Sarah Hoy was born into a family steeped in musical tradition. She took up the fiddle at eight, learning from her father Derek, fiddler with classic Scots band, Jock Tamson’s Bairns, and later with Mairi Campbell, well-known fiddler, singer and step dancer. An enthusiastic learner at music events in her teens, Sarah has established her own school for young fiddlers in her area, and has taught around Scotland, England and the US. Sarah plays with a dance band, the Trows, and has performed at Celtic Connections in Glasgow, Edinburgh International Festival, and played for step dancing at Ceolas on South Uist.
Tag Archives | Fiddle
Multi-instrumentalist Allie Bennett has toured internationally and has over 125 album projects to his credit as a studio musician. Frequently called on to play the role of musical director and band-leader for events like the East Coast Music Awards, the Cape Breton Summertime Revue and Howie’s Celtic Brew, Allie has won East Coast Music Awards for co-producing Dave Gunning’s A Tribute to John Allan Cameron and the prestigious Musician’s Achievement Award. Always in demand for studio and touring work, Allie released his second CD, Full Circle, in 2013, and continues to work on a book of Cape Breton fiddle tunes.
Pianist/vocalist Hamish Napier (Back of The Moon, Man’s Ruin) and fiddler Adam Sutherland (Treacherous Orchestra, Session A9, Croft No. 5) have joined forces in a duo that explores material from traditional songs and tunes, to contemporary numbers, to their own compositions and improvisation. The duo’s raw creativity and their outstanding musical intuition shines in this set up and performances display a kind of electricity and excitement inspired by the off-the-cuff nature of their arrangements, allowing them to highlight every nuance. Each performance is unique and demonstrates the incredible talent of two of Scotland’s foremost musicians.
The musical partnership between Alasdair Fraser, long regarded as Scotland’s premier fiddle ambassador, and the sizzlingly-talented young California cellist Natalie Haas is the fulfillment of a long-standing musical dream for Fraser, whose cutting-edge musical explorations took him full circle to find a cellist who could help him return the instrument to its historical role at the rhythmic heart of Scottish dance music. The duo has toured together for over 15 years now and released four albums, performing frequently in Europe, and throughout the US and Canada. This is the second time the duo has performed at Celtic Colours.
Colin, Keith and Kyle MacDonald grew up surrounded by music in Foot Cape, Inverness County and have been playing together since they were young. Fluent in Gaelic and employed at Colaisde na Gàidhlig/the Gaelic College, Colin stepdances and plays guitar, piano and drums. Through his years at Colaisde na Gàidhlig/the Gaelic College, Keith, who also plays pipes with Nuallan, has developed a keen interest in the traditional Cape Breton style of piping which he explores in All Fired Up alongside twin brother Kyle on fiddle, mandolin and percussion.
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.
Anita MacDonald is a musician, dancer, and Gaelic singer from Little Narrows, Cape Breton. Anita’s fiddle playing has a distinctive sound, influenced by the deep roots of her musical family and her teachers throughout the years. Her energetic style has put her in demand as a performer and teacher, across Cape Breton and beyond. Ben Miller is a player of Scottish smallpipes, border pipes, and highland pipes, whose repertoire and style draw mainly on the Gaelic traditions of western Scotland and the Canadian Maritimes, blended with a healthy dash of Irish tunes for good measure.
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 continues to surprise crowds, whether it’s Celtic Beats with Jay Andrews of Halifax (aka Sticks), or a traditional set with Maybelle Chisholm McQueen, he’s always there drivin’ ‘er.