Since getting their start at a late night session during the 1998 Celtic Colours International Festival, Beòlach has established itself as one of Cape Breton’s most exciting and innovative traditional bands. Performing a lively mix of Cape Breton, Scottish and Irish tunes, the group features Mairi Rankin (fiddle, step-dance), Wendy MacIsaac (fiddle, piano, step-dance), Patrick Gillis (guitar), Ryan J. MacNeil (pipes, whistles), and Mac Morin (piano). Beòlach has released two albums, Beòlach (2001) and Variations (2004), which were both nominated for East Coast Music Awards. It is a true pleasure to welcome them back together at Celtic Colours this year.
Tag Archives | Bagpipes
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.
Anita MacDonald is a musician, dancer, and Gaelic singer from Little Narrows, Cape Breton. Anita’s fiddle playing has a distinctive sound, influenced by the deep roots of her musical family and her teachers throughout the years. Her energetic style has put her in demand as a performer and teacher, across Cape Breton and beyond. Ben Miller is a player of Scottish smallpipes, border pipes, and highland pipes, whose repertoire and style draw mainly on the Gaelic traditions of western Scotland and the Canadian Maritimes, blended with a healthy dash of Irish tunes for good measure.
Gaelic supergroup Dàimh are a 5 piece band based in Lochaber in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland; an area as much renowned for its scenic beauty as for its rich musical and cultural heritage. From pyrotechnic jigs and reels to achingly poignant ballads, Dàimh runs the full expressive gamut of folk music at its best, and are justly renowned for their thrilling live shows. They have released 5 studio albums. Their most recent, Tuneship, once again sees the band blazing a new trail in the Scottish music scene with their own instrumental compositions skillfully integrated with traditional Gaelic Songs.
Dannsa are gaining great respect in Scotland and abroad for their traditional and innovating dancing. Believing the relationship between the music and dance is fundamental to the spirit and style, core dancers Caroline Reagh and Sandra Robertson, and piper and stepdancer Fin Moore always dance to live music – fiddle, pipes and Gaelic song. Rounding out the lineup for Celtic Colours are original member Frank McConnell, Artist in Residence Mac Morin from Cape Breton, and Scottish fiddler Sarah Hoy.
Fin Moore is a piper, born and bred. He plays the Highland pipes, Border pipes and Scottish Small Pipes and works with his father, Hamish, as a very successful pipe maker. They have nearly made 1000 sets of pipes. Fin has played solo and with bands including, Dannsa, Slainte Mhath, and Back of the Moon, winners at the Scottish traditional music awards 2003. Fin is currently playing with Dannsa, and Sarah Hoy as part of a fiddle and pipes duo, and working on new venture with 3 other pipers on reproductions of 18th Century Highland pipes playing traditional Scottish tunes.
Kenneth and Calum come from a Gaelic-speaking household in Mabou and the Gaelic culture has always been integral part of their lives. Kenneth is a piper and fiddler. Having studied the pipes with Scott MacAulay at the College of Piping in Summerside, in Scotland, and at the Gaelic College over the years, his music is becoming well-known for its irresistible drive and lively, traditional feel. Calum started learning to play the fiddle at an early age. He has performed all over and passes on his musical knowledge through local fesiean and teaching fiddle and piano at Ceolas school in Scotland.
Born in Inverness, Cape Breton, Kevin has been playing the great highland bagpipe for 19 years. His early piping career was influenced by many great tutors at the Gaelic College summer school and he now competes at the professional level in piping solos and band competitions with the 78th Highlanders Halifax Citadel grade 1 pipe band. Growing up, Kevin was inspired musically by his Scottish and Acadian roots, and the many great traditional musicians from Inverness County. He enjoys attending square dances and playing for square sets whenever possible, and has recorded with the Cape Breton piano player Mac Morin.