Chrissy Crowley, from Margaree, has an impressive list of awards, nominations, and international appearances. She embraces her Celtic roots and makes them her own, through original compositions coupled with contemporary arrangements of traditional tunes.
Rachel Davis, from Baddeck, spends her time switching from international festival stages to small local dances at home. In a genre that sees many performers pushing the envelope and testing new waters, her style of playing trad tunes in a trad way is a refreshing reminder of why the Cape Breton fiddle style drives so hard, and is so sought after.
Colin Grant, from Sydney, has been touring steadily as a solo performer, and with Sprag Session. His respect for traditional style, combined with his drive to take the Celtic fiddle to new places results in an exciting sound that is as much Buddy MacMaster as it is Ashley MacIssac.
Jason Roach, from Cheticamp, is one of the most impressive piano players you will ever hear. With a style all his own, and an unparalleled intensity on the keys, you’ll have to remind yourself that there are other players on the stage.
Darren McMullen, from Hardwoodlands, NS, is a highly sought after multi-instrumentalist. Easily switching between guitar, mandolin, whistle and banjo with Còig, this “swiss-army knife” keeps the rhythms diverse, and is sure to impress with his lead playing of his various ‘on-stage weapons’.
With busy solo schedules, these musicians do not get a lot of chances to play together as Còig. Take advantage of this rare opportunity to see them in action.
Born in Halifax, with strong roots in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, the girls have been wowing audiences across Canada with their unique blend of original and traditional Celtic music. Cassie’s fiddle playing has been described as “sweet and elegant with just the right amount of raw power” while Maggie’s piano playing has an irresistible drive that will leave your foot incapable of staying still and complements Cassie’s playing perfectly.
Together these delightful sisters bring more than your average fiddle and piano duo; Cassie is an award winning highland and step dancer and also sings harmony for Maggie. In addition to her piano playing, Maggie sings lead, plays guitar, banjo, accordion and is also an accomplished step dancer. Their music fits together seamlessly encompassing various styles from Cape Breton reels to Antigonish polkas, Quebecois fiddling and footwork to down east standards. Their vocal harmonies are sweet yet powerful and their step dancing exact and exciting, showing off their youthful charm and energy.
In 1998, the Association celebrated its 25th anniversary with two hundred and two fiddlers on stage at the Gaelic College. Ten years later, nearly one hundred members embarked on a ten-day tour of Scotland.
By providing workshops and opportunities to learn new tunes and techniques, publishing tunes, and providing venues for musicians, the Cape Breton Fiddlers’ Association is flourishing.
Cape Breton fiddle music is alive and well both on the Island and throughout the world and the Cape Breton Fiddlers’ Association is proud to have played a significant role in this resurgence.
Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, the Cape Breton Fiddlers’ Association will be featured in a very special closing concert.
Canadian radio and television audiences have been able to enjoy the music of the Cape Breton Chorale through a number of appearances on various programs, including the CBC Choral Competitions where the Chorale competed as Atlantic finalist. The Chorale has shared the stage with musical stars including Celine Dion and Rita MacNeil, and has performed before numerous visiting dignitaries, including Queen Elizabeth II. It has hosted and sung with visiting choirs from Canada and Europe, participated in workshops with distinguished Canadian choral conductors, and has joined with other Nova Scotia choirs to perform major works.
The Cape Breton Chorale has released five albums and demonstrated, through its versatility and repertoire, its well-deserved reputation for excellence. This year we celebrate the Chorale’s 40th anniversary with a special concert to close the Festival.