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.
Colin Watson graduated from Dalbrae Academy and lives in Valley Mills district of River Denys, Inverness County. He was raised with Gaelic as one of his first languages and has an avid enthusiasm of all aspects of Cape Breton's Gaelic tradition. His specialty is Gaelic singing. With a repertoire of mouth tunes and song, he has sung for BBC Scotland and appeared at concerts and milling frolics throughout the Island. As well, Colin has and active interest in Cape Breton music and step dancing and frequently enjoys square sets at the local halls. He is currently learning more Gaelic songs and taking fiddle lessons.
Core Gaelic programming in Nova Scotia allows for the enhancement of Gaelic Language instruction while creating Gaelic speaking environments for students in Grades 4 – 9. Teaching methods focus on functional language, song, drama, an exploration of a lived Nova Scotia Gaelic heritage, and the opportunity for children to use Gaelic for social interaction amongst themselves as well as with the local Gaelic speaking community. The program provides a natural stepping stone in preserving, maintaining and developing the Gaelic Language.
Weaving common threads of bluegrass, folk, old-time and country blues, Crowdis Bridge offers an atypical canvas of traditional sounding music that is both timeless and relevant. This Cape Breton trio of multi-instrumentalists has been entertaining folks in small towns and strange places across the Maritimes since 2008. Their latest album “The Seasons & The Rhymes” explores universal themes of heartache, happiness and everything in between. Interlaced with tasteful instrument breaks and thoughtful harmonies, they create a colourful palette of sound. Whether you are looking for foot-stomping, light-hearted songs or soul-searching melodies with lyrics that run deep, Crowdis Bridge strikes a sustaining chord that will resonate with any fan of fine music.
Growing up just outside of St. Peter’s in a musical family, Cyril MacPhee was immersed in Cape Breton ceilidhs and heavily influenced by his father’s Scottish and Irish fiddling, Country and Bluegrass music, and Folk singers like Stan Rogers. His musical influences are extremely varied, from the Beatles to Harry Hibbs, and this shows through in his songwriting and musical style. MacPhee has a versatility in his music that is a truly unique blend of folk, country and Celtic music. He has released five albums, three with the popular power-folk group Brakin’ Tradition and two as a solo artist.
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.
Darren McMullen is a highly sought after multi-instrumentalist based out of Halifax, Nova Scotia. His list of on-stage weapons includes mandolin, bouzouki, tenor banjo, whistles, guitar and bass. Darren started young on piano and then guitar and played his way through the popular pub band scene until he landed a gig with J.P. Cormier in 2004 which took him throughout Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. Since then he has released two solo albums and been busy touring and performing with a wide range of bands including the Colin Grant Band, Pogey, Dave Gunning, Matt Andersen, Bruce Guthro, Matt Minglewood, David Francey, Gillian Boucher, Troy MacGillivray, Andrea Beaton, Rachel Davis, Anna Ludlow, and Chrissy Crowley.
Décota McNamara’s unique sound–which blends traditional bluegrass, celtic and Acadian roots with contemporary pop and country rock flavors–is capturing the hearts of a swiftly growing fan base. Moving effortlessly between acoustic and electric guitar, banjo, mandolin and dobro, Décota’s command of string instruments is as impressive as his rich vocals and clever songwriting. Overflowing with energy and charisma, Décota is a top-notch entertainer whether playing in kitchens, pubs or concert halls.