Preparation for the 1973 Festival of Cape Breton Fiddling in Glendale gave birth to the Cape Breton Fiddlers’ Association whose main mandate has been to preserve and promote traditional Cape Breton fiddle music. In 1998, the Association celebrated its 25th anniversary with 202 fiddlers on stage at the Gaelic College. Ten years later, nearly one hundred members embarked on a ten-day tour of Scotland. By providing workshops and opportunities to learn new tunes and techniques, publishing tunes, and providing venues for musicians, the Cape Breton Fiddlers’ Association is flourishing.
Tag Archives | Cape Breton artists
Growing up outside of St. Peter’s in a musical family, Cyril MacPhee was immersed in Cape Breton ceilidhs and heavily influenced by his father’s Scottish and Irish fiddling, Country and Bluegrass music, and Folk singers like Stan Rogers. His musical influences range from the Beatles to Harry Hibbs, and this shows through in his versatility as a songwriter and his unique blend of folk, country and Celtic music. A past Artist in Residence, Cyril has released five albums, three with the popular power-folk group Brakin’ Tradition and two as a solo artist.
Kelly MacArthur is a champion dancer from Cape Breton, who has competed and performed all over the world and taught Highland and Cape Breton Step Dance for the past 25 years, including 15 years at her own Dance Studio in Sydney, the MacArthur School of Dance. The school has a performance troupe called the CapeLand Dancers which consists of top level dancers from all over Cape Breton. Performing highland and step dance along with Kelly this year at Dancing Up a Suête, are both junior and senior members of the Company, all of whom are seasoned performers and top-notch dancers.
Hard-driving but clean, lively and passionate, traditional yet original; Colin Grant’s fiddle playing has stepped to the forefront of the East Coast traditional music scene. Although most at home with traditional Cape Breton fiddle music, his versatility as both a lead and side musician has given him experiences in a variety of traditional styles, in addition to folk, rock and country genres. Besides having received an ECMA nomination for Roots / Traditional Solo Album of the Year for his self-titled debut album, Grant currently performs with contemporary Celtic instrumental group Sprag Session and the new traditional quintet Còig.
Born and raised in Chéticamp, Cape Breton, Sylvie and Christine Doucet have been step dancing for as long as they can remember. They were both founding members of La swing du suête and have shared their love of dancing with many audiences over the years. Both sisters live in Cheticamp and are involved with the local arts council and dance troupe. They are happy to be reunited on stage to share their love of dance and celtic music.
Raised with Gaelic as one of his first languages, Colin Watson has an avid enthusiasm for all aspects of Cape Breton’s Gaelic tradition and specializes in Gaelic singing. With a repertoire of mouth tunes and song, he has sung for BBC Scotland and appeared at concerts and milling frolics throughout the Island. Colin has an active interest in Cape Breton music and step dancing and frequently enjoys square sets at the local halls. He is currently learning more Gaelic songs, taking fiddle lessons and teaching Core Gaelic at Rankin School of the Narrows.
Chrissy Crowley, Rachel Davis, Colin Grant, Jason Roach and Darren McMullen got together in 2010 for a tour promoting Celtic Colours. The engaging line-up of well-known solo acts—featuring expertly-played fiddle, piano, guitar, mandolin, whistle and banjo—enjoyed playing together so much that they decided to continue to perform as Còig whenever their busy solo careers allowed. With their driving tunes, haunting songs and infectious energy, Còig has proven to be a serious force to be reckoned with on the traditional music scene. They released their debut recording in June.
Chrissy Crowley is a traditional fiddler and recording artist from Cape Breton who, since the 2007 release of her debut album, has been captivating audiences on an international level. Coming from Margaree, Chrissy has been inspired by the traditions of artists who have gone before, embracing the music of her Celtic roots and making it her own. Chrissy’s third album, Last Night’s Fun, won the 2013 Canadian Folk Music Award for Instrumental Solo Recording of the Year. Chrissy also performs with hot new Cape Breton supergroup Còig.