Every year, the Celtic Colours International Festival pays tribute to influential and inspirational figures in Cape Breton music and culture. One of the most anticipated concerts this year is scheduled for the last night of the Festival. Master Cape Breton Fiddler: A Tribute to Jerry Holland will take place Saturday, October 17 at the Joan Harriss Cruise Pavillion in Sydney.
“Celtic Colours International Festival staff and volunteers were saddened to learn that Jerry Holland had lost his fight with cancer,” said Joella Foulds, Artistic Director of Celtic Colours, in reaction to the news. “Jerry was a gentle giant with a heart as big as the island he loved and the talent of an angel. He will be sorely missed, not only for his music, but also for his warmth, his hearty laugh and his endless thoughtfulness for others.”
Although he was born in Brockton, MA, Jerry Holland’s name has become synonymous with Cape Breton fiddle music. Jerry’s father was a fiddler and from earliest childhood, Jerry Sr. put his young son in the company of many of the greatest Cape Breton musicians of the last generation—Winston Fitzgerald, Bill Lamey, Angus Chisholm, and many others including his father. Jerry’s family made annual summer visits to Cape Breton when he was a boy, and eventually, he made up his mind to move here in the fall of 1975. Since then, Jerry’s influence has penetrated to the very core of Cape Breton’s fiddle music, from the hundreds of tunes he’s composed to the dozens of recordings he’s featured on to the generations of players he’s inspired.
“Jerry had a wealth of friends and musical colleagues who are looking forward to celebrating him in our closing concert at Celtic Colours,” Foulds continues. “The concert will go ahead as a tribute to his life, his amazing body of work and to the friend we will all miss so much. It will be an emotional evening and a great celebration of an inspirational artist.”
Among those lined up to perform are Artists in Residence Máire O’Keeffe and Paul Cranford, Cape Breton fiddlers Howie MacDonald, Brenda Stubbert, and Dougie MacDonald, fiddler and guitarist Dave MacIsaac, piano players Hilda Chiasson-Cormier, Marion Dewar and Allan Dewar, fiddler Doug Lamey—grandson of Bill Lamey—from Boston, and Cape Breton guitarist Paul MacDonald. Multi-instrumentalist/
For more information on this concert and the hundreds of other events taking place at the 2009 Celtic Colours International Festival, visit www.celtic-colours.com. Tickets are available online or by phoning 567-3000 or 1-888-355-7744 (toll free).