Paul MacDonald is a musician of many talents who has traveled throughout traditional music circles both at home and abroad. An accomplished guitarist, Paul has performed with musicians such as Jerry Holland, Joe Derrane, Sharon Shannon, John MacLean and The Boys of The Lough. Paul is also a skilful and creative music producer and engineer and his audio restorations have put many fine old recordings back into circulation. Since 2003, Paul has lectured on Celtic Music at St. FX University, Antigonish, presenting old recordings he has collected throughout his career. Paul has performed with violin-maker and composer Otis Tomas since 1988.
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Nicole LeBlanc is a proud Acadian from Chéticamp, Cape Breton Island. She has been sharing her culture through music for several years. With the help of le Conseil des arts de Chéticamp as well as la Société Saint-Pierre, she loves passing on her love of music to others, young and old. She is the music teacher at her childhood school, École NDA, and directs the community dance troupe. Whether she’s on stage, in the classroom, at church or at a kitchen party, she enthusiastically shares the traditional music as well as her own compositions with people around her.
Comprised of five Cape Breton pipers, Nuallan seeks to represent, promote and explore the style of piping brought by Highland Gaels and developed over the past two hundred years here in Cape Breton Island. This rich style of playing had a strong focus on the rhythm and musicality of the music and an inherent link with the song and dance traditions of the Gaelic culture. Nuallan’s members are well-known individually for their rhythmic, musical playing and bringing them together to celebrate the importance of these connections was a natural fit.
Qristina and Quinn Bachand have taken the international Celtic music world by storm, winning 2010 Top Traditional Group and 2011 Top Duo at the Irish Music Awards and receiving multiple nominations at the Canadian Folk Music Awards. Born and raised on Canada’s West Coast with its signature tolerance for experimentation and improvisation, the siblings have always been encouraged to find their own voice, exploring all kinds of musical traditions and fusing styles such as Old-time, Irish trad, Folk, and Jazz to create their own distinctive sound. This award winning duo’s sheer talent and natural exuberance is a joy to behold.
Roger Stone is an accomplished Cape Breton musician, born and raised in Richmond County. Currently a member of the long-established and much loved Nova Scotian band McGinty, Roger also enjoys a busy solo career and plays with a variety of other notable musicians. Known for his folk and traditional style of music, Roger has been a passionate teacher of banjo, guitar, mandolin, bass, percussion and voice for almost thirty years. He has been a contributing force and inspiration to the musical careers of well-known artists and his many students and his song writing skill is well known whether writing his own original material or in collaboration with others.
Ronald Bourgeois has been a promoter and defender of Acadian music and culture since the early 1980s. Inspired by his Acadian roots and life in Atlantic Canada, the Cheticamp native is regarded by his peers as one of Acadie’s top songwriters. His award-winning songs are found in almost every Acadian artist’s repertoire. Ron has released two recordings–Amène le vent (1994); Le long retour (2001). He has performed throughout Canada and France and over 60 Ronald Bourgeois songs have been recorded by artists in Canada, France and Louisiana.
With diverse musical talents and a bottomless pool of creativity, Quinn Bachand plays a range of styles that includes jazz and bluegrass, but it is his skill with Celtic music that is drawing the most attention to this young multi-instrumentalist. His virtuosic playing is more than eye-catching fret-board fireworks. A gifted and creative guitar player, Quinn adds a contemporary edge to traditional Celtic music. His unique harmonies, hard-driving strumming, inventive chord voicing and powerful rhythmic effects make even the most well-worn tunes seem new and exciting. An in-demand sideman, Quinn has also toured with fiddling icons Ashley MacIsaac and Natalie MacMaster.
Composer and guitarist Scott Macmillan has played a significant role expanding audiences for Atlantic Canadian music nationally and internationally, taking him to places like Carnegie Hall in New York, the British Isles and Germany and crisscrossing Canada conducting orchestras. His most recent collaboration is “Aiseag-the ferryboat” with Scottish composer/harpist Mary Ann Kennedy, performed at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. A passionate music-maker, Scott explores a wide range of genres and his many awards, appointments, commissions and critical reviews ensure his musical legacy will be lasting.