Anita MacDonald is an accomplished musician, dancer, and Gaelic singer from Little Narrows, Cape Breton. Her passion for Cape Breton music has inspired her to work with the cultural component of Féis an Eilein in Christmas Island. In 2011, she received the Frank “Big Sampie” Sampson Award from the Festival Volunteer Drive’ers Association to record her debut album, “Stepping Stone”. A recent graduate of Cape Breton University with a Bachelor of Arts in History and Gaelic, Anita performs throughout Cape Breton and she is often sought after to conduct workshops in music, dance, and song. She is performing at Celtic Colours this year with Tyson Chen and Evan Bonaparte.
Tag Archives | Stepdance
La Swing du Suête initially came together in 1997 for the first annual Cape Breton Dance Festival in Cheticamp. Over the years, La Swing du Suête has presented itself across the Maritime provinces as well as in Quebec and Louisiana, USA. The troupe continues to enchant audiences with their music, their dances, and particularly their charm. This troupe is comprised of some 27 dancers ranging in age from 10 to 17 all students at École NDA in Chéticamp.
Lucy MacNeil, the only girl in a family of five boys, may be described as the heart of The Barra MacNeils. Her crystalline vocals are immediately identifiable with the group’s sound. For Lucy, music has always had a heartbeat and she recalls it as the centre of her childhood home where family, neighbours and visiting musicians were often known to gather—the rhythm of everyone’s feet tapping with the music would lull her to sleep on many nights. Lucy’s own musical journey officially began when she was 9 years old, but even before that she was step dancing alongside her mother, a well-known local dancer and teacher. Her career with The Barra MacNeils has seen her opening tours for international stars such as Celine Dion, Kenny Rogers and Rita MacNeil.
Mac Morin is a dancer, piano and keyboard player from Troy, Cape Breton. Starting out as a talented dancer, Mac became interested in piano as a teenager and has gone on to tour around the world with Natalie MacMaster, Howie MacDonald, The Rankin Sisters, and Beòlach, among others. Mac has also appeared on a number of CDs by other artists including Buddy MacMaster, Glenn Graham and Troy MacGillivray. Mac released his first album, Mac Morin, in 2003 and is currently working on a new record. He continues to travel to teach Cape Breton step dancing. Mac will be performing with Mairi Rankin and Matt MacIsaac, Howie MacDonald, and Beòlach during Celtic Colours this year.
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, and this year is one of the Celtic Colours Artists in Residence.
Born in Mabou, Mairi Rankin is a fiddler and step dancer who has been influenced by some of the best Cape Breton traditional musicians and instructors on the island. She has developed her own unique style by being immersed in such a rich musical culture. Mairi has been fortunate to tour nationally and internationally as a performer and educator in both fiddle and step dance. She has performed as a solo artist, a sideman, and as a member of the Cape Breton Celtic super group Beòlach and the Scottish/Irish/Canadian band The Outside Track. Mairi has recorded one solo album, two each with Beòlach and The Outside Track and been featured on numerous compilations and recordings.
Derrick and Melody Cameron live in Mabou, Cape Breton on the small dairy farm where Derrick was raised. Melody is an accomplished Cape Breton style dancer and fiddle player and they have performed together throughout Canada’s Maritime Provinces and the New England States. Highlights include playing the Stan Rogers Folk Festival and the Washington Irish Folk Festival, teaching workshops and performing at the North Atlantic Fiddle Convention in Aberdeen, Scotland and playing for many dances, pubs and concerts throughout Cape Breton Island. They were featured in the documentary “And They Danced” and have released three recordings.
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.