Born into a musical family in Cape Breton, Donnie Campbell has enjoyed a long involvement in traditional music as a singer, collector, and broadcaster, hosting the popular radio program “Celtic Serenade” for forty years. In the early 1970’s, Donnie was a member of Miller’s Jug, sharing stages with Tommy Makem, Phil Cunningham, and the Tannahill Weavers, and Cape Breton fiddlers Carl MacKenzie, Buddy MacMaster, Winnie Chafe, Jerry Holland and Kinnon Beaton. Donnie sings songs that matter to him with a repertoire that runs the course of the folk music revival, songs of Cape Breton, the ancient songs of Scotland and Ireland.
Tag Archives | Vocals
Multi-instrumentalist and singer Emily Dingwall is often sought out for her smooth harmonies, soulful bass, and chameleon-like ability to blend into any musical situation. A self-taught bass player and guitarist, Emily has worked tirelessly to hone her craft. Emily has spent time in Nashville working with Gordie Sampson and is in demand in the studio at home, recording with J.P. Cormier, Aaron C. Lewis, Steven MacDougall, Laurel Martell and many others. Since 2013, she toured Canada with J.P. Cormier. She also plays regularly with popular Cape Breton band The Privateers and in the duo Rosa with her sister Jen.
Goiridh Dòmhnullach is a Gaelic singer, composer, storyteller and educator who was fortunate to have the opportunity to learn from some of Cape Breton’s best tradition-bearers. He is one of a musical Cape Breton family, the “Dougalds” MacDonalds originating in Kingsville, Inverness County. He was influenced by traditional musicians on both sides of his family. Goiridh prefers to sing in the traditional style he learned from the singers of his native Bràigh na h-Aibhneadh. Goiridh has performed in Scotland, Ireland, and Canada. He will be performing with his song Pàdruig this year at the Festival.
With her pure vibrato voice, Hawa Kassé Mady Diabaté has been compared by some to the American gospel singer, Mahalia Jackson. She’s the daughter of legendary singer Kassé Mady Diabaté and her songs are from Kela, a village in western Mali famous for its music. She is accompanied by virtuoso balafon player Lassana Diabaté. Lassana comes from a long line of famous players of this instrument at the source of tradition in Western Mali and in Guinea. The two have played together recently in major Festivals in the UK and at prominent US universities and concert halls.
Julian Kytasty is an American composer, singer, kobzar, bandurist, flute player and conductor of Ukrainian descent. His first studies were in the Ukrainian Bandurist Chorus, in which his father, uncles and grandfather played in and conducted before him. He has been a resident of New York since 1980. With a Masters degree in music from Concordia University in Montreal, Julian’s original compositions and arrangements have entered the standard repertoire of bandurists around the world. A frequent speaker on the bandura and its tradition, Julian has been a guest lecturer at Yale, Harvard, Wesleyan, and the University of California.
J.P. Cormier is a gifted multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter who reads the times with songs. He has released more than a dozen records including two career retrospectives, and a book of the tunes featured on his guitar album. J.P.’s impressive body of work has earned him a vast and loyal fan base and multiple award nominations and wins, including 12 East Coast Music Awards, Canadian Folk Music Award, 5 Music Nova Scotia Awards, Juno nominations, commendations from the Governor General of Canada and Premier of Nova Scotia.
Joanne MacIntyre, from Mabou Coal Mines, was raised in a culture rich environment of Scotch music, dance and Gaelic language. Singing on stages around Cape Breton since her teen years, Joanne was a regular performer at Highland Village as a Gaelic singer, step dancer and story interpreter. She now teaches Gaelic language and Gaelic Studies at Dalbrae Academy in Mabou. Joanne continues to expand her repertoire of songs from the Cape Breton and Inverness County Gaelic tradition. In 2012, Joanne received the “Big Sampie” award and released her debut album of Gaelic songs, Craobh a’ Mhathain, during last year’s festival.
In Laura Smith’s music, real emotions ebb and flow. Your heart is in her capable hands, and likewise, she has entrusted you with hers. As she sings, her strong, melodious voice waves and catches, snagging on a scar here and there, surfing on a wonder, staring down a riddle. As you listen, the two of you go along together; brave and surfacing; calm and inquisitive. Laura has won ECMAs and a Gemini Award, and her song “Shade Of Your Love” was one of the most played songs in Canada. We look forward to hearing her team up with guitarist Tony McManus at Celtic Colours this year.