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CelticFest Performer Bios

Click on one of the 7 categories below to view all performers.

Feature Artists

Artists - Music

Dance Groups

Workshops

Music & Dance - Pubs/Restaurants

Family Entertainers

Scotch Tasting Educators

 


Stephanie Cadman (Ottawa Valley Step-dancing Workshop)

Stephanie Cadman

Stephanie Cadman grew up in Canada’s capital, Ottawa.  Born into a musical family, she was drawn to the fiddle and developed a passion for dance and theatre starting at age four.  Now as an accomplished artist, her professional reputation extends throughout North America and around the world.

Stephanie began her professional career as a lead in the hit musical Swingstep combining her skills as actor, dancer, singer and fiddler.  She then went on to perform in the Mirvish Productions Celtic review Needfire, and the Broadway National Tour of 42nd Street.  She is a founding member of the hit dance show The StepCrew and is also one of Canada’s top violinists featured in the production of Bowfire.  

As a dancer Stephanie is accomplished in tap, Celtic step-dancing, ballet and jazz.  She has appeared as a dance soloist and fiddler with symphonies all over North America including the Kennedy Center’s National Symphony orchestra. She was the top female at the World Tap Dance Championships in Germany at age 16 and also holds three step-dancing titles at the prestigious Pembroke Championships.

Stephanie has been privileged to have shared the stage with Colin James, Jason McCoy, Lara St John, Amy Sky, and opened NYE 2010 for Frankie Valli and The Eagles in Houston, Texas.  She also starred in Sir Sean Connery’s 2009 Dress to Kilt benefit concert in NYC.  Stephanie takes great pride in having performed in Canadian Forces show tours at several base camps in the Middle East and in the Canadian North. 

In 2006, Stephanie established the touring production Celtic Blaze that fuses her virtuosi fiddling and step-dancing into a theatrical setting backed by a five-piece band.  The show headlines at venues across North America and is characterized by a rich tapestry of original and modern Celtic traditions with emphasis on visual as well as musical appeal. Stephanie is also in great demand as a choreographer and director.  Her first directorial debut was in 2009 with Highland Storm The Gael at the College of Piping in PEI, which opened with huge success and was featured during the opening ceremonies of the 2009 Canada Summer Games.

"......captivating choreography....incredibly talented.....world-class.....jaw-dropper"
 The Guardian

www.stephaniecadman.com

Times & Venues

March 20
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Tom Lee Music, City Stage


Boris Sichon (Multi-Instrumental Workshop)

Boris Sichon

"Sichon is simply brilliant...and he does it (a performance) with a fascinating array of ethnic musical instruments gathered from all over the globe."
Peter Birnie, Vancouver Sun

Boris Sichon was born in the Ukraine, where he finished Musical High School studying percussion instruments. He left his home town for St. Petersburg to continue his musical education at the Academy of Music. During his studies he started performing in the St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra, where he worked with well-known Russian conductors such as Yevgeny Mravinsky, Shostakovich, Badchan, Karapetian and many others.

After graduation from the Academy, Boris was invited to join the Jewish chamber musical theatre in Moscow as a stage musician and actor. After six years Boris left the theatre for a five year period working as a musician, dancer and singer in the main Russian National Folkloric Band. During this period he had an opportunity to visit and perform in 25 different countries on five different continents, where he started to collect traditional local instruments and learned to play from well-known native musicians.

From 1990 onwards, Boris had been working with the Footsbarn Travelling Theatre (France) as a musician and actor. He continued his travels, collecting musical instruments along the way, and rare and valuable musical information with the Theatre Company.

He then spent five years in Israel, working with Habima National Theatre, teaching at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, writing music for films and plays, as well as performing a great deal.

When Boris came to Canada in 2004, he began performing right away, leading workshops, participating in Festivals (Vancouver Folk Music Festival, Comox Music Fest, Vancouver Island Folk, Edmonton Folk Fest, etc.), playing solo as well as with Yungchen Lhamo, Jerry Douglas, Pavlo, Uzume Taiko and others.  He also shone in writing music for theatre and was nominated by the Jessies for outstanding sound design/original composition in the small theatre category for Helen’s Necklace, Pi Theatre.

