Find Us On Facebook Follow CelticFestVan on Twitter

CelticFest Performer Bios

Click on one of the categories below to view all performers in that category.

Feature Artists

Artists - Music

Workshops

Comedy

Family Entertainers

Music & Dance - Pubs/Restaurants

Other

Scotch Tasting Educator

 


Mary Jane Lamond & Wendy MacIsaac from Cape Breton

(in a double-bill with Scotland's Maeve Mackinnon)

Mary Jane Lamond & Wendy MacIsaac from the Cape Breton

This is a powerful collaboration borne of a long-time friendship and a shared love of Celtic music. Whether its Mary Jane Lamond’s mesmerizing Gaelic vocals or Wendy MacIsaac’s superb and true musicianship on the fiddle, these gals have been making their mark with traditional audiences worldwide for over two decades. Mary Jane and Wendy have both been recognized internationally for their solo music careers, and Wendy has been Mary Jane’s steadfast comrade in the presentation of her music for many years. It seems only natural that these two impressive talents now come together to create a true musical partnership, combining their musical sensibilities, their strong Celtic roots, and their colourful personalities.

SEINN, Mary Jane and Wendy’s new CD, reflects the great love and respect they have for Nova Scotia traditions, and for each other. This recording achieves a delicate balance between the musical sensibilities of each of these two talented artists, showcasing traditional and original compositions among the melancholy of Gaelic song and the joy of fiddle tunes. SEINN fuses roots arrangements with a traditional feel, capturing the enjoyment and fun that Mary Jane and Wendy have together on and off the stage.

Mary Jane released her first album, Bho Thir Nan Craobh, a collection of traditional material that introduced her unique singing voice and, then unknown, fiddler Ashley MacIsaac to the world in 1996. She has continued to dedicate her musical career to the preservation of Scottish Gaelic songs and has garnered numerous JUNO and ECMA award nominations, critical acclaim, and a worldwide audience for her efforts. Mary Jane’s now four recordings create a respectful and beautiful framework for ancient Gaelic songs, and her spellbinding performances make each selection truly come alive.

Wendy is an award-winning fiddler, piano player and step dancer from Creignish, Cape Breton. With five records to her credit – the most recent Variations with her Cape Breton Celtic Supergroup, Beolach – she is a favourite with traditional audiences everywhere. Wendy has toured all over the world as a solo performer, as well as with The Rankins, Mary Jane Lamond, Ashley MacIsaac and Beolach.

Established tradition-bearers, both Mary Jane and Wendy are skilful, enthusiastic teachers that are in high demand at festivals worldwide and an awe-inspiring musical partnership on stage!

www.maryjaneandwendy.com

http://maryjaneandwendy.com/videos/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24_W4lkc5xA&feature=youtu.be

Interview with Mary Jane Lamond - Celt In A Twist

Times & Venues

March 14
Doors 7:00 pm
Concert 8:00 pm
Vogue Theatre


Maeve Mackinnon from Scotland

(in a double-bill with Cape Breton's Mary Jane Lamond and Wendy MacIsaac)

Maeve Mackinnon from Scotland

Described by Scotland’s The Herald as possessing “a truly stunning voice”, Maeve Mackinnon is an award-winning young Gaelic singer who has, in a few short years, emerged to become one of the leading Scottish folk musicians of her generation.

As one of the youngest artists whose work was honoured in the “Classic Album” series at Celtic Connections Festival 2008, she has racked up a number of accolades over the last few years. Twice nominated as "Gaelic Singer of the Year" at the Scots Trad Music Awards (2011 and 2008 respectively), she was also named, “Up and Coming Artist of the year” at the 2007 Scots Trad Music Awards and a finalist in BBC Radio Scotland’s Young Traditional Musician of the Year awards in 2005.

This last year alone has seen her foray into songwriting in both Gaelic and English for several recording projects, and presenting The Celtic Zone for BBC Radio Scotland. 2012 saw the release of Maeve's second solo album, Once Upon An Olive Branch, which has been tipped by The Scotsman’s Sue Wilson as “A bold leap forward for one of Scotland’s most gifted and creative young vocalists”.

Accompanying Maeve are Ross Martin (guitars) and Brian Mcalpine (piano/accordion). Hailing from the west coast of Lochaber in the Highlands of Scotland, Ross is well known for his intuitive accompaniment of Gaelic songs and the Highland bagpipe music they influence. Brian is a well known figure in the Scottish music scene. Having worked with The Pearlfishers for many years, Brian now spends most of his time working in traditional Scottish music, playing in Scottish supergroup Session A9. He has appeared on over 40 albums and has performed and recorded with a vast number of artists crossing many genres including The Chieftains, Ray Wilson, Jerry Lee Lewis and Ry Cooder.

www.maevemackinnon.com

http://vimeo.com/57649285

Times & Venues

March 14
Doors 7:00 pm
Concert 8:00 pm
Vogue Theatre


The Town Pants

The Town Pants

With a decade-worth of headlining Roots and Celtic festivals, to selling out nights at rock venues, The Town Pants own brand of Celtic roots rock rebellion spans five albums so far, backed up with a legendary live show that’s garnered them fans internationally from New York to Norway.

