Comunn Féis Mhàbu was founded to support both children and adults in their pursuits to learn more about Cape Breton’s unique Gaelic culture. Féis Mhàbu allows individuals, particularly young people, to develop skills in the area of Gaelic language and performance arts and provides opportunities for the organizers to enhance the rich local culture with the talents and experience of tradition bearers from other areas of the Celtic world.
Tag Archives | Gaelic
Goiridh Dòmhnullach is a Gaelic singer, composer, storyteller and educator who was fortunate to have the opportunity to learn from some of Cape Breton’s best tradition-bearers. He is one of a musical Cape Breton family, the “Dougalds” MacDonalds originating in Kingsville, Inverness County. He was influenced by traditional musicians on both sides of his family. Goiridh prefers to sing in the traditional style he learned from the singers of his native Bràigh na h-Aibhneadh. Goiridh has performed in Scotland, Ireland, and Canada. He will be performing with his song Pàdruig this year at the Festival.
Joanne MacIntyre, from Mabou Coal Mines, was raised in a culture rich environment of Scotch music, dance and Gaelic language. Singing on stages around Cape Breton since her teen years, Joanne was a regular performer at Highland Village as a Gaelic singer, step dancer and story interpreter. She now teaches Gaelic language and Gaelic Studies at Dalbrae Academy in Mabou. Joanne continues to expand her repertoire of songs from the Cape Breton and Inverness County Gaelic tradition. In 2012, Joanne received the “Big Sampie” award and released her debut album of Gaelic songs, Craobh a’ Mhathain, during last year’s festival.
Singing in English, Scottish Gaelic and Irish, Lewis MacKinnon performs regularly as a solo artist and as a member of the East Coast group, the Jug in Hand Band. Playing rhythm guitar, MacKinnon has shared his powerful baritone voice with audiences in the coffee shops, pubs and concert halls of Eastern Canada, New England, Scotland and Ireland. In 2006 he released an all Gaelic recording titled, A’ Seo (“Here”) which earned him an ECMA nomination in the Roots/Traditional category. In 2010, he completed his first all-English solo recording, titled “Making More Of It”.
A well-known singer and award-winning author, Lillis Ó Laoire grew up in the Gaelic speaking region of Donegal, Ireland, a place noted for its rich oral tradition. From an early age he was exposed to the rich vein of Gaelic song and as a young adult he developed that interest, recording material from older singers. Lillis has won the national gold medal for Gaelic old style singing twice, is a fluent Scottish Gaelic speaker and has made one solo recording. Lillis teaches courses in Folklore at the National University of Ireland, Galway. This is his first time to Cape Breton.
Allan, Iain and Dr. Angus MacDonald were born in the tiny Gaelic-speaking township of Glenuig in Moidart. As pipers, Allan and “Dr. Angus” achieved the most competition success, each Highland Society of London Gold Medalists and winners of the Clasp at the Northern Meeting. Iain’s fame has come mainly from his work with folk groups, Ossian, The Battlefield Band and Wolfstone, and production credits for recordings by Julie Fowlis, Dàimh, Kathleen MacInnes and his brother Allan’s recordings with Margaret Stewart. The brothers are well-known for the Gaelic influence in their playing.
Mary Ann is an award-winning musician, producer and broadcaster. She co-founded the seminal Gaelic band, Cliar and has a long association with the Inverness Gaelic Choir. A BBC Radio 3 presenter, she runs the highly-regarded Watercolour Music studios in Lochaber. Wilma Kennedy, Mary Ann’s sister, is an actress, singer and educator with a background in theatre in education. She tutors at Plockton Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music, and directs the award-winning Dundee Gaelic Choir. Mary Ann and Wilma’s cousin Maggie, also a member of Cliar, is a senior mentor in the youth tuition Fèisean movement and sings with Còisir Ghàidhlig Inbhirnis.
Mary Ann Kennedy has been surrounded by music all her life. She is part of the younger generation of one of the great dynasties of Gaelic song—the Campbells of Greepe from the Isle of Skye. An award-winning harpist who trained as a classical musician, Mary Ann is a co-founder of highly-acclaimed Gaelic band Cliar, winners of all-time Best Album at the inaugural Scots Trad Music Awards and works with Còisir Ghàidhlig Inbhirnis (Inverness Gaelic Choir). In addition to her career as a musician, Mary Ann is a highly-respected radio and television presenter, and an in-demand music producer.