Comprised of five Cape Breton pipers – Paul K. MacNeil, Keith MacDonald, Rankin MacInnis, Kenneth MacKenzie, and Kevin Dugas – and formed by the Gaelic College, Nuallan seeks to represent, promote and explore the style of piping brought by Highland Gaels and developed over the past two hundred years here in Cape Breton Island. This rich style of playing had a strong focus on the rhythm and musicality of the music and an inherent link with the song and dance traditions of the Gaelic culture. Nuallan’s members are well-known individually for their rhythmic, musical playing and bringing them together to celebrate the importance of these connections was a natural fit.
Tag Archives | Stepdance
Bill and John Pellerin are brothers who were born and raised in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. Bill started dancing at six years of age and John at four. When he was ten, John also began playing fiddle. Their father, Kenneth, played fiddle for dances for years in the Antigonish area. Their roots go deep in Cape Breton tradition as well. Their grandmother on their mother’s side is a Beaton from the Mabou Coal Mines. Dancing and fiddling has brought both Bill and John throughout Canada, USA and Ireland.
Rodney MacDonald is an accomplished Cape Breton performer who has toured throughout Atlantic Canada. He is the grandson of the great fiddler and composer, Donald Angus Beaton. He began learning stepdancing from his parents at the age of four and soon picked up the fiddle. Rodney recorded his own solo recording in 1995 entitled Dancer’s Delight, Traditionally Rockin’ in 1997(with Glenn Graham), and was included on the 2004 Smithsonian release The Beaton Family of Mabou: Cape Breton Fiddle and Piano Music. The former Premier of Nova Scotia is working on a new CD for 2014.
Sabra is a champion highland dancer, a stellar step dancer and a musician who has performed and taught across Canada, the United States, Australia, Scotland, and Ireland. The 5-time provincial champion highland dancer, 10-time representative for Nova Scotia at the Canadian Highland Dancing Championships, and 8th overall in the World Highland Dancing Championships in Scotland, is founder, director and choreographer of the Celtic Touch Dancers, a lively group of award-winning highland and step dancers. Sabra’s choreographies have garnered them top placings at the provincial and national level.
With roots going back six generations, this family of players shares a legacy of tradition. Ever since Joe Pete Chaisson formed the PEI Fiddlers Association and established the Rollo Bay Fiddle festival, the family has worked to preserve and protect traditional music and dance on Prince Edward Island. Joe Pete’s three sons–Peter, Kenny and Kevin–still set the standard for younger generations to follow. This year the younger generation–J.J. (guitar, fiddle), Koady (guitar, tenor banjo), Brent (guitar), Tim (fiddle, vocals, guitar), and Darla (piano)–takes centre stage at Celtic Colours.
The Beaton Sisters Band consists of sisters Dawn (fiddle and dance) and Margie (fiddle, piano and dance) Beaton. Piano-player extraordinaire, Jason Roach from Cheticamp, Cape Breton is a lively rhythm based soloist and accompanist with a powerful beat to keep the tunes cooking! Kenneth MacKenzie, from Mabou, Cape Breton is a piper and fiddler. His roots are strongly Gaelic and his piping styling is up-tempo, made perfect for any step-dancer. Together, these artists will have your toes tapping and your legs dancing!
Tracey Dares MacNeil is a piano player from Marion Bridge, who has accompanied the finest fiddlers of this generation, and been featured as a soloist in concert and on recordings. While recording and touring with Natalie MacMaster throughout England, Ireland, Scotland, Europe, the U.S. and New Zealand for most of the 1990s, Tracey released her debut recording Crooked Lake in 1994 and a piano instruction video in 1997. Known for the quality and versatility she brings to her instrument, Tracey is one of those rare performers who can accompany other artists of varying musical styles with ease and sensitivity.
Whether playing piano or fiddle, or showcasing his stepdancing capabilities, Troy MacGillivray displays intense commitment to the Celtic heritage he inherited from his Highland ancestors. His versatility has had him performing across Canada and the US and overseas from Switzerland to Australia. Troy’s first three albums – Eleven (2005), Boomerang (2003) and Musical Ties (2001) were each nominated for East Coast Music Awards. His fourth album, Live At The Music Room, won the 2008 ECMA Instrumental Recording of the Year and When Here Meets There, recorded with Shane Cook, was named 2009 ECMA Roots/Traditional Group Album of the Year.