Daniel Lapp has been an innovator, mentor and staple of the west coast music scene for over 20 years. Founder and president of the Victoria Fiddle Society and the BC Fiddle Orchestra, he first came to Celtic Colours in 2001 and to say that he made a good first impression would be a huge understatement. The fiddle and trumpet player was invited back the next year and returned again in 2004 and 2006 to take part in the Unusual Suspects of Celtic Colours concerts, and to perform in trio. He is back this year with Adam Dobres on guitar and Adrian Dolan on fiddle.
Internationally recognized as a master of stringed instruments, Dave MacIsaac is a musician’s musician. He plays traditional fiddle tunes with fiery passion, and his stunning guitar playing, whether solo or as accompaniment, is industry legend. Always interested in expanding his knowledge of Celtic music, Dave has thousands of recordings of Cape Breton traditional music. He also possesses an archival knowledge of tunes, and is often called upon to name that tune for recordings, as well as being in high demand for session work. John Allan Cameron often stated that, “If a cod fish had strings… Dave MacIsaac could play it!”
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 and they have performed together throughout Canada’s Maritime Provinces and the New England States. Highlights include playing the Stan Rogers Folk Festival and the Washington Irish Folk Festival, teaching workshops and performing at the North Atlantic Fiddle Convention in Aberdeen, Scotland and playing for many dances, pubs and concerts throughout Cape Breton Island. They were featured in the documentary “And They Danced” and have released three recordings.
Donna-Marie is sixteen year old fiddler from River Tillard, Richmond County, who has been playing fiddle for 6 years. She started out taking fiddle lessons from Shelly Campbell, and then added group lessons with Eddy Rodgers. Donna-Marie lists Shelly Campbell as a big influence on her playing and also likes to listen to tunes by Shelly Campbell, Donald Angus Beaton, John Morris Rankin, and Kinnon Beaton.
Trained by dedicated teachers like Bonnie Jean MacDonald, Margie, Dawn, and Andrea Beaton, Douglas has absorbed the proud history of the Cape Breton style of Celtic fiddling. 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. Still in his teens, Douglas is a veteran of Celtic Colours and has played many dances and concerts in Cape Breton. He has also performed in Scotland, Ireland and France and 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.
Fionia Stringband is a meeting of two generations of folk musicians with a shared passion for traditional melodies. They deliver rustic and lively folk music from polkas and lyrical tunes to warm-hearted waltzes, mainly from the Scandinavian repertoire as well as traditional music from Québec and Cape Breton. The band consists of two of Denmark’s top fiddlers, Michael Graubæk and Jes Kroman, with Theis Juul Langlands, a teacher at Denmark’s only traditional music academy, on piano. They play with passion and intelligence and are obviously having a great time playing together. The music is easily accessible and offers a refreshingly modern interpretation of Danish traditional music.
Howie MacDonald is a well-respected fiddler from Westmount, Cape Breton County. He has released nine albums of his own and has 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 and The Dance Last Night. 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.
J.P. Cormier is a gifted multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter who reads the times with songs. He has released more than a dozen records including two career retrospectives, and a book of the tunes featured on his guitar album. J.P.’s impressive body of work has earned him a vast and loyal fan base and multiple award nominations and wins, including 12 East Coast Music Awards, Canadian Folk Music Award, 5 Music Nova Scotia Awards, Juno nominations, commendations from the Governor General of Canada and Premier of Nova Scotia.