J.P. Cormier is a gifted multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter who reads the times with songs. He has released more than a dozen records including two career retrospectives, and a book of the tunes featured on his guitar album. J.P.’s impressive body of work has earned him a vast and loyal fan base and multiple award nominations and wins, including 12 East Coast Music Awards, Canadian Folk Music Award, 5 Music Nova Scotia Awards, Juno nominations, commendations from the Governor General of Canada and Premier of Nova Scotia.
Award-winning singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist J.P. Cormier has released more than a dozen records including two career retrospectives, and a book of the tunes featured on his guitar album. Since 2009, J.P. has been performing with the Elliott Brothers—Bill (guitars) and Mike (bass)—and his musical connection with these Atlantic Canadian bluegrass veterans has been nothing short of spectacular. Mike and Bill are both former Maritime old time Fiddling Champions, with over 40 years experience on the leading edge of the Atlantic Canadian bluegrass scene playing with their father, the legendary Carl Elliott.
Jason MacDonald’s passion for music plays out with energy, wonderful storytelling and a warm personality that connects immediately with his audience. Jason has released four recordings since 2002 and has been recognized for his songwriting with Top Honours in the Indie International Songwriters Contest. In 2011 he showcased at ECMA and went on his fourth US tour. Jason’s latest album, “Got A Ways to Go” was released in July. Joining Jason for Celtic Colours this year will be Wally MacAulay on guitar and vocals, Anita MacDonald on fiddle, and Adam Young on piano.
John Doyle’s gifts as a guitarist, songwriter, vocalist, and producer have played an essential role in the ongoing renaissance of Irish traditional music. Whether as a member of Irish-American supergroup Solas, playing the role of sideman, or taking centre stage as singer-songwriter, John adds a contemporary edge that finds fresh light in even the most well-worn of tunes. We are very excited to have John as one of this year’s Artists in Residence and look forward to the musical depth he will bring to the festival as a singer, songwriter, collaborator and, of course, as a guitar player of extraordinary talent.
Keith Mullins has always played music. A lifetime of songwriting, a degree in classical music with studies in Africa and Cuba, and growing up in a musical Cape Breton family has made Keith into a one-of-a-kind musician whose versatility has put him on stage with the East Coast’s finest musicians. The multiple ECMA-winner released two albums in the past year, his debut Localmotive Farm on which he plays many of the instruments and is joined by Gordie Sampson, Dutch Robinson and Jorge Chicoy, and The Wood Buffalo Youth Song Project where Keith, Thom Swift and Steven Bowers wrote songs with students and recorded an album to be used for fundraising.
Singing in English, Scottish Gaelic and Irish, Lewis MacKinnon has performed in coffee shops, pubs and concert halls throughout Eastern Canada. MacKinnon has played in every Atlantic Canadian Province, Ontario, Scotland and Ireland. In 2007 he was a featured performer at the Féile Ámhranaíochta (The Irish Song Festival) in Belfast, where his Gaelic song “Ailean Duinn” was selected to be included in the Festival’s 2007 compilation CD. In 2006 he released an all Gaelic recording titled, A’ Seo (“Here”) which earned him an ECMA nomination in the Roots/Traditional category.
Lisa Cameron was raised among a musical family in Margaree Forks. Since the 2004 release of her album End Of Blue (produced by J.P. Cormier), Lisa has been no stranger to stages across Nova Scotia. She has been featured on CBC Radio, the 2005 ECMA stage, and the 2005 compilation Lullabies of Our Cape Breton which won a 2006 ECMA for Best Children’s Recording. For the past couple of years, Lisa has been playing local venues and writing with a small group of Cape Breton songwriters. She released her second record in the winter of 2009.
Madison Violet is a Toronto-based duo, consisting of Cape Bretoners Lisa MacIsaac (vocals, guitar, fiddle, mandolin) and Brenley MacEachern (vocals, guitar, banjo, harmonica). Their first disc, “Worry the Jury” (2004), introduced the lush arrangements and radio-friendly harmonies that would become a Madison Violet hallmark, with their sophomore album “Caravan” (2006) further exploring and incorporating country-infused, toe-tapping melodies. Their breakthrough album, “No Fool for Trying” (2009) showcased Madison Violet’s heartfelt lyrics in brilliant contrast to their uplifting arrangements, pushing their graceful harmonies to the surface. With their newest album, The Good in Goodbye (2011), Madison Violet prove they’re among Canada’s brightest singer/songwriters.