The Cape Breton Chorale has been thrilling audiences since its formation in 1973. In the 40 years since, the Chorale has given more than 200 performances throughout the Maritimes, England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland. The Chorale has shared the stage with a variety of musical stars, ranging from Celine Dion to Rita MacNeil and has performed before numerous visiting dignitaries including Queen Elizabeth II. The Cape Breton Chorale has released five albums and demonstrated, through its versatility and repertoire, its well-deserved reputation for excellence. This year we celebrate the Chorale’s 40th anniversary with a special concert to close the Festival.
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Breabach delivers a thrilling and unique brand of contemporary folk music, which has earned the group international recognition on the world and roots music scene as one of the UK’s most dynamic and powerful bands. Voted Best Group at the Scots Trad Music Awards, Breabach have also received nominations in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and as European Folk Group of the Year in the German Folk Awards. The band intertwine highland bagpipes, fiddle, guitar, bass, flute, bouzouki, step dance, Gaelic and Scots song to produce a diverse and captivating performance.
Three of the most praised and popular virtuosos in Irish traditional music today–fiddler and violist Martin Hayes; flute, whistle, and bodhrán player Kevin Crawford; and singer, guitarist, bouzouki and mandola player John Doyle performed together essentially on a whim at the 2010 Sebastopol Celtic Festival in California. But that whim turned into something wondrous for the audience and especially for the three musicians. Out of that informal, inspired encounter has emerged a formal, formidable new trio, the Teetotallers, whose potent brand of Irish traditional music is meant to be drunk deeply and repeatedly. The Teetotallers represent a breathtaking summit of talent, skill, and imagination that will captivate followers of Irish traditional and other roots music everywhere.
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.
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.