Award-winning singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist J.P. Cormier has released more than a dozen records including two career retrospectives, and a book of the tunes featured on his guitar album. Since 2009, J.P. has been performing with the Elliott Brothers—Bill (guitars) and Mike (bass)—and his musical connection with these Atlantic Canadian bluegrass veterans has been nothing short of spectacular. Mike and Bill are both former Maritime old time Fiddling Champions, with over 40 years experience on the leading edge of the Atlantic Canadian bluegrass scene playing with their father, the legendary Carl Elliott.
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.
Jennifer was nine years old when she began studying the fiddle with Kyle MacNeil of the world renowned Barra MacNeils. In 1997, Jennifer released her debut CD, and went on to wow crowds in Canada and internationally with her enthusiastically performed jigs, reels and strathspeys and the delicate touch of her slow airs. Jennifer’s third album, For Each New Day, is an energetic mixture of traditional and original material produced by Allie Bennett. The album was nominated for a 2007 East Coast Music Award in the Instrumental Recording of the Year category.
Kenneth is well-known for his lively traditional style and for the strong Gaelic flavor to his playing. Raised in a Gaelic-speaking and very musical family in Mabou, Cape Breton Island, Kenneth has been immersed in the Scottish language and culture since birth. He has been piping and teaching at dances, concerts and festivals all over the Atlantic Provinces, Ontario, Scotland and beyond for several years now and counts well known pipers John MacLean, Iain MacDonald and Angus MacKenzie, his older brother as his biggest musical influences.
Kenneth comes from a musical and well known family. With roots in Inverness, Cape Breton, Kenneth spent much of his time between Cape Breton and Ontario. He plays a variety of instruments but is best known for his fiddle playing. You can often find him and his sister Marion performing at the Broad Cove Concert each year. He’ll be doing the same at the Fiddles and Prose concert along side his father, Alistair MacLeod.
Kimberley Fraser is a multitalented musician from Sydney Mines. Equally in demand for her fiddle and piano skills, she performs and teaches workshops all over North America and across the Atlantic. A Tic Butler award-winner and St. Francis Xavier graduate in Celtic Studies and Jazz, Kimberley went on to study music at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Still in her 20s, Kimberley has released two records, won an ECMA, played with Ashley MacIsaac, Natalie MacMaster, Gordie Sampson, John Allan Cameron and Irish supergroup Cherish The Ladies and shared stages with such notables as Alasdair Fraser, Lunasa and Danu.
One of the most popular dance fiddlers in Cape Breton, Kinnon Beaton grew up surrounded by music. Both sides of the family tree are loaded with pipers, fiddlers, dancers, and piano players. Kinnon was first recorded on the family album The Beatons of Mabou. He has since composed hundreds of tunes and played for countless dances and recorded six albums. Kinnon’s most recent album, Tunesmith, was released in 2010. It is a collection of Kinnon’s tunes, played by him and friends like J.P. Cormier.
Kyle MacNeil is a fiddler, guitarist, vocalist, and mandolin player who has been performing with his siblings in the Barra MacNeils since he was a teenager. Growing up, Kyle was surrounded by music–his uncle is the well-known fiddler Carl MacKenzie, and his mother is Jean MacNeil, a talented stepdancer and lover of music. The MacNeil home was a frequent visiting place for such respected musicians as the fiddler Robert Stubbert, who had a profound influence on Kyle’s musical development. Kyle received formal training on violin from Professor James MacDonald of North Sydney and continued his studies at Mount Allison University.