Mike Hall is at the very forefront of the younger generation of Cape Breton-style fiddlers. His style is steeped in the tradition, and rich in the techniques and tunes that have been passed down from generation to generation. Though he was born in the province of New Brunswick, Mike has made of himself a precious link to the Cape Breton fiddlers of the past, a carrier of their legacy, and a promise for the future of this dynamic, complex, and rich music. In addition to his work on recordings by pianist Jason Roach and fiddler Kinnon Beaton, Mike has released two recordings—Dance Hall (2012), and A Legacy, Not to be Forgotten (2009).
Tag Archives | Cape Breton artists
From the age of 13, Patricia Chafe has been composing and performing on radio, television and in public with various Celtic artists throughout the Maritimes, United States and United Kingdom. Her piano accompaniment and original music have been recorded by many Cape Breton artists, while her works have been requested from artists in Spain, Australia, United States, Ireland and China. Patricia is a classically trained musician who teaches Celtic piano accompaniment. She is a versatile artist, able to combine her Celtic heritage with her classical background, in a unique and pleasing manner.
For 30 years Paul Cranford has been dedicated to preserving and promoting Cape Breton’s musical heritage. Over the years Paul has published thousands of tunes in printed collections, weekly newspaper columns and online. He learned tunes and techniques visiting older Cape Breton fiddlers and honed his skills while working in isolation as a lighthouse keeper. These days, in addition to his solo performances, he plays with the local group Rocky Shore. Also a prolific composer, Paul’s tunes are played in sessions worldwide and can be heard on many recordings.
Pieds en cadence is a dance troupe from Centre scolaire Étoile de l’Acadie in Sydney. Founded in 2010 by its director Christine Doucet, the troupe presents a variety of choreographies influenced by the Acadian and Celtic cultures of Cape Breton. These girls take great pride in representing their school and community while square dancing and step dancing to traditional music.
Comprised of five Cape Breton pipers – Paul K. MacNeil, Keith MacDonald, Rankin MacInnis, Kenneth MacKenzie, and Kevin Dugas – and formed by the Gaelic College, Nuallan seeks to represent, promote and explore the style of piping brought by Highland Gaels and developed over the past two hundred years here in Cape Breton Island. This rich style of playing had a strong focus on the rhythm and musicality of the music and an inherent link with the song and dance traditions of the Gaelic culture. Nuallan’s members are well-known individually for their rhythmic, musical playing and bringing them together to celebrate the importance of these connections was a natural fit.
From Scotsville, Cape Breton, Patrick Gillis grew up with traditional music being played almost constantly in his home. His father, uncle, and two older brothers playing the fiddle gave Patty a great appreciation and understanding of Celtic music. Patrick has toured the States with Cullin, appeared in Howie MacDonald’s Celtic Brew, played with Ashley MacIsaac, Natalie MacMaster, and Glenn Graham, and has performed in festivals throughout the U.S, Canada and Europe with Beòlach. He has played on many recordings including two Beòlach albums.
Paul MacDonald is a musician of many talents who has traveled throughout traditional music circles both at home and abroad. An accomplished guitarist, Paul has performed with musicians such as Jerry Holland, Joe Derrane, Sharon Shannon, John MacLean and The Boys of The Lough. Paul is also a skilful and creative music producer and engineer and his audio restorations have put many fine old recordings back into circulation. Since 2003, Paul has lectured on Celtic Music at St. FX University, Antigonish, presenting old recordings he has collected throughout his career. Paul has performed with violin-maker and composer Otis Tomas since 1988.
Pius MacIsaac, from Mabou, is a regular performer at the local festivals and parish hall dances that intrigue so many of the island’s visitors. A gifted composer, Pius has written several tunes which he performs on his violin and mandolin as well as his guitar. He is a sought-after artist in Cape Breton and can be seen accompanying many of the island’s top fiddlers with his driving, percussive guitar rhythms.