Daniel Lapp has been an innovator, mentor and staple of the west coast music scene for over 20 years. Founder and president of the Victoria Fiddle Society and the BC Fiddle Orchestra, he first came to Celtic Colours in 2001 and to say that he made a good first impression would be a huge understatement. The fiddle and trumpet player was invited back the next year and returned again in 2004 and 2006 to take part in the Unusual Suspects of Celtic Colours concerts, and to perform in trio. He is back this year with Adam Dobres on guitar and Adrian Dolan on fiddle.
Kenneth comes from a musical and well known family. With roots in Inverness, Cape Breton, Kenneth spent much of his time between Cape Breton and Ontario. He plays a variety of instruments but is best known for his fiddle playing. You can often find him and his sister Marion performing at the Broad Cove Concert each year. He’ll be doing the same at the Fiddles and Prose concert along side his father, Alistair MacLeod.
Norah is the lead vocalist and wooden flautist of The Outside Track. Her interest in traditional and historical music began as a professional recorder player. Her music took a turn toward folk music in her early twenties when she discovered the rich oral tradition of Ireland. During this time, Norah also earned a reputation for creating rich and unexpected vocal harmonies and has been in demand as a back-up singer. She is currently working with Paddy O’Brien’s Doon Ceili Band and has recently released an album with guitarist Brian Miller called “Wait There Pretty One”.
Ray Legere is one of today’s most honored Bluegrass fiddlers. His many awards include five-time winner of the Eastern and Central Division Bluegrass Awards in the categories of Mandolin and Fiddle, winner of two Open Mandolin Championships and finalist in the Canadian and Nashville’s Grand Masters Fiddle Championships. Ray’s extensive tour schedule includes backing artists like Michelle Shocked, Tony Rice, John McDermott, Alison Brown, Rita McNeil and finding time to be “house fiddler” for a popular French Canadian music TV series. He has recorded for hundreds of sessions and graced world-renowned stages such as Carnegie Hall and the Grand Ole Opry.
Armed with a love of jigs, reels and ballads honoured in Newfoundland, and an energy found more often in 3 piece punk rock bands than 5 piece folk acts, their accordions, fiddle and talent have shaken national festivals including Winnipeg, Mariposa, and Vancouver. Barely into their twenties, they’ve intuitively become the keepers of the songs we love and have sought out tunes that may have otherwise been lost to the culture forever. A new breed of folk musician with a wide sense of the world and a firm belief that Newfoundlanders can hold their own with the best players the world has to offer.
From their beginnings as three actors who also loved to sing together, The Once has embraced a different vision of Newfoundland music. Their sound does not come from the noisy pubs and dockside taverns that fuel so much of the Island’s energy. Instead, their music comes from a quieter and more thoughtful place. Lead singer Geraldine Hollett is accompanied by Phil Churchill and Andrew Dale on guitar, mandolin, fiddle and bouzouki, to create a perfect blend of voice and melody. Sometimes melancholy, sometimes funny, always poignant, The Once sound like nothing else that has ever come from Newfoundland.
Madison Violet is a Toronto-based duo, consisting of Cape Bretoners Lisa MacIsaac (vocals, guitar, fiddle, mandolin) and Brenley MacEachern (vocals, guitar, banjo, harmonica). Their first disc, “Worry the Jury” (2004), introduced the lush arrangements and radio-friendly harmonies that would become a Madison Violet hallmark, with their sophomore album “Caravan” (2006) further exploring and incorporating country-infused, toe-tapping melodies. Their breakthrough album, “No Fool for Trying” (2009) showcased Madison Violet’s heartfelt lyrics in brilliant contrast to their uplifting arrangements, pushing their graceful harmonies to the surface. With their newest album, The Good in Goodbye (2011), Madison Violet prove they’re among Canada’s brightest singer/songwriters.
With roots going back six generations, this family of players shares a legacy of tradition. Ever since Joe Pete Chaisson formed the PEI Fiddlers Association and established the Rollo Bay Fiddle festival, the family has worked to preserve and protect traditional music and dance on Prince Edward Island. Joe Pete’s three sons–Peter, Kenny and Kevin–still set the standard for younger generations to follow. Peter’s masterful touch on the fiddle has never wavered through decades of play. An accomplished composer and player, Kenny has tunes to go on for days. And Kevin is one of the most sought after piano accompanists on PEI. Kenny, Kevin and Peter will be joined at Celtic Colours this year by J.J. Chaisson, Koady Chaisson and Elmer Deagle.