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 is currently working a new project of Celtic Beats with Jay Andrews of Halifax (aka Sticks), the previously unreleased Beautiful Lake Ainslie CD with Barbara Magone is set for release later this fall as is a re-issue of his Crossover CD.
Tag Archives | Cape Breton artists
Howie MacDonald is a well-respected fiddler from Westmount, Cape Breton County. He has released eleven albums and a DVD and spent many years touring and recording with the Rankin Family. Howie has expanded his talents and gained popularity as a comedian recently for his roles in musical comedy revues Island Mania, Howie’s Celtic Brew, The Dance Last Night, and the Cape Breton Summertime Revue. Howie is also very much in demand for dances, concerts, ceilidhs and recording sessions and can be counted on to pop up in the most unexpected musical circumstances.
Hilda Chiasson is one of the most sought after piano players of this generation and has played on more than 50 recordings in Canada, Ireland, Scotland, Denmark and the US. A native of Cheticamp where she played for dances and recorded since she was a teenager, Hilda is also a very good step dancer and has played and recorded with a who’s who of Cape Breton fiddlers including Winston Scotty Fitzgerald, Donald Angus Beaton, Jerry Holland, Carl MacKenzie and J.P. Cormier. Hilda has performed throughout Canada, the US, Scotland, Ireland and Denmark as well as in Dubai, Bahrain, and Afghanistan.
Born into a musical family in Cape Breton, Donnie Campbell has enjoyed a long involvement in traditional music as a singer, collector, and broadcaster, hosting the popular radio program “Celtic Serenade” for forty years. In the early 1970’s, Donnie was a member of Miller’s Jug, and he has shared stages with Tommy Makem, Phil Cunningham and the Tannahill Weavers, Ron Hynes, and John Allan Cameron and Cape Breton fiddlers like Carl MacKenzie, Buddy MacMaster, Winnie Chafe, Jerry Holland and Kinnon Beaton. Donnie sings songs that matter to him with a repertoire that runs the course of the folk music revival, songs of Cape Breton, the ancient songs of Scotland and Ireland as well as more recent songs.
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.
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.