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.
Tag Archives | Fiddle
Andrea Beaton is the youngest of generations of Beaton and MacMaster musicians. Like her father (Kinnon) and grandfather (Donald Angus), she is a lively violinist and composer, adding fine new music to the island’s repertoire. Andrea has released six albums including 2010 East Coast Music Award winning “Branches” and her latest, “Little Black Book”, released in 2012. In 2007 she released an album with her father, Kinnon Beaton and in 2006 she recorded “The Tap Session” in Scotland with Troy MacGillivray, Fin Moore, and Luke Plumb. Her previous two releases, “Cuts” (2004) and “License to Drive’er” (2002), were both nominated for East Coast Music Awards.
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).
Carl MacKenzie is a regular performer at dances, concerts and workshops across Cape Breton and has also performed throughout Canada, Ireland, Scotland and the United States. A traditional fiddler from Washabuck, Victoria County, he has a vast repertoire, which he prefers to learn from books. Carl has composed over fifty tunes and his playing is expressive of the musical magic and soul that sets him apart from so many other musicians. Carl has released 11 CDs, the latest being Highland Classic (2007). We are fortunate to have him back with us this year.
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.
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.
Colin Grant’s fiddle playing has inconspicuously stepped to the forefront of the East Coast traditional music scene and people are sitting up and taking notice. Although most at home with traditional Cape Breton fiddle music, his versatility as both a lead and side musician has given him experiences in a variety of traditional styles, in addition to folk, rock and country genres. Colin has put this experience to use with Sprag Session, playing a dynamic and thoughtful mingling of beats and melodies from an extensive host of musical influences. In addition to solo performances, Colin will also be playing with Sprag Session and Coìg during Celtic Colours this year.
Gaelic supergroup Dàimh are a 5 piece band based in Lochaber in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland; an area as much renowned for its scenic beauty as for its rich musical and cultural heritage. From pyrotechnic jigs and reels to achingly poignant ballads, Dàimh runs the full expressive gamut of folk music at its best, and are justly renowned for their thrilling live shows. They have released 5 studio albums. Their most recent, Tuneship, once again sees the band blazing a new trail in the Scottish music scene with their own instrumental compositions skillfully integrated with traditional Gaelic Songs.