New Waterford native Doug MacPhee has performed with all the great fiddlers of Cape Breton over the years. Although he prides himself in his ability as an accompanist, Doug is also known as Cape Breton’s foremost piano soloist. Doug’s music can be heard on more than 50 recordings in addition to his five solo albums and a compilation CD as well. He has toured throughout Canada and internationally and has been recognized with the Order of Canada for his contribution to Cape Breton traditional culture. Doug has lived in Toronto, Boston and even California, but the call of returning home was strong and he is always happiest playing music and living home in New Waterford, Cape Breton. He has a great recall of tunes and tune names, and an impeccable memory for details of the culture, which made him a perfect employee at the Beaton Institute and archives at Cape Breton University. Doug is now retired but continues to play regularly all around Cape Breton.
With an interpretation, style, and energy all her own, Gillian Head delights audiences. Her influences include the variation and modern style of contemporary fiddlers, as well as the strong roots of the old traditional fiddlers of her native Cape Breton Island. This combination leaves you with a taste of the strong, lively fiddling that Gillian is all about. A stepdancer from a young age, Gillian took up the fiddle after falling in love with the music she danced to. She took up the fiddle at age 9, initially taking lessons from Stephanie Wills for a short time, and then studying for years under the direction of the late Jerry Holland. These early teachers, and love of dance, make for a distinctive rhythmic style of fiddling. Gillian has played all over her native island, and even out on the ocean on board the Holland-America Cruise lines! In July 2014, Gillian released her debut album, “Spirit”.