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.
Tag Archives | Fiddle
Allan’s background in the Cape Breton musical tradition is the backbone of his ability to accompany any fiddler, past and present—from Carl MacKenzie, Buddy MacMaster, Rodney MacDonald, Howie MacDonald, John Morris Rankin and John Pellerin to the new generation fiddlers including Troy MacGillivray and Shelly Campbell—for dances and ceilidhs. Allan has toured all over the world with Jerry Holland and many others and was a full time member of Natalie MacMaster’s band from 2001-2006. Allan is now Music Director at the Celtic Music Interpretive Centre in Judique and spends his time accompanying local fiddlers at dances, pubs and theatres from Nova Scotia to Scotland and beyond.
Whether performing with her full band in front of thousands, as a vibrant acoustic duo with guitarist Seph Peters or solo in a kitchen of her native Inverness County playing the old tunes of her ancestors, Gillian never ceases to inspire with the dynamic expression of her music. On stage or in the classroom, Gillian is most comfortable with violin in hand and has been since the age of 10. An avid explorer, she more recently calls Turkey her home, although Scotland, England, Canada and New Zealand remain part of her regular touring circuit. Currently, Gillian is working with Irish guitarist Tony Byrne on a new album featuring her innovative take on Celtic music but displaying the more traditional aspects of her playing.
Howie MacDonald is a well-respected fiddler from Westmount, Cape Breton County. He has released eleven albums and a DVD and spent many years touring and recording with the Rankin Family. Howie has expanded his talents and gained popularity as a comedian recently for his roles in musical comedy revues Island Mania, Howie’s Celtic Brew, The Dance Last Night, and the Cape Breton Summertime Revue. Howie is also very much in demand for dances, concerts, ceilidhs and recording sessions and can be counted on to pop up in the most unexpected musical circumstances.
Jes is a leading exponent of the rich Scandinavian tradition, with repertoire that pulls from his Quebec and Cape Breton influences. Nominated for a Danish music award in 2006 in the categories Folk Artist of the Year, and Debut of the Year, Jes (on fiddle) is appearing solo for the tribute show to Joe Peter whom he admired and considered a musical friend, in addition to his band gigs, with Fionia String Band.
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.
Helene Blum has thrilled audiences throughout Europe, and from Canada to Japan, with her intensely expressive, crystal clear voice. Her artistic focus embraces both traditional roots and innovation. Using ancient songs and ballads as a base, she reinvents them with contemporary expressions and mixes them elegantly with newly written songs, including her own. She is deeply rooted in Danish music traditions, but at the same time not afraid to challenge them. With her versatility and the many facets of her talent and voice, she is a unique singer with a strongly personal expression – at times understated and whimsical, radiant, intense and commanding. An outstanding communicator, she has the rare ability to unite sensitivity with power.
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.