Boris is the owner of a unique collection of ethnic musical instruments he has compiled while traveling around the globe. His collection is now comprised of over 200 rare and unique musical instruments. A comprehensive list of the items in the collection can be found on this website.

www.sichon.com

Times & Venues

March 20
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Tom Lee Music, City Stage


Michael Viens (Bodhrán Workshop)

Michael Viens

Michael has played 6 & 12-string guitars, bodhrán and sung with Vancouver Celtic stalwarts Blackthorn for many years.One of that rare breed actually born in Vancouver, Michael has spent a good portion of his life mixed up in music. He first hit the road out of high school as a horn player in various bands and was the bass singer for the a cappella group The Melloyds. He was first introduced to the Celtic scene in Vancouver when he joined Blackthorn in 1995 and has since become a regular fixture. Michael teaches bodhrán at Celtic Traditions and is a host of In the Claddagh Ring on Co-op Radio CFRO 102.7FM.

www.blackthornband.com/pages/bios.php

Times & Venues

March 20
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Tom Lee Music, City Stage


Colin Grant (Fiddle Workshop)

Colin Grant

Hard-driving but clean, lively and passionate, traditional yet original, Colin Grant's fiddle playing has stepped to the forefront of the East Coast traditional music scene and people are sitting up and taking notice. Although mostly at home with traditional Cape Breton fiddle music, his versatility as both a lead and side musician has given him experiences in a variety of traditional styles, in addition to folk, rock and country genres. Besides having received an ECMA nomination for Roots / Traditional Solo Album of the Year for his self-titled debut album, Grant has performed in the United States, France, China, and Indonesia and currently fronts the new Celtic funk/rock quintet Colin Grant Band. His second full-length album entitled Fun for the Whole Family has garnered him a nomination for Instrumental Recording of the Year at the Canadian Folk Music Awards, and the award for Music Nova Scotia’s 2010 Roots/Traditional Solo Recording of the Year.

www.colingrant.ca

Times & Venues

March 19
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Tom Lee Music, City Stage


Darren McMullen (String Workshop)

Darren McMullen

Darren McMullen is a talented multi-instrumentalist based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. His list of weapons on-stage includes mandolin, bouzouki, tenor banjo, whistles, guitar and bass. As well as having held a permanent position with JP Cormier for the past four years, he is also a regular member in one of Halifax's more popular pub bands, The Gig Dogs.  Darren also shares his talents and knowledge by teaching at the Fall River School of Performing Arts as well as to his own roster of students. He can be seen performing in duos and trios with Colin Grant and Jason Roach, and is a member of the up-and-coming Colin Grant Band who will be performing at CelticFest Vancouver this year. Darren is also excited to be one of the musicians touring with The Rankins in their Acoustic Show.

Times & Venues

March 19
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Tom Lee Music, City Stage


Jason Roach (Piano Workshop)

Jason Roach

Jason was born and raised in Cheticamp, Nova Scotia. He began playing the keys at the young age of five and was introduced to the Celtic style at 13. Today, he is an enthusiastic 25-year-old with a Bachelor of Music degree from St. Francis Xavier University.  He has performed live since 1997, including many piano solos and sharing the stage with a variety of instrumentalists. Some highlights include opening for Jimmy Rankin in at Rock the Dock, traveling to Italy and France with fiddler Dominique Dupuis for the Celtica festival of music, a trip to Scotland for the Blas Festival, performing in Vancouver at CelticFest with Fiddler Chrissy Crowley, American and Canadian tours with Stepcrew and various Celtic Colours performances. Thus far, he is featured on Maybelle Chisholm’s Pure Celtic Hearts which was released in 2001 and on the St. Francis Xavier University Jazz Nonet’s CD Mix Up.  Jason’s own recording was produced at Lakewind Sounds in 2007 and more recently he was featured on Dawn and Margie Beaton's A Taste of Gaelic. Jason keeps himself on his toes as the pianist for the new Cape Breton group The Colin Grant Band.

Times & Venues

March 19
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Tom Lee Music, City Stage