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.
Tag Archives | Cape Breton artists
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.
Joey Beaton’s musical career began on the piano at age thirteen and he has become one of the most respected piano accompanists of Scottish music in Cape Breton. He has performed in Canada, the United States and in Scotland many times. He is an acknowledged authority on Scottish and Cape Breton music and has presented lectures and workshops throughout Canada and the U.S. From 1971-1979, Joey was a principle organizer of the Glendale Fiddlers’ Festivals and he hosted CIGO radio’s popular Highland Fling program from 1975-1977. As a composer, Joey has published two books of his own music, Mabou Music (1980) and Tunes & Ties (1997).
Whether performing with her full band in front of thousands, as a vibrant acoustic duo with guitarist Seph Peters or solo in a kitchen of her native Inverness County playing the old tunes of her ancestors, Gillian never ceases to inspire with the dynamic expression of her music. On stage or in the classroom, Gillian is most comfortable with violin in hand and has been since the age of 10. An avid explorer, she more recently calls Turkey her home, although Scotland, England, Canada and New Zealand remain part of her regular touring circuit. Currently, Gillian is working with Irish guitarist Tony Byrne on a new album featuring her innovative take on Celtic music but displaying the more traditional aspects of her playing.
Donna-Marie DeWolfe, of River Tillard near St. Peter’s in Richmond County, has been playing Cape Breton fiddle music since she was ten years old. As a child, Donna-Marie heard plenty of fiddle music in her home. Her father, a Cape Breton traditional music lover, always had fiddle music playing in the house. At the age of 18, she has already become very active in the Cape Breton music scene and plays for ceilidhs and dances around the island. Donna-Martie was the in-house fiddler at the Celtic Music Interpretive Centre this past Summer where she entertained audiences from around the world.
Janet Cameron, Paul Wukitsch and the late Joe Peter MacLean performed together as The Boisdale Trio for over twenty years. Janet is from Boisdale and has been a community accompanist for many years. Paul immigrated to Cape Breton in the 1970′s and became close friends with fellow fiddlers Johnny Wilmot, Wilfred Prosper and Joe Peter MacLean. Paul and Joe Peter would play dances and ceilidhs throughout the rural areas around Boisdale in the early 1980s. The Trio came together with Janet in the late ‘80s after she retired and moved back to the family home in Boisdale. Janet and Paul will be joined by Janet’s brother Father Francis in paying to tribute to Joe Peter this year.