Multi-instrumentalist Allie Bennett has toured internationally and has over 125 album projects to his credit as a studio musician. Frequently called on to play the role of musical director and band-leader for events like the East Coast Music Awards, the Cape Breton Summertime Revue and Howie’s Celtic Brew, Allie has won East Coast Music Awards for co-producing Dave Gunning’s A Tribute to John Allan Cameron and the prestigious Musician’s Achievement Award. Always in demand for studio and touring work, Allie released his second CD, Full Circle, in 2013, and continues to work on a book of Cape Breton fiddle tunes.
Tag Archives | Cape Breton artists
Adam Young is a piano player from Marion Bridge who regularly plays throughout Cape Breton, and has showcased in Scotland, Ireland, and the United States, including a five-week engagement with Jennifer Roland’s band at Dolly Parton’s amusement park in Tennessee. Adam created and directed Louisbourg Playhouse’s Cape Breton Lyrics & Laughter, which has been performed more than 300 times and was nominated for an ECMA. He also performs with Anita MacDonald and Ben Miller, with his band The Goin’s On, and can be heard on recordings by Colin Grant, Jason MacDonald, Eric Angus Whyte, Dara Smith-MacDonald and Marilyn MacKinnon.
Colin, Keith and Kyle MacDonald grew up surrounded by music in Foot Cape, Inverness County and have been playing together since they were young. Fluent in Gaelic and employed at Colaisde na Gàidhlig/the Gaelic College, Colin stepdances and plays guitar, piano and drums. Through his years at Colaisde na Gàidhlig/the Gaelic College, Keith, who also plays pipes with Nuallan, has developed a keen interest in the traditional Cape Breton style of piping which he explores in All Fired Up alongside twin brother Kyle on fiddle, mandolin and percussion.
Betty Lou Beaton began playing the piano at the age of five. Although she has a couple of years of piano training, all her Cape Breton piano playing is done by ear. At fourteen years of age, she started playing dances with her brother Buddy and has been accompanying fiddlers for dancers ever since. She is most often paired with her husband, fiddler Kinnon Beaton, and the duo is in high demand to play for dances.
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.
Anita MacDonald is an accomplished musician, dancer, and Gaelic singer from Little Narrows, Cape Breton. Her passion for Cape Breton music has inspired her to work with the cultural component of Féis an Eilein in Christmas Island. In 2011, she received the Frank “Big Sampie” Sampson Award from the Festival Volunteer Drive’ers Association to record her debut album, “Stepping Stone”. With a BA in History and Gaelic from CBU, Anita is often sought after to conduct workshops in music, dance, and song and has toured throughout New England with Cape Breton folk trio, The Goin’s On.
Ashley MacIsaac was performing as a dancer in concerts by the time he started school and added fiddle and piano a short time later. While still in high school he found himself working with Paul Simon and performing in a Phillip Glass off-Broadway production. Since first recording in the early 1990s, he has experimented with musical styles and evolved into an award-winning, genre-bending performer, writer, and singer. Ashley continues to surprise crowds, whether it’s Celtic Beats with Jay Andrews of Halifax (aka Sticks), or a traditional set with Maybelle Chisholm McQueen, he’s always there drivin’ ‘er.
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.