Qristina and Quinn Bachand have taken the international Celtic music world by storm, winning 2010 Top Traditional Group and 2011 Top Duo at the Irish Music Awards and receiving multiple nominations at the Canadian Folk Music Awards. Born and raised on Canada’s West Coast with its signature tolerance for experimentation and improvisation, the siblings have always been encouraged to find their own voice, exploring all kinds of musical traditions and fusing styles such as Old-time, Irish trad, Folk, and Jazz to create their own distinctive sound. This award winning duo’s sheer talent and natural exuberance is a joy to behold.
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With diverse musical talents and a bottomless pool of creativity, Quinn Bachand plays a range of styles that includes jazz and bluegrass, but it is his skill with Celtic music that is drawing the most attention to this young multi-instrumentalist. His virtuosic playing is more than eye-catching fret-board fireworks. A gifted and creative guitar player, Quinn adds a contemporary edge to traditional Celtic music. His unique harmonies, hard-driving strumming, inventive chord voicing and powerful rhythmic effects make even the most well-worn tunes seem new and exciting. An in-demand sideman, Quinn has also toured with fiddling icons Ashley MacIsaac and Natalie MacMaster.
A native of the North Shore, Cape Breton, Ryan MacDonald plays Highland and Small pipes. She was a long-time student and instructor at the Gaelic College and played with the Gaelic College Pipe Band when they won the World Pipe Band Championships. Ryan is a Professional-level Highland piper with firm grounding in Highland technique and tradition, but is equally at home in the freer styles of playing. She currently lives in Victoria, British Columbia.
When Karrnnel Sawitsky (Fiddle), Ivonne Hernandez (Fiddle), Eric Wright (Cello) and Trent Freeman (Fiddle) got together to rehearse for the first time, they spent the next 10 days writing, arranging, and practicing until The Fretless emerged as a band. The Fretless take string music to fascinating places, transforming fiddle tunes and folk melodies into intricate, beautiful, high-energy arrangements. This approach to folk music is gaining high acclaim around the world. The Fretless is an innovation in music that must be heard. They harbour all the energy of fiddle tunes, while shattering all expectations in writing, creativity and performance.