Rosie MacKenzie has been a professional fiddler and singer for over fifteen years touring, recording and teaching extensively internationally. She first came onto the scene at age 11 as an original member of The Cottars. The group successfully recorded three full-length albums under Rounder Records, toured throughout North America, Europe and Japan, and shared the stage with The Chieftains, Elvis Costello, and Natalie MacMaster. The band earned themselves two East Coast Music Awards, and their televised performance was nominated for a Gemini Award. Rosie is set to release her newest album this Fall with a launch scheduled in Canada and Ireland. Recorded in Dingle, Ireland with guitarist Matt Griffin, this is a collection of original songs and compositions. She released her first solo album in 2010 titled The MacKenzie Project and continued to work with many well known artists such as John McDermott, Nathan Rogers, and the Tom Fun Orchestra giving sold out performances and appearing at several major North American music festivals.
Dominique Dodge is a harper and singer who grew up in the White Mountains, and now divides her time between New Hampshire and Cape Breton. She has a passion for melody-driven dance music and responsive, rhythmic accompaniment, as well as for Gaelic songs, airs, and 18th century harp tunes. A former Fulbright Scholar and a 2012 graduate of the University of Limerick with an MA in Irish Music Performance, Dominique also holds a BA Honours in Scottish Music from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow. Dominique is a dedicated learner of Scottish Gaelic, a profound influence on her music which continues to shape her sense of rhythm and phrasing. Her upcoming album, “Cànan nan Teud” (The Language of the Strings) will be released in the fall of 2019. It features Gaelic songs from Cape Breton and explores the relationship between Puirt-a-Beul (mouth music) and traditional dance tunes.
Jason MacDonald is an entertainer who reels listeners in with his dynamic acoustic musicianship and keeps them beguiled with his storytelling through the authentic songs he writes based on real-life experiences. The home he makes with his wife and two young daughters in the close-knit community of Gabarus Lake, Cape Breton, both in and out of doors, is a source of songwriting inspiration that seemingly never goes dry. Jason draws on the stories of his family — including his grandparents — who had deep roots in the Gabarus Lake area, not to mention his own experiences fishing lobster, building houses, crafting furniture, growing Christmas trees, hosting a radio program, and, of course, writing songs and playing his music for fans from Mabou to Milwaukee. He draws inspiration from his listeners as he travels a steady circuit that includes Cape Breton, mainland Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and the New England states, not to mention the fellow singer-songwriters he interviews on his show “Meet The Music” on The Coast CKOA 89.7FM radio station. But one thing his fans have been asking for lately is a new recording. Although Jason hasn’t slowed down musically, it’s been six years since he released his last CD “The Day,” which followed on the heels of his first recording “Leave My Mark” in 2002. In July 2012 Jason released his third full length recording “Got a Ways to Go”. The respect the local musical community has for Jason is evident in the number of standout musicians who joined him on his long-awaited third recording — Adam Young on piano and accordion, Colin Grant on fiddle, Ryan MacNeil on whistle, Darren McMullen on bouzouki, mandolin, bass and banjo, Albert Lionais on trumpet, and Darrick MacLeod on drums. The recording includes, fast-paced number “Storm on the Way,” which captures the mood on a lobster boat as those aboard hurry to haul their traps in the face of an impending storm. “That is the Sea,” a more reflective song that portrays the respect fishermen have for the sea. “Walked on Water” is a tune with a classic feel co-written with Buddy MacDonald that takes one back to a time when those around Gabarus Lake relied on the ice for travel and recreation. “Over Due” is a fun, jaunty number inspired by the thoughts and feelings Jason and his wife experienced awaiting the birth of their first daughter. In addition to 9 original songs, the recording has Jason’s rendition of the old Scottish song “Loch Lomond”.
Brenda Stubbert is an extraordinary fiddler, pianist, and composer from Cape Breton, two books of her compositions are in print, and her tunes are in repertoires everywhere Celtic fiddle music can be heard. Brenda is in constant demand throughout Cape Breton. Her dances are lively and well attended. Since 1986, Brenda has released 7 albums, including Endless Memories (2008) which won the East Coast Music Award for Traditional Recording of the Year, and her most recent, Different Strokes with Different Folks (2011). She has published two books of tunes containing both her own compositions and other popular tunes from the Cape Breton fiddle repertoire. One of her best-known compositions is “Rannie MacLellan’s Reel”, which has been widely recorded by other musicians. In 1976, Stubbert was one of the fiddlers chosen to play for the Queen’s visit to Halifax. Her 2008 recording Endless Memories won the 2009 East Coast Music Award for Roots/Traditional Solo Recording of the Year.