Stewart was introduced to traditional Cape Breton music by his mother at the age of three while attending the Big Pond Festival. Many years later, while at Riverview High School, Stewart took step-dancing lessons from Joe Sampson and Marie Currie-Wilson and soon began to play fiddle. Now an accomplished Cape Breton instrumentalist on a variety of instruments, he has gone on to perform at Celtic Colours as a member of the Cape Breton Orchestra, and is as comfortable in a concert hall as he is in a friend’s kitchen, enjoying both equally. Stewart will be performing with Darrell Keigan at Celtic Colours this year.
Tag Archives | Cape Breton artists
Susan MacLean was born and raised in Washabuck and now resides in the Sydney area. She has performed with various Cape Breton musicians at dances, concerts and house rackets and has taught Cape Breton style piano accompaniment for many years at St. Ann’s Gaelic College. She is also a member of the Cape Breton Fiddlers’ Association, plays fiddle and writes music. Susan’s enthusiasm for Cape Breton style piano comes from influences within her own extended family including grandfather Michael Anthony MacLean, uncles Carl and Hector MacKenzie and cousins in the Barra MacNeils.
The Beaton Sisters Band consists of sisters Dawn (fiddle 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!
Rita comes from the Mabou Coal Mines. Along with her sisters Mary and Joanne, they have created warm harmonies, and incorporate many Gaelic songs in their repertoire. Rita and Mary released their debut album, “Lantern Burn” in 1997.
Matt was born in Cape Breton and started playing whistle and pipes when he was 10. He won the Argyllshire Gathering Silver Medal in Oban, Scotland 8 years later and at 19 started recording, playing and touring the US with celtic rock/fusion group Cuillin. Matt joined Natalie MacMaster’s band after Cuillin broke up, and played pipes, whistles, banjo, percussion and guitar, touring and appearing on several recordings. His own album, a stripped-bare solo recording of his main instrument, was released in 2005. After a stint with the Canadian Forces as a musician, Matt rejoined Natalie’s band earlier this year.
Mary Elizabeth MacInnis is Buddy MacMaster’s daughter. She began to play the piano by practicing along with tapes of her father. There are numerous home and dance recordings of Buddy spanning over forty years and they include a variety of accompanists including John Morris Rankin and Buddy’s sisters, Betty Lou, Genevieve and Lorraine. Many of these home tapes, with their long, extended sets, are perfect for learning tunes and practicing piano accompaniment. Mary Elizabeth was 14 when she first performed with her father in a concert at Judique Parish Hall and, a few years later, began playing with him at the Glencoe Mills dances. She has also traveled with her father to play in Boston, Washington and Toronto.
Maxim Cormier is a young guitarist in his 20′s from Cheticamp, Cape Breton. His guitar playing is both truly peaceful and extremely complex and this presentation of dynamic emotion and style fuels every note Maxim plays. His original works are largely comprised of acoustic guitar that highlights a contemporary, modern approach to otherwise classic sounds. The word “versatility” best describes Cormier as he effortlessly performs styles as diverse as jazz, blues, folk, classical and traditional Celtic music. In 2012, Cormier was awarded the Drive’ers Association’s Big Sampie Award and released his debut album.
Mary Jane Lamond fell in love with the Scottish Gaelic traditions and song during visits with her grandparents on Cape Breton Island. While enrolled in St. F.X. University’s Celtic Studies program, Mary Jane released her first album, Bho Thir Nan Craobh, a collection of traditional material. She has dedicated her musical career to the preservation of Scottish Gaelic songs, leading to numerous award nominations, critical acclaim, and a worldwide audience for her music. Mary Jane’s five solo recordings create a respectful and beautiful framework for ancient Gaelic songs and her spell-binding performances make these selections truly come alive. Mary Jane’s critically acclaimed release “Seinn” is a partnership with long time musical collaborator, Wendy MacIsaac.