And while The Pacific Northwest may not be the first place you would expect to hear rollicking Celtic roots music, The Town Pants are determined to change that. This Vancouver-based band combines aspects of Irish traditional, folk rock and roots Americana, fusing their signature dual lead vocals to create a unique brand of high energy "West Coast Celtic" that remains in the heart and head long after the music ends. There are lots of Celtic folk rock bands out there, but rarely does a band deliver this combination of passion, energy, animation and spirit that makes for some of the most imaginative songwriting and performance you’ll find in the genre.

With concerts in hundreds of cities and in over a dozen countries, The Town Pants have become a consistent audience favourite at Celtic, Folk, World, Irish, and even Rock festivals throughout the United States, Canada, and in Europe. The Town Pants’ last studio CD Shore Leave was hailed by critics as their best album yet. 

The best is yet to come however, and the band will have their latest work in hand for this upcoming concert and tour. Titled "15", the CD contains 15 songs and also marks the 15th anniversary of the band. The album contains 7 new recordings, as well as 8 songs from their long out-of-print album Piston Baroque from 2001, remixed, remastered & reimagined for this album.

www.thetownpants.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUubv7NE4pw

Times & Venues

March 15
Doors 7:00 pm
Concert 8:00 pm
St. Pat's Rocks with The Town Pants
Venue on Granville


Qristina & Quinn Bachand

Qristina & Quinn Bachand

With deep Asturian and Breton roots, Canadian-born Qristina and Quinn Bachand have quickly risen to the top of the international Celtic music world, winning 2010 “Top Traditional Group” and 2011 “Top Duo” at the Irish Music Awards. Since 2009, the duo has also received three Canadian Folk Music Award nominations, including “Instrumental Album of the Year” and “Young Performer of the Year”, as well as a Western Canadian Music Award nomination for “World Recording of the Year”.

Known for her expressive and passionate fiddling style, Qristina is a consummate artist who is clearly at ease on stage. She consistently captivates her audience with her spirited performances that showcase not just her fiddle talents, but also her vocal gifts and her energy and love of Celtic music. As a singer, Qristina enjoys performing a repertoire of original and traditional songs that evoke deep emotions with which people can easily relate.

With diverse musical talents and a bottomless pool of creativity, Quinn Bachand is recognized as the "Young Lion" of the Celtic guitar (Daniel Lapp) and "Canada's top Celtic guitarist" (Ashley MacIsaac). An exceptional and creative guitarist, Quinn adds a contemporary edge to traditional Celtic music; his unique harmonies, hard-driving strumming, inventive chord voicing and powerful rhythmic effects make even the most well-worn tunes seem new and exciting. An in-demand sideman, Quinn has also toured nationally and internationally, performing with Canadian fiddling icons Ashley MacIsaac and Natalie MacMaster.

Together, Qristina and Quinn create lively music that is challenging and unique, but also refreshing and fun. This spirit and skill is showcased perfectly in their two critically acclaimed albums, Relative Minors (2008) and Family (2011).

The Bachand siblings have performed at major Folk and Celtic festivals across Canada, the U.S. and Europe, and have been featured in print, and on numerous national and international radio and television programs.

www.qbachand.com
http://www.youtube.com/thebachands

Times & Venues

March 16
8:00 pm
CelticFest Ceilidh
Vancouver FanClub

March 16
1:30 pm
Doolin's Stage on Granville
@ Mahony & Sons Celtic Village


Allan Dionne

Allan Dionne

Allan Dionne is a dynamic musician who has been a part of CelticFest Vancouver on numerous occasions, performing with such notables as Ashley MacIsaac (2009), Alpha Yaya Diallo (2011), Stephanie Cadman (2011), Mad Pudding, and Shona Le Mottée.  An accordionist and composer as well as a drummer, Allan is also currently a full-time member of the francophone trio Pastiche, with whom he plays accordion and bodhran. In addition to recordings done with Mad Pudding, Shona Le Mottée, and Tim Readman, Allan can be heard on a number of other CDs playing drums, mallet instruments and bodhran. He has also performed with both the Prince George Symphony and Vancouver Philharmonic Orchestras. Allan has been teaching and performing in the Vancouver area since 1995. He gives private lessons and teaches classes at the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts.

Times & Venues

March 16
8:00 pm
CelticFest Ceilidh
Vancouver FanClub


Mairi Rankin

Mairi Rankin

Born in Mabou, Nova Scotia, Mairi Rankin has been influenced by some of the best Cape Breton traditional musicians and instructors on that island. She has developed her own unique style from a lifetime of immersion in that rich musical culture. Mairi has been fortunate to tour nationally and internationally as a performer and educator in both fiddle and step dance.

