Brian MacDonald grew up in Westmount, Cape Breton. He spent a great deal of time surrounded by Gaelic music and culture in Inverness County. He is married with five children and living in St. Andrews, Antigonish County. Brian has been playing the fiddle for many years for dances and concerts around Cape Breton, Ontario and Detroit and formed a group a few years ago called the Antigonish County Fiddlers. Brian is a Gaelic learner and has been instrumental in organizing Gaelic language programs for adults and students in the Antigonish area.
Tag Archives | Fiddle
The Barra MacNeils are one of Canada’s premier Celtic groups. The family band from Sydney Mines is deeply rooted in Celtic music, culture and history, and consistently wows audiences with their captivating vocals, harmonies and musicianship. After more than 25 years, the group is as busy as ever, having released two new recordings in 2012–a live album with Symphony Nova Scotia and a special project recorded with a variety of musical guests from Celtic Colours. With multiple lead vocalists, beautiful sibling harmonies, top-drawer instrumental prowess on a wide variety of instruments, dancing, storytelling, Gaelic songs and a journey through an ancient culture, The Barra MacNeils live in concert must be experienced to be believed.
Known as one of Cape Breton’s finest traditional fiddlers, Glenn Graham is also a composer, songwriter, step-dancer, music instructor and published author whose music has been featured on international hit TV shows, CD compilations, and in independent films. Glenn has published a collection of over 200 original compositions and wrote The Cape Breton Fiddle: Making and Maintaining Tradition, published by CBU Press. With five recordings and multiple East Coast Music Award nominations to his credit, Glenn is one of Cape Breton’s most sought after performers and music instructors. Currently working on his PhD and lecturing at Dalhousie University he continues to make time for performing and teaching Cape Breton fiddle music.
Two of Denmark’s finest artists have together formed an outstanding quintet which performs traditional and contemporary Danish music with great passion and virtuosity. Beautiful old Danish ballades are gently blended with neck-breaking fiddle tunes and it’s all brought out to the audience with great passion and presence. Helene Blum and Harald Haugaard have long individual high profiled carriers behind them. Their quintet with cellist Kirstine Elise Pedersen, Swedish guitarist Mattias Pérez and percussionist Sune Rahbek sum up all their musical aspects and qualities to be one of Denmark’s musical Dream Teams. Fine acoustic music with integrity and innovation.
Anita MacDonald is an accomplished musician, dancer, and Gaelic singer from Little Narrows, Cape Breton. Her passion for Cape Breton music has inspired her to work with the cultural component of Féis an Eilein in Christmas Island. In 2011, she received the Frank “Big Sampie” Sampson Award from the Festival Volunteer Drive’ers Association to record her debut album, “Stepping Stone”. A recent graduate of Cape Breton University with a Bachelor of Arts in History and Gaelic, Anita performs throughout Cape Breton and she is often sought after to conduct workshops in music, dance, and song. She is performing at Celtic Colours this year with Tyson Chen and Evan Bonaparte.
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).
Harald Haugaard has established himself as one of Denmark’s most acknowledged musicians. His compositions are contemporary, original and in his overall artistic work deeply rooted in the rich Danish musical tradition. He completed his music studies at the Carl Nielsen Academy of Music, Odense where he studied violin and choir/ensemble conducting. From 2000 to 2005 he worked as the head of the folk music department at that Academy. Harald made many fans in Cape Breton performing at Celtic Colours in 2001, 2003, 2006 and 2008 in the duo Haugaard & Høirup. As one of this year’s Artists in Residence, Harald played a big role in the development of this year’s Nordic theme.
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.