyle’s twin brother Keith is the piper and guitarist while eldest brother Colin, who studied Gaelic Language and Traditional Music on Isle of Skye, Scotland plays piano. These three musicians create a powerful Cape Breton sound and guarantee a lively performance.

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Jamie Gatti

Nova Scotia
Born in Truro, Nova Scotia, Jamie has a reputation for versatility in playing all musical styles from classical to jazz, rock, Celtic and theatre. A professional bassist for 30 years, Gatti has toured and recorded with many artists from around the globe. Composer/arranger/producer and now bandleader are his interests at this time. Jamie began playing during high school under the tutelage of music teacher Ron MacKay. From Ron he learned many of the skills necessary to be a professional player. He started work in the late 1970’s in Halifax doing shows and commercials for TV and Radio and playing club dates. In 1980 he accepted an invitation to audition for the RCMP band and won the position. Gatti moved to Ottawa in 1981 joining the RCMP. While with that group he toured Canada extensively and around the world performing and recording. He also participated in the Ottawa music scene playing in many jazz clubs, sessions, theatre shows and with a few orchestras. He was fortunate to work under conductors such as Boris Brott, David Foster, Erich Kunzel, Newton Waylon and Howard Cable. In 1994 Gatti retired from the RCMP and returned home to Nova Scotia. He presently tours and records with the Barra MacNeils. As well as recording with other Canadian artists, he plays sessions at CBC, with Symphony Nova Scotia and at Neptune Theatre.

Since 1992 Gatti recorded 4 CDs, all solo bass themed, with original tunes and rearranged standards. The last one ‘Over Time’, was nominated in the Best Jazz Artist category in the 2007 East Coast Music Awards. Also nominated, 2008 East Coast Music Awards with original music the group Tonic; 2007 Music Nova Scotia Musician of the year and Jazz Recording of the year. Playing all styles of music has filtered into his writing, combining many of these simultaneously. Gatti’s home base is Halifax, Nova Scotia.

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Buddy MacDonald

Cape Breton
Buddy MacDonald, from the North Shore of Cape Breton, has been a singer/songwriter and entertainer for over thirty years. He was exposed at an early age to the singing and story-telling of some of the great singers of his native Island. Much of his song-writing is still influenced by this style he was so familiar with as a young boy.

Over the years he has travelled and entertained audiences throughout Canada, the United States, Germany, Scotland and the Scandinavian countries, performing as a solo act and in different combinations with other musicians from Cape Breton including Natalie MacMaster, Howie Mac Donald, Ashley MacIsaac, Dave MacIsaac, and John Allan Cameron among many others.

Since Celtic Colours began in 1997, Buddy has been the host of the late night Festival Club, and he has performed all over the Island with musicians from all over the world, including Scotland’s Dougie MacLean and Archie Fisher, Ireland’s Tommy Makem and Michael Black, and a host of others. Buddy’s songs have been performed and recorded by artists throughout the country.

Buddy continues to tour and chase audiences to wherever they will sit down and listen. Whether in a small country hall, pub, festival or concert theatre, his love of writing, singing and entertaining comes across to bridge the gap between performer and listener.

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Andrea Beaton

Cape Breton
Andrea Beaton is the youngest of generations of Beaton and MacMaster musicians, which explains why her music is at once her own and deeply rooted in the Cape Breton tradition. Like her father (Kinnon) and grandfather (Donald Angus), she is a lively violinist and composer, adding fine new music to the island’s repertoire.

Andrea has released six albums including 2010 East Coast Music Award winning “Branches” and her latest, “Little Black Book”, released in 2012. In 2007 she released an album with her father, Kinnon Beaton and in 2006 she recorded “The Tap Session” in Scotland with Troy MacGillivray, Fin Moore, and Luke Plumb. Her previous two releases, “Cuts” (2004) and “License to Drive’er” (2002), were both nominated for East Coast Music Awards.

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Delores Boudreau

Cape Breton
Delores Boudreau was raised in the small Cape Breton community of Arichat. Growing up in such a richly musical and bilingual community, it is no surprise that she developed her singing skills in both English and French. The music of this multi-genre dynamo is best described as Maritime folk, bluegrass-inspired, lively and upbeat. The press has described Delores as having “dynamic stage presence”, bringing a “fresh new sound” and being “uniquely enchanting”. Her songwriting speaks of the inner life familiar to us all.
In its uniqueness, there is a familiarity in Delores’ voice. You will hear traces of Alison Krauss and Dolly Parton. Besides the sweetness and purity of her voice, she brings incomparable energy and charisma to the stage. The combination of her distinctive voice and dynamic stage presence creates a performance that leaves you wanting more.

Delores has released two albums and been honoured with nominations for the Nova Scotia Music Awards in Folk Roots and Best Female Artist categories. She is also a past winner of the Vocal Performance Category at Le Gala de la Chanson de la Nouvelle-Ecosse.

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Décota McNamara

Cape Breton
A songwriter with impressive instrumental abilities, Décota McNamara is an up-and-coming artist whose roots range from traditional Irish, bluegrass, and French to contemporary pop and country. Moving effortlessly between acoustic and electric guitar, banjo, mandolin and dobro, his command of string instruments is as impressive as his rich vocals and clever songwriting. Overflowing with energy and charisma, Décota is a top-notch entertainer whether playing in kitchens, pubs or concert halls. His soul is deep, his fingers are fast, and his stories are captivating.

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Dawn & Helen MacDonald

Cape Breton
Helen MacDonald and Dawn MacDonald-Gillis began step dancing at the ages of 5 and 8 under the tutelage of Kaye Hanrahan in New Waterford. With strong ties to the Iona area, they grew up surrounded by traditional Cape Breton music. By the time they had reached their teen years, their synchronized footwork had them invited to perform in many concerts in Cape Breton and beyond. Furthermore, they began teaching step dancing, both privately and for other dancing schools in the industrial Cape Breton area.

Dawn and Helen’s dancing skills have been featured in Buddy MacMaster’s DVD “Buddy MacMaster in Concert”, in tours for Natalie MacMaster, the Barra MacNeils and in productions such as Howie’s Celtic Brew. Internationally, Helen has also showcased her skills with the group Dannsa in Scotland and at Stair na Fèil, an Irish dance festival in RosMuc, County Galway, Ireland. They both continue to teach step dance workshops at various professional conferences as well as at the Gaelic College, St. Ann’s and at Fèis an Eilein, Christmas Island, among others.

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