Chrissy Crowley is a traditional fiddler and recording artist from Cape Breton who, since the 2007 release of her debut album, has been captivating audiences on an international level. Coming from Margaree, a place known for its cherished musical culture which incorporates not only the tunes of the Scottish Gaels but also those of the area’s Irish and French-Acadians, Chrissy has been inspired by the traditions of artists who have gone before, embracing the music of her Celtic roots and making it her own. Chrissy’s third album, Last Night’s Fun, won the 2013 Canadian Folk Music Award for Instrumental Solo Recording of the Year.
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Chrissy Crowley, Rachel Davis, Colin Grant, Jason Roach and Darren McMullen got together in 2010 for a tour promoting Celtic Colours. The engaging line-up of well-known solo acts—featuring expertly-played fiddle, piano, guitar, mandolin, whistle and banjo—enjoyed playing together so much that they decided to perform as Còig (“Ko-ick” – Scottish Gaelic for “five”) whenever they can. And we’re happy they are together for the Festival this year. With busy solo schedules, these musicians do not get a lot of chances to play together as Còig. Take advantage of this rare opportunity to see them in action.
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.
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 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.
Dara Smith-MacDonald, originally from Antigonish, began playing the fiddle at the age of 12. For the past number of years she has been playing at concerts, dances and ceilidhs and teaching fiddle lessons both in her home and over Skype to students from Canada, the USA and Scotland. She has also been teaching fiddle at the Gaelic College for over a decade. Throughout her years playing music, she has traveled to all the Atlantic Provinces to perform and teach as well as parts of the United States.
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, and is a featured soloist on dozens of recordings and motion picture soundtracks.
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.