Derrick and Melody Cameron live in Mabou, Cape Breton on the small dairy farm where Derrick was raised. Melody is an accomplished Cape Breton style dancer and fiddle player. They have performed together throughout Canada’s Maritime Provinces and the New England States and have released three recordings. Derrick and Melody are currently acting as coordinators for a Féis Mhàbu project named “The Mabou Musical Mentorship Program”. The program’s focus is on using house sessions to bring together talented young performers of Cape Breton music and dance with well established tradition bearers.
Tag Archives | Cape Breton artists
Darrell’s musical career began twenty years ago, playing house parties, and local halls in Cape Breton. Celtic music was introduced to Darrell at an early age by his parents–his mother Mea being a beautiful Gaelic singer, and his late father, John, a gifted traditional singer and guitar player as well. Over the last two decades, Darrell has played to audiences throughout much of Eastern Canada, and has shared the stage with many great singers and musicians. From local songs and stories to those taken from Scottish, Irish and Cape Breton history, Darrell’s love of music is evident in his performance.
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 at home. Her father, a Cape Breton traditional music lover, always had fiddle music playing in the house. Donna-Marie is very active in Cape Breton’s music scene, playing for ceilidhs and dances around the island and as in-house fiddler at the Celtic Music Interpretive Centre in Judique where she regularly entertains visitors from around the world. Donna-Marie lists Shelly Campbell as a big influence on her playing.
Helen MacDonald and Dawn MacDonald-Gillis began step dancing at the ages of 5 and 8 under the tutelage of Kaye Hanrahan in New Waterford. With strong ties to the Iona area, they grew up surrounded by traditional Cape Breton music. By the time they had reached their teen years, their synchronized footwork saw them invited to perform in many concerts in Cape Breton and beyond. They began teaching step dancing, both privately and for other dancing schools in the industrial Cape Breton area. They both continue to teach step dance workshops.
Dawn and Margie Beaton have been performing at concerts, ceilidhs and festivals since they were very young. They have performed in the Maritimes, Scotland, Ireland, France, USA, England, Brazil and China, and been featured internationally on television, radio and video. A fixture at Celtic Colours since the festival began, they were chosen as recipients of the Frank Sampson Award in 2008. The Award helped them record their first CD, “Taste of Gaelic”. The unique and traditional album with tunes composed by Dawn and Margie, won an East Coast Music Award in 2010 for Roots/Traditional Album of the Year.
A songwriter with impressive instrumental abilities, Décota McNamara is an up-and-coming artist whose roots range from traditional Irish, bluegrass, and French to contemporary pop and country. Moving effortlessly between acoustic and electric guitar, banjo, mandolin and dobro, his command of string instruments is as impressive as his rich vocals and clever songwriting. Overflowing with energy and charisma, Décota is a top-notch entertainer whether playing in kitchens, pubs or concert halls. His soul is deep, his fingers are fast, and his stories are captivating.
Comunn Féis Mhàbu was founded to support both children and adults in their pursuits to learn more about Cape Breton’s unique Gaelic culture. Féis Mhàbu allows individuals, particularly young people, to develop skills in the area of Gaelic language and performance arts and provides opportunities for the organizers to enhance the rich local culture with the talents and experience of tradition bearers from other areas of the Celtic world.
Douglas has been turning heads in the Cape Breton fiddling community since the last ten years–and he’s only 20 years old. Born and raised in the northern Inverness County community of Belle Cote, he has played piano in concerts since the age of five, and fiddle since he was nine. A veteran of Celtic Colours, Douglas has played many dances and concerts in Cape Breton and has also performed in Scotland, Ireland and France. He released his first CD in 2010. The CD shows Douglas honouring the tradition handed down to him by his teachers and the many great Cape Breton fiddlers who have influenced Cape Breton fiddle playing.