Snowflake Trio is a great example of two strong cultures coming together to find and appreciate the musical links between two areas in the world. Representing Norway and Ireland, the band comprises Nuala Kennedy on flute, vocals and whistle, Frode Haltli on Accordion, and Vegar Vårdal on Hardanger Fiddle. With members who are equally versed and highly regarded in classical music, jazz and of course traditional music, this trio is a unique combination of virtuosic musicians who play with a great sense of pure delight and joy.
Tag Archives | Fiddle
Mary Elizabeth MacInnis is Buddy MacMaster’s daughter. She began to play the piano by practicing along with tapes of her father. There are numerous home and dance recordings of Buddy spanning over forty years and they include a variety of accompanists including John Morris Rankin and Buddy’s sisters, Betty Lou, Genevieve and Lorraine. Many of these home tapes, with their long, extended sets, are perfect for learning tunes and practicing piano accompaniment. Mary Elizabeth was 14 when she first performed with her father in a concert at Judique Parish Hall and, a few years later, began playing with him at the Glencoe Mills dances. She has also traveled with her father to play in Boston, Washington and Toronto.
Wendy is an award-winning fiddler, piano player and step dancer from Creignish, Cape Breton who began performing as a stepdancer at age 5. At age 12, she began fiddle lessons with Stan Chapman. By age fifteen, Wendy was playing dances all over Cape Breton Island, forming the sound that makes her so recognizable today. With five records to her credit – including “Variations” with her Cape Breton Celtic Supergroup, Beolach – she is a favourite with traditional audiences everywhere. Wendy has toured all over the world as a solo performer, and with The Rankins, Mary Jane Lamond, Ashley MacIsaac and Beolach. Wendy’s critically acclaimed release “Seinn” is a partnership with long time musical collaborator, Mary Jane Lamond.
A high energy traditional trio comprised of Colin Grant (fiddle), Jason Roach (piano), and Darren McMullen (multi-Instrumentalist) is integrated with the rough and red-eyed blues/funk rhythm section of Merlin Clarke and Donnie Calabrese to produce a kind of Celtic fusion that is as much Béla Fleck and the Flecktones and Frank Zappa as it is Ashley MacIsaac. While their lively sound never strays too far from its Cape Breton roots, Sprag Session has caught the ear of everyone from indie scenesters to blue-haired bingo stampers, earning themselves an international reputation as one of the most dynamic and versatile live acts in the Celtic music world (and beyond).
Mike Hall is at the very forefront of the younger generation of Cape Breton-style fiddlers. His style is steeped in the tradition, and rich in the techniques and tunes that have been passed down from generation to generation. Though he was born in the province of New Brunswick, Mike has made of himself a precious link to the Cape Breton fiddlers of the past, a carrier of their legacy, and a promise for the future of this dynamic, complex, and rich music. In addition to his work on recordings by pianist Jason Roach and fiddler Kinnon Beaton, Mike has released two recordings—Dance Hall (2012), and A Legacy, Not to be Forgotten (2009).
North Atlantic Drift formed in Toronto when highland / uilleann piper Ross Griffiths, fiddler Dan MacDonald, and fiddle / guitar / banjo player Brian Taheny got together to explore the possibilities of combining Scottish and Irish music with a variety of instrumental combinations. It is this multi-instrumentalism that defines the group. North Atlantic Drift is an entire Celtic orchestra in a trio. In one sitting you’ll hear Cape Breton fiddle, Sligo fiddle, banjo, guitar, mandolin, uilleann pipes, highland pipes, whistles and bodhran, Scottish tunes on the uilleann pipes and banjo, Irish tunes on the highland pipes and in a Scottish or Cape Breton style… and vice versa.
Whether playing piano or fiddle, or showcasing his stepdancing capabilities, Troy MacGillivray displays intense commitment to the Celtic heritage he inherited from his Highland ancestors. His versatility has had him performing across Canada and the US and overseas from Switzerland to Australia. Troy’s first three albums – Eleven (2005), Boomerang (2003) and Musical Ties (2001) were each nominated for East Coast Music Awards. His fourth album, Live At The Music Room, won the 2008 ECMA Instrumental Recording of the Year and When Here Meets There, recorded with Shane Cook, was named 2009 ECMA Roots/Traditional Group Album of the Year.
The Modern Grass is a collective of musicians who all have some obsession with days gone by, contrasted with a vision for the future. Born in early 2011 in Halifax, they have since released five albums and toured the nation extensively and relentlessly. The group’s latest award-winning album, High on the Mountain, explores new territory in folk, roots, and bluegrass music. It shares forms and ideas from musical styles of the past, and tells the stories of a modern day troubador.