Brittany Haas is a 5-string fiddle player from the San Francisco Bay Area, now residing in Nashville. She grew up honing her craft in fiddle camps nationwide, and came to her unique sound through the old time fiddling of Bruce Molsky and the innovative stylings of Darol Anger. She toured, performed with Darol’s Republic of Strings and seminal chamber-grass band Crooked Still, Yonder Mountain String Band, Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas, Abigail Washburn, The Waybacks and recorded on Steve Martin’s Grammy Award-winning CD, “The Crow,” performing in his band on Letterman and SNL.
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Exceptional among modern fiddlers for his versatility and depth, Darol Anger has helped drive the evolution of the contemporary string band through his involvement with numerous path-breaking ensembles such as his Republic Of Strings, the Turtle Island String Quartet, the David Grisman Quintet, Montreux, the Duo and other ensembles. Today Darol can be heard on NPR’s “Car Talk” theme every week, along with Earl Scruggs, David Grisman and Tony Rice. He has recorded and produced scores of important recordings since 1977, is a MacDowell and UCross Fellow, and has received numerous composers’ residencies and grants. He is a featured soloist on dozens of recordings and motion picture soundtracks.
Darren McMullen is a highly sought after multi-instrumentalist based out of Halifax, Nova Scotia. His list of on-stage instruments includes mandolin, bouzouki, tenor banjo, whistles, guitar and bass. Darren started young on piano and then guitar and played his way through the popular pub band scene until he landed a gig with J.P. Cormier in 2004 which took him throughout Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. Since then he has released two solo albums and been busy touring and performing with a wide range of artists. In the Darren McMullen Band, he has teamed up with Zach Smith on percussion, Rachel Davis on fiddle and vocals, and Ben Furey on mandolin and vocals. Darren will also be performing with Sprag Session and Coìg.
Preparation for the 1973 Festival of Cape Breton Fiddling in Glendale gave birth to the Cape Breton Fiddlers’ Association whose main mandate has been to preserve and promote traditional Cape Breton fiddle music. In 1998, the Association celebrated its 25th anniversary with 202 fiddlers on stage at the Gaelic College. Ten years later, nearly one hundred members embarked on a ten-day tour of Scotland. By providing workshops and opportunities to learn new tunes and techniques, publishing tunes, and providing venues for musicians, the Cape Breton Fiddlers’ Association is flourishing. Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, the Cape Breton Fiddlers’ Association will be featured in a very special closing concert.
The Cape Breton Chorale has been thrilling audiences since its formation in 1973. In the 40 years since, the Chorale has given more than 200 performances throughout the Maritimes, England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland. The Chorale has shared the stage with a variety of musical stars, ranging from Celine Dion to Rita MacNeil and has performed before numerous visiting dignitaries including Queen Elizabeth II. The Cape Breton Chorale has released five albums and demonstrated, through its versatility and repertoire, its well-deserved reputation for excellence. This year we celebrate the Chorale’s 40th anniversary with a special concert to close the Festival.
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.
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).
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.