Mairi has performed as a solo artist, a sideman and was a member of the Cape Breton Celtic group Beolach. She has also played with the Rankin Sisters, Unusual Suspects and Bruce Guthro, to name a few, and appeared on the television broadcasts of DRUM!, the East Coast Music Awards, Rita MacNeil’s Christmas Special and MNE’s Togaidh Sinn Fonn in Scotland. Her festival credits internationally include Celtic Connections, Chicago Celtic Festival, Milwaukee Irish Festival, BLAS, Tønder Festival. In Canada, she has performed at all the major folk and Celtic festivals including Winnipeg Folk Festival, Calgary Folk Music Festival, Edmonton Folk Music Festival, Dawson City Music Festival and the internationally-renowned Celtic Colours Festival.

http://ca.myspace.com/theoutsidetrack

http://www.youtube.com/user/TheOutsideTrack?feature=mhum

Times & Venues

March 16
8:00 pm
CelticFest Ceilidh
Vancouver FanClub

March 17 (Session Leader with Tim Readman)
3:00 pm
CelticFest Sunday Session
Tom Lee Music Hall


Tim Readman

Tim Readman

Tim Readman (formerly of Fear of Drinking) emerged from the north-east English folk scene and has earned a reputation as an outstanding songwriter, guitarist, singer, and interpreter of traditional and contemporary folk songs. He has an infectious sense of humour and a genuine ability to engage an audience. His energetic and personable style makes him a superb MC, host and front man.

www.timreadman.com

http://www.youtube.com/user/Orangefeller?feature=guide

Times & Venues

March 16
8:00 pm
CelticFest Ceilidh
Vancouver FanClub

March 17 (Session Leader with Mairi Rankin)
3:00 pm
CelticFest Sunday Session
Tom Lee Music Hall


Oliver Swain's BIG MACHINE

Oliver Swain

Hailing from Victoria, BC, nearly the farthest west (or left) one can be in North America, Oliver Swain is a quintessentially Canadian folk and traditional musician. He eats, sleeps and breathes music, and his prolific career is evidence of this in many ways.  With his pure, finely-tuned vocals and astonishing range, and his undeniable skill behind a banjo or upright bass, Oliver grabs the attention of all who hear him. From his early years with Celtic powerhouse band Scruj MacDuhk (The Duhks) to his current solo project, Oliver has fused Celtic, Canadiana and American roots music into a fresh blend of BC roots music that is all his own.

Oliver has spent the last 15+ years honing his craft, and this effort has taken him on a remarkable musical journey. He joined The Bills back when they were known as the Bill Hilly Band in Victoria, and played with them until he decided to split town for the musical splendor of Winnipeg, Canada’s musical export city. There he joined Scruj MacDuhk, and with them released The Road To Canso prior to the band continuing on as “The Duhks”.  Winnipeg also introduced Oliver to fiddler Jeremy Penner and singer Ruth Moody, and the three went on to form Moody, Penner and Swain, releasing Southbound and kicking off a series of pilgrimages south of the Canadian border to the heart of the Appalachians. It was on this journey that Oliver solidified his love for traditional southern folk music, and he later moved to Louisiana to perform with the well-known Red Stick Ramblers for a year.

Swain then decided to bring the music back home to Victoria, where he helped form popular folk group Outlaw Social, releasing two critically acclaimed albums, and touring extensively for several years. Since that band’s demise, Oliver has spent the last few years playing solo shows across Canada, building an enormous fan base, and finally releasing his solo debut recording, In A Big Machine. Oliver still enjoys life in Victoria, keeping busy as a respected session player, playing shows and planning his next jaunt across the country. He’s also recently toured internationally as a sideman with triple Grammy nominee Toni Childs, and spends his time being Artistic Director with the Lower Island FolkFest Society, creating the up-and-coming Victoria music festival, FolkWest.

Swain’s career on the stage has seen him tour through much of North America, Australia and Europe, highlighted by appearances at Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary and Winnipeg Folk Festivals, Mountain View Music Fest, and the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, and sharing stages with the likes of Ridley Bent, Dustin Bentall, and Marc Savoy, among others.  He’s a two-time Prairie Music Award recipient (The Bills) and shared a 2008 WCMA nomination for “Outstanding Roots Group” with Outlaw Social.

www.oliverswainmusic.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95IM3_N3ens&feature=plcp

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BnCTeTB7PUQ&feature=plcp

Times & Venues

March 16
8:00 pm
CelticFest Ceilidh
Vancouver FanClub

March 16
3:00 pm
Doolin's Stage on Granville
@ Mahony & Sons Celtic Village


Brendan Grace from Ireland

Brendan Grace

Brendan Grace is an Irish comedian and singer, touted asthe greatest family comedian of our generation”.He is best known for his comedy schoolboy character “Bottler”, the role of Murphy in the 1995 movie “Moondance”, and his appearance in the Irish TV sitcom “Father Ted”.  He has been in the comedy business for the past 40 years, and remains at the top of his profession.

Brendan’s latest show features some brand new material as well as familiar favourites from his vast repertoire. His sense of timing and ability to read an audience is without equal.

This genial Dubliner has a very special bond with Irish audiences, and is much loved by both young and old.

www.brendangrace.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTLQrBKvmO8&feature=g-vrec

Times & Venues

March 9
7:00 pm
Vancouver FanClub


back to top Back to the Top