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”. A recent graduate of Cape Breton University with a Bachelor of Arts in History and Gaelic, Anita performs throughout Cape Breton and she is often sought after to conduct workshops in music, dance, and song. She is performing at Celtic Colours this year with Tyson Chen and Evan Bonaparte.
Tag Archives | Cape Breton artists
Joel Chiasson is a veteran piano player from Cheticamp, Cape Breton. Citing Hilda Chiasson as his biggest influence, Joel has provided piano accompaniment on more than 25 recordings by artists including Natalie MacMaster, Ashley MacIsaac, Mary Jane Lamond, Buddy MacMaster and Andrea Beaton over the past 20 years. In the late 1990s, Joel toured extensively with Ashley MacIsaac and Natalie MacMaster. Today Joel lives in Sydney with his family and works as a school teacher, but thankfully he still manages to get out and play for concerts and dances in and around Cape Breton.
Brenda Stubbert is an extraordinary fiddler, pianist, and composer from Cape Breton. Two books of her compositions are in print, and her tunes are in repertoires everywhere Celtic fiddle music can be heard. Brenda is in constant demand throughout Cape Breton. Her dances are lively and well attended. Since 1986, Brenda has released 7 albums, including Endless Memories (2008) which won the East Coast Music Award for Traditional Recording of the Year, and her most recent, Different Strokes with Different Folks (2011).
Mabou Coal Mines native Joanne MacIntyre was raised in a culture rich environment of Scotch music, dance and Gaelic language. She has sung on stages around Cape Breton since her teens, bringing the island’s distinct style and “swing” to appreciative audiences. Joanne was a regular performer at Highland Village as a Gaelic singer, step dancer and story interpreter and now teaches Gaelic language and Gaelic Studies at Dalbrae Academy in Mabou. The Lochaber descendant continues to expand her repertoire of songs from the Cape Breton and Inverness County Gaelic traditions. Her debut album Craobh a’ Mhathain was released this year.
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.
Goiridh Dòmhnallach is a Gaelic singer, composer, storyteller and educator who was fortunate to have the opportunity to learn from some of Cape Breton’s best tradition-bearers. He is one of a musical Cape Breton family, the “Dougalds” MacDonalds originating in Kingsville, Inverness County. He was influenced by traditional musicians on both sides of his family. Goiridh works as the Gaelic Field Officer for the Gaelic Affairs branch of the NS Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage and prefers to sing in the traditional style he learned from the singers of his native Bràigh na h-Aibhneadh. Goiridh has performed in Scotland, Ireland, and Canada. He and his young son, Padruig, often sing together.
The Iona Gaelic Singers are just a few of our remaining native Gaelic Speakers on Cape Breton Island. They have an unrivaled passion for the preservation and presentation of Gaelic songs, specifically Gaelic milling songs, composed both here in Cape Breton and from the Old Country, Scotland.
Doug Lamey is the grandson of the great Cape Breton violinist Bill Lamey. He studied Classical and Celtic music at the Wheaton College Music Department in Norton, Massachusetts and attended The Gaelic College, The Ceilidh Trail School of Music, Boston College’s Gaelic Roots Summer School, and The Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddling School studying with Buddy MacMaster, John Campbell, Jerry Holland, Carl MacKenzie, Sandy MacIntyre, Seamus Connolly and Alasdair Fraser. Doug has performed at many concerts and festivals throughout North America. Doug is now living in Glendale, Cape Breton. His 2012 solo album, “A Step Back in Time”, features his cousins Sandy, Johnny and Jeff MacDonald as well as Natalie Haas, Allan Dewar and Kaitlin Lamey.