Norah is the lead vocalist and wooden flautist of The Outside Track. Her interest in traditional and historical music began as a professional recorder player. Her music took a turn toward folk music in her early twenties when she discovered the rich oral tradition of Ireland. During this time, Norah also earned a reputation for creating rich and unexpected vocal harmonies and has been in demand as a back-up singer. She is currently working with Paddy O’Brien’s Doon Ceili Band and has recently released an album with guitarist Brian Miller called “Wait There Pretty One”.
Nuala Kennedy is an Irish singer and flute player with hauntingly beautiful vocals, adventurous instrumentation, and an eclectic mix of influences. Her singing and flute playing springs from the traditional music of Ireland and Scotland, and from the fathomless realms of her own imagination. A consummate performer with a buoyant personality, her music has been described as unique, evocative, and soul-satisfying. Nuala grew up in Dundalk, Co. Louth, on the East coast of Ireland, a musical area steeped in mythology with long historical links to Scotland. The combination of the best influences of the two cultures, Scottish and Irish, is what has made Nuala the artist she is today.
Drawing on the rich musical heritage of the Oriel region, Gerry O’Connor, Nuala Kennedy, and Martin Quinn will be joined by Breton Guitarist Gilles le Bigot to showcase local songs and tunes many of which have been recorded for an album to be released this year. With strong influences from Scotland and Europe, Oriel music has developed as an eclectic mix of rhythms and melodies with strong poetical lyrics to the regional songs.
Papilio is a neo-traditional band from Nova Scotia that captures the organic spirit and drive of traditional Celtic, Folk, Nordic, and World music while giving it a new, contemporary, creative twist that is all their own. More than a ceili band, they are a progressive neo-traditional trio inviting the listener on an auditory journey through Ireland, Scotland, the Maritimes, Brittany (the Celtic region of France), Galicia/Asturia (Celtic regions of Spain), Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, and beyond, adding a sprinkle of folk ballads and their own “in-the-tradition” original compositions. They reflect the connections that Nova Scotians feel to both their deep-rooted history and to the multi-cultural, multi-faceted realities of modern society.
Six time Grammy winners, The Chieftains are now recognized for bringing traditional Irish music to the world’s attention. They have uncovered the wealth of traditional Irish music accumulated over the centuries, making it their own with a style as exhilarating as it is definitive. Although their early following was purely a folk audience, the range and variation of their music very quickly captured a much broader public, making them the best known Irish band in the world today. The Chieftains played at the first Celtic Colours in 1997 and since they’re on their 50th anniversary tour, we figured it was only right to have them back this year.
A stunning synthesis of virtuosity and energy, The Outside Track’s marriage of Canadian, Scottish and Irish music and song has been rapturously received around the world. Hailing from Scotland, Ireland, Cape Breton and Vancouver, its five members–Norah Rendell, Mairi Rankin, Lily Neill, Fiona Black, and Cillian O’Dalaigh–are united by a love of traditional music and a commitment to creating new music on its foundation. Using fiddle, accordion, harp, guitar, flute, step-dance and vocals these five virtuosos blend boundless energy with unmistakable joie de vivre.