Darren McMullen is a highly sought after multi-instrumentalist based out of Halifax, Nova Scotia. His list of on-stage instruments includes mandolin, bouzouki, tenor banjo, whistles, guitar and bass. Darren started young on piano and then guitar and played his way through the popular pub band scene until he landed a gig with J.P. Cormier in 2004 which took him throughout Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. Since then he has released two solo albums and been busy touring and performing with a wide range of artists. In the Darren McMullen Band, he has teamed up with Zach Smith on percussion, Rachel Davis on fiddle and vocals, and Ben Furey on mandolin and vocals. Darren will also be performing with Sprag Session and Coìg.
Tag Archives | Nova Scotian artists
Internationally recognized as a master of stringed instruments, Dave MacIsaac is a musician’s musician. He plays traditional fiddle tunes with fiery passion, and his stunning guitar playing, whether solo or as accompaniment, is industry legend. Always interested in expanding his knowledge of Celtic music, Dave has thousands of recordings of Cape Breton traditional music. He also possesses an archival knowledge of tunes, and is often called upon to name that tune for recordings, as well as being in high demand for session work. John Allan Cameron often stated that, “If a cod fish had strings… Dave MacIsaac could play it!”
Cassie and Maggie MacDonald are a dynamic Celtic sister duo, born in Halifax with strong roots in Antigonish, who have been wowing audiences across Canada with their unique blend of original and traditional Celtic music. Together these delightful sisters bring more than your average fiddle and piano duo; Fiddle-playing Cassie is also an award winning highland and step dancer and also sings harmony for Maggie. In addition to her piano playing, Maggie sings lead, plays guitar, banjo, accordion and is also an accomplished step dancer. Their music fits together seamlessly encompassing various styles from Cape Breton reels to Antigonish polkas, Quebecois fiddling and footwork to down east standards.
Allan’s background in the Cape Breton musical tradition is the backbone of his ability to accompany any fiddler, past and present—from Carl MacKenzie, Buddy MacMaster, Rodney MacDonald, Howie MacDonald, John Morris Rankin and John Pellerin to the new generation fiddlers including Troy MacGillivray and Shelly Campbell—for dances and ceilidhs. Allan has toured all over the world with Jerry Holland and many others and was a full time member of Natalie MacMaster’s band from 2001-2006. Allan is now Music Director at the Celtic Music Interpretive Centre in Judique and spends his time accompanying local fiddlers at dances, pubs and theatres from Nova Scotia to Scotland and beyond.
Jamie has remained at the top of the list of ‘first call’ players in eastern Canada for over 15 years. As a multi-styled, multi-instrumentalist musician/sideman, Jamie has and continues to work alongside many of the highest profile artists in the region – Jimmy Rankin, The Rankin Family, Gordie Sampson, George Canyon, Lennie Gallant, Bruce Guthro, Damhnait Doyle, Dave Gunning, Christina Martin, Symphony Nova Scotia and dozens more. In addition to his work as a sideman, Jamie is also highly sought after for his musical direction and band leading skills, as a producer, and for his prolific songwriting.
Brian MacDonald grew up in Westmount, Cape Breton. He spent a great deal of time surrounded by Gaelic music and culture in Inverness County. He is married with five children and living in St. Andrews, Antigonish County. Brian has been playing the fiddle for many years for dances and concerts around Cape Breton, Ontario and Detroit and formed a group a few years ago called the Antigonish County Fiddlers. Brian is a Gaelic learner and has been instrumental in organizing Gaelic language programs for adults and students in the Antigonish area.
Kim Dunn has been working on a successful music career for 30 years now, with a brief four-year reprieve studying Jazz at ST.FX. In addition to producing, musical directing and arranging credits, he has worked with Rita MacNeil, Bruce Guthro, Matt Minglewood, Jimmy Rankin, Lennie Gallant, David Myles, Jill Barber, Dave Gunning, and George Canyon. After playing on countless cd’s of other artists, Kim released his first solo album, “Take This Hammer”, in 2009. He has performed his music with Symphony Nova Scotia and been featured regionally and nationally on CBC Radio. Kim has traveled and performed in the United States, Holland, Germany, Switzerland, and has toured extensively throughout Canada.
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”.