Kenneth is well-known for his lively traditional style and for the strong Gaelic flavor to his playing. Raised in a Gaelic-speaking and very musical family in Mabou, Cape Breton Island, Kenneth has been immersed in the Scottish language and culture since birth. He has been piping and teaching at dances, concerts and festivals all over the Atlantic Provinces, Ontario, Scotland and beyond for several years now and counts well known pipers John MacLean, Iain MacDonald and Angus MacKenzie, his older brother as his biggest musical influences.
Born in Inverness, Cape Breton, Kevin has been playing the great highland bagpipe for 17 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.
Paul MacNeil is a piper originally from Iona, a scenic spot in the heart of Cape Breton. His first teacher was Sandy Boyd, a very influential figure in the development of 20th century Cape Breton repertoire. After 8 years performing and competing with the Halifax Police Pipe Band, Paul moved home to Cape Breton to concentrate on the more traditional, Cape Breton stepdancing influenced style of piping he grew up with. Paul’s playing and compositions have been featured on a number of recordings including CastleBayMusic.com with his wife, pianist Tracey Dares, and Fosgail an Dorus with piper Jamie MacInnis.
Whether playing a set of tunes on the pipes at Alice Freeman’s ceilidhs, singing with Party Boots for a dancing pub crowd, or playing on stage with DRUM!, Rankin MacInnis adds entertainment value to his playing. Known mainly in Cape Breton as a traditional piper and piano player from Mabou, Rankin’s piping has taken him to Ceolas in South Uist, the 2006 World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow, Scotland, the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, and Dollywood, Tennessee. He has piped for The White Stripes, when they played in Cape Breton, and has played at Celtic Colours as a solo artist and with the Chieftains and Carlos Nunez. He has also taught piping at the Gaelic College, where he spent many summers working as a duty piper and playing with the Gaelic College Pipe Band.
Originally from Big Pond and now residing in Sydney, Cape Breton Ryan MacNeil is a powerful yet graceful player. This accomplished musician has mastered his instruments (highland bagpipe, border pipes and whistles) and brings a unique personal flavour to the music he plays. MacNeil's electrifying upbeat playing is strongly rooted in Cape Breton's dance oriented tradition. In the past several years, Ryan has become increasingly well-known as a talented composer and his tunes have been performed and recorded by many musicians, both locally and abroad. Ryan released his first solo album, Piper, in 2005.
Ryan MacNeil grew up in a musical environment in Sydney Mines. After spending a number of years recording and touring with Slainte Mhath, Ryan and his brother Boyd joined their siblings in The Barra MacNeils. Although best known for his innovative piano accompaniment, Ryan also plays percussion, uillian pipes, tin whistle, bodhran and step dances.
The Beaton Sisters Band consists of sisters Dawn (fiddle, banjo, mandolin and dance) and Margie (fiddle, piano and dance) Beaton. Piano-player extraordinaire, Jason Roach from Cheticamp, Cape Breton is a lively rhythm based soloist and accompanist with a powerful beat to keep the tunes cooking! Kenneth MacKenzie, from Mabou, Cape Breton is a piper and fiddler. His roots are strongly Gaelic and his piping styling is up-tempo, made perfect for any step-dancer. Together, these artists will have your toes tapping and your legs dancing!
Founded by a group of friends in 1969 and named after the “Battlefield” area of Glasgow, The Battlefield Band have now been touring and performing throughout the world for over forty years, playing to audiences in Europe, Australia and New Zealand, Asia, the Middle East and Canada, as well as more than 60 cities annually in the United States. Over the years new members have brought with them new ideas, music, instruments, attitudes and influences, leading to continued creativity, freshness and enthusiasm. The new line-up sees young multi-instrumentalist Ewen Henderson, join Mike Katz, Alasdair White, and Sean O’Donnell.