Ashley MacIsaac was performing as a dancer in concerts by the time he started school and added fiddle and piano a short time later. While still in high school he found himself working with Paul Simon and performing in a Phillip Glass off-Broadway production. Since first recording in the early 1990s, he has experimented with musical styles and evolved into an award-winning, genre-bending performer, writer, and singer. Ashley is currently working a new project of Celtic Beats with Jay Andrews of Halifax (aka Sticks), the previously unreleased Beautiful Lake Ainslie CD with Barbara Magone is set for release later this fall as is a re-issue of his Crossover CD.
Tag Archives | Piano
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.
The Barra MacNeils are one of Canada’s premier Celtic groups. The family band from Sydney Mines is deeply rooted in Celtic music, culture and history, and consistently wows audiences with their captivating vocals, harmonies and musicianship. After more than 25 years, the group is as busy as ever, having released two new recordings in 2012–a live album with Symphony Nova Scotia and a special project recorded with a variety of musical guests from Celtic Colours. With multiple lead vocalists, beautiful sibling harmonies, top-drawer instrumental prowess on a wide variety of instruments, dancing, storytelling, Gaelic songs and a journey through an ancient culture, The Barra MacNeils live in concert must be experienced to be believed.
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.
Recognized by his peers as one of Canada’s best performing songwriters, Lennie Gallant is a native of Prince Edward Island now living in Nova Scotia. The prolific songwriter has recorded nine albums (seven in English and two in French), winning a host of awards and nominations from both the JUNO Awards and East Coast Music Awards. His song “Peter’s Dream” made it to #4 on the CBC Radio Top 10 Canadian Songs of All-Time. As a performer, Gallant’s intense delivery reaches down to the very soul of his audience, moving effortlessly through stirring narratives, comic observations, and hard driving rhythms. He has toured extensively internationally, playing festivals and concerts accompanied by roots rock bands, and in acoustic settings.
Fionia String Band is a meeting of two generations of folk musicians with a shared passion for traditional melodies. They deliver rustic and lively folk music from polkas and lyrical tunes to warm-hearted waltzes, mainly from the Scandinavian repertoire as well as traditional music from Québec and Cape Breton. The band consists of two of Denmark’s top fiddlers, Michael Graubæk and Jes Kroman, with Theis Juul Langlands, a teacher at Denmark’s only traditional music academy, on piano. They play with passion and intelligence and are obviously having a great time playing together. The music is easily accessible and offers a refreshingly modern interpretation of Danish traditional music.
Sheumas, the eldest of six siblings who make up the Barra MacNeils, began playing piano at a very young age. He soon teamed up with his younger, fiddle-playing brother Kyle and the duo performed regularly at local square dances. Together they set the stage for what is now the Barra MacNeils. Sheumas studied music at Mount Allison University where he received his Bachelor of Music Major in Pipe Organ.
A native of Sydney Mines, Cape Breton, Leanne comes from a family steeped in music and tradition. She has performed in many parts of Canada, the US and Ireland. Her debut album, All Set, which features Tracey Dares-MacNeil, Dave MacIsaac as well as members of her family, was recognized in 2008 by the East Coast Music Association and was nominated in the category of Roots/Traditional Solo Recording of the Year. Now living in Halifax, Leanne also gives lessons in Cape Breton Stepdancing.