Erin is just one of the many fabulously talented Leahy family siblings, based out of Ontario but with family roots in Inverness County, Cape Breton. Erin’s rhythmic piano style will be featured in the special concert Keys to the Cape Breton Piano, exploring the evolution of the Cape Breton piano from an accompaniment role to a solo medium, along with Tracey Dares MacNeil, Troy MacGillivray, and Artist in Residence Mac Morin.
Tag Archives | Piano
New Waterford native Doug MacPhee has performed with all the great fiddlers of Cape Breton over the years. Although he prides himself in his ability as an accompanist, Doug is also known as Cape Breton’s foremost piano soloist. Doug’s music can be heard on more than fifty recordings in addition to his five solo albums and a compilation CDl. He has toured throughout Canada and internationally and has been recognized with the Order of Canada for his contribution to Cape Breton traditional culture.
Howie MacDonald is a well-respected fiddler from Westmount, Cape Breton County. He has released eleven albums and a DVD and spent many years touring and recording with the Rankin Family. Howie has expanded his talents and gained popularity as a comedian recently for his roles in musical comedy revues Island Mania, Howie’s Celtic Brew, The Dance Last Night, and the Cape Breton Summertime Revue. Howie is also very much in demand for dances, concerts, ceilidhs and recording sessions and can be counted on to pop up in the most unexpected musical circumstances.
Hilda Chiasson is one of the most sought after piano players of this generation and has played on more than 50 recordings in Canada, Ireland, Scotland, Denmark and the US. A native of Cheticamp where she played for dances and recorded since she was a teenager, Hilda is also a very good step dancer and has played and recorded with a who’s who of Cape Breton fiddlers including Winston Scotty Fitzgerald, Donald Angus Beaton, Jerry Holland, Carl MacKenzie and J.P. Cormier. Hilda has performed throughout Canada, the US, Scotland, Ireland and Denmark as well as in Dubai, Bahrain, and Afghanistan.
Harvey was raised in Port Hastings, Cape Breton. He began step-dancing at 14 and was soon dancing on the summer Scottish concert circuit. An accomplished dancer, Harvey is also in demand as an instructor. He has performed and taught in many parts of Canada, the US, and Europe, including University College Cork in Ireland, Sabhal Mor Ostaig Gaelic College in Skye, Feis Ross in Ullapool, and Ceòlas in the Hebrides. Although primarily known as a dancer, Harvey is also an accomplished piano accompanist who has played with a number of Cape Breton fiddlers.
Joël Chiasson is a veteran piano player from Cheticamp, Cape Breton. Citing Hilda Chiasson as his biggest influence, Joël has provided piano accompaniment on more than 25 recordings by artists including Natalie MacMaster, Ashley MacIsaac, Mary Jane Lamond, Buddy MacMaster and Andrea Beaton over the past 20 years. In the late 1990s, Joël toured extensively with Ashley MacIsaac and Natalie MacMaster. Today Joël lives in Sydney with his family and works as a school teacher, but thankfully he still manages to get out and play for concerts and dances in and around Cape Breton.
Cape Breton fiddler Kimberley Fraser has built a distinguished career, performing all over the world at venues from Afghanistan to Victoria. She holds degrees in Violin performance from Berklee College of Music where she was a member of The Berklee World Strings and also a degree in Celtic Studies and Jazz Piano from St Francis Xavier University. A master at the trio of fiddling, step dancing and piano, Kimberley is a much sought-after performer and teacher for all three. She has performed at Celtic Colours annually since 2000.
Jason was born and raised in Cheticamp. He began playing piano at the age of five and was introduced to the Celtic style at thirteen. He has a Bachelor of Music degree from St. Francis Xavier University and has been performing since 1997. Jason has performed in Italy, France, Scotland and throughout Canada. He plays regularly with Chrissy Crowley and is a member of Sprag Session and Còig. He is featured on albums by Maybelle Chisholm, Dawn and Margie Beaton, Sprag Session and Còig. Jason released his own album in 2007 with support from the Festival Volunteer Drive’ers Association.