Hard-driving but clean, lively and passionate, traditional yet original—Colin Grant’s fiddle playing has inconspicuously stepped to the forefront of the East Coast traditional music scene and people are sitting up and taking notice. Although most at home with traditional Cape Breton fiddle music, his versatility as both a lead and side musician has given him experiences in a variety of traditional styles, in addition to folk, rock and country genres. Colin has put this experience to use with the Colin Grant Band playing a dynamic and thoughtful mingling of beats and melodies from an extensive host of musical influences.
Claudine is best known for her tenor banjo and mandolin playing with Touchstone, Triona NiDhomhnaill’s highly acclaimed Irish-Appalachian fusion band based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina in the 1980′s. While living in Galway, Ireland, she learned the exciting Irish flat-picked tenor banjo style from Charlie Piggott of De Danann and has led workshops at folk festivals in the US, Canada, and England. She currently performs with the Vermont-based band Gypsy Reel, who have recorded six cds, and been recipients of a National Endowment for the Arts award for touring artists. Claudine maintains a musical connection with the traditional music of the Maritime provinces of Canada, especially Nova Scotia, home of her father.
Daniel Lapp has been an innovator, mentor and staple of the west coast music scene for over 20 years. Founder and president of the Victoria Fiddle Society and the BC Fiddle Orchestra, he first came to Celtic Colours in 2001 and to say that he made a good first impression would be a huge understatement. The fiddle and trumpet player was invited back the next year and returned again in 2004 and 2006 to take part in the Unusual Suspects of Celtic Colours concerts, and to perform in trio. He is back this year with Adam Dobres on guitar and Adrian Dolan on fiddle.
Darren McMullen is a highly sought after multi-instrumentalist based out of Halifax, Nova Scotia. His list of instruments includes mandolin, bouzouki, tenor banjo, whistles, guitar and bass. He has released three solo albums and been busy touring and performing with a wide range of bands including the Rankins, J.P. Cormier, Dave Gunning, Matt Andersen, Bruce Guthro, Matt Minglewood, David Francey, Gillian Boucher, Troy MacGillivray, Andrea Beaton, Rachel Davis, Anna Ludlow, and Chrissy Crowley. Darren also plays in Sprag Session with Colin Grant, Jason Roach, Donnie Calabrese and Colin Clarke, and fronts his own Darren McMullen Band.
A long-time and award-winning columnist, Frank Macdonald is an accomplished writer of short stories, drama, poetry and songs. His columns in the Inverness Oran have twice been anthologized. His play “Assuming I’m Right” became a touring stage production, and “Her Wake” won Best Canadian Play at the Liverpool International Theatre Festival in 2010. Frank’s first novel, “A Forest for Calum” was long-listed for the 2007 IMPAC International Dublin Literary Award. In 2010, he authored “T.R.’s Adventure at Angus the Wheeler’s”, a children`s book illustrated by Virginia McCoy. His second novel, “A Possible Madness” was published in 2011.
Ian MacDougall is a singer and songwriter from North Sydney with a knack for telling bizarre and heartfelt stories in his songs. As frontman of Cape Breton’s award-winning, seven-member Tom Fun Orchestra, Ian has toured in Australia, Scotland, Ireland, and across Canada. At home in Cape Breton, Ian occasionally takes a more laid-back approach to performing music, sometimes choosing to play his songs solo, or as a straight-ahead, bass-drums-guitar rock trio. Whatever the setting he chooses, it’s Ian’s songs that take centre stage.
Joel Sanderson was brought up in central Scotland in a small town where his father made stringed instruments. One of a family of six children who all play music, they had a family string quartet for many years. He has performed on cello and double bass with Arabic, Jewish and Hungarian musicians who live in Edinburgh, as well as Scottish and English songwriters and musicians. Acknowledging no boundaries in the world of music, Joel is a fascinating and entertaining musician and performer. We are happy to welcome him to Celtic Colours as he performs with Sarah McFadyen.
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.