Chrissy Crowley, Rachel Davis, Colin Grant, Jason Roach and Darren McMullen got together in 2010 for a tour promoting Celtic Colours. The engaging line-up of well-known solo acts—featuring expertly-played fiddle, piano, guitar, mandolin, whistle and banjo—enjoyed playing together so much that they decided to perform as Còig (“Ko-ick” – Scottish Gaelic for “five”) whenever they can. And we’re happy they are together for the Festival this year. With busy solo schedules, these musicians do not get a lot of chances to play together as Còig. Take advantage of this rare opportunity to see them in action.
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When Karrnnel Sawitsky (Fiddle), Ivonne Hernandez (Fiddle), Eric Wright (Cello) and Trent Freeman (Fiddle) got together to rehearse for the first time, they spent the next 10 days writing, arranging, and practicing until The Fretless emerged as a band. The Fretless take string music to fascinating places, transforming fiddle tunes and folk melodies into intricate, beautiful, high-energy arrangements. This approach to folk music is gaining high acclaim around the world. The Fretless is an innovation in music that must be heard. They harbour all the energy of fiddle tunes, while shattering all expectations in writing, creativity and performance.
Olov Johansson and Mikael Marin started playing together as teenagers around 1980. They met and jammed on nyckelharpa and guitar with Roger Tallroth at a festival in 1989. While Olov and Mikael were playing fairly straightforward folkmusic duets, Roger’s chordings and rhythms provided a different twist on Swedish traditional music. They recorded an album and the band’s popularity gradually grew, along with their international reputation. In 2013, Väsen played in Cape Breton, at Celtic Colours, for the first time and audience reaction demanded that we have them back this year.