A holiday feast of music, song, dance and stories await as three of the top names in Irish and Cape Breton traditional music present Nollaig Shona, a Celtic Christmas concert, at the Irish Cultural and Heritage Center.
Well-known to area audiences from previous shows at the ICHC as well as Milwaukee Irish Fest, Nuala Kennedy (originally from Ireland) and Andrea Beaton and Troy MacGillivray from Nova Scotia will share the joy, laughter and relaxed atmosphere of neighbors gathered around the fire at a holiday “house” session in Ireland or “kitchen” party on Nova Scotia’s Cape Breton Island.
Kennedy’s hauntingly beautiful vocals and adventurous instrumentation on fiddle and flute spring from traditional Irish and Scottish music as well as from the fathomless realms of her own imagination. Singing in English, Irish and Scots Gaelic, she has a “voice as luminous as her flute,” according to Rhythms Magazine.
Coming from a long line of Cape Breton musicians (internationally acclaimed fiddler Natalie MacMaster is a cousin), Beaton has established herself through the power of her bow, the drive and swing of her timing, and the crispiness of her attack. She also plays piano, and her percussive Cape Breton-style dancing is exhilarating.
Multi-instrumentalist MacGillivray from Lanark, Nova Scotia, has been playing music and step dancing since he was a young child and was teaching at Cape Breton’s Gaelic College in St. Ann by the time he was 13. A winner of numerous music awards, he is the recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for outstanding contributions to culture in Canada.