This holiday season join Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy, the award-winning fiddle virtuosos, in an intimate and unique Christmas concert. With the duo accompanied by an incredible array of talented musicians and their children A Celtic Family Christmas will guide you into the wonderful world of a true MacMaster Leahy Christmas celebration.
To fans of fiddle music, Natalie needs no introduction. Over a recording career now spanning 25 years, this Order of Canada recipient has released 11 albums. She has won two JUNO and eleven East Coast Music Awards, been nominated for a Grammy, and has collaborated with artists as diverse as Yo-Yo Ma, Alison Krauss and Bla Fleck.
Donnell is the incendiary former music leader of the internationally acclaimed family group Leahy, winners of three JUNO Awards. Widely recognized as one of the best fiddlers in the world, his high-energy playing style also makes him a highly popular performer.
Consistent favorites of Center for the Arts audiences, this concert will be the Western New York premiere of the duos holiday show and their welcome return to our stage after nearly four years.
Through and through, let there be no doubt: expert Juno Award-winning fiddler Natalie MacMaster is a Cape Breton girl. Lest there be any reservation concerning this declaration, you’re invited to check out Cape Breton Girl, her 11th and latest collection of jubilant instrumental music that is beloved by audiences worldwide.
“I just wanted to do a straight-ahead, traditional record, and I find that they’re becoming less and less common,” says MacMaster, a member of the Order Of Canada, the country’s highest civilian honour.
Mission accomplished, as this invigorating collection of toe-tapping jigs, reels and strathspeys is not only a joy to behold, but with titles like “Alex MacMaster’s Jig,” “My Brother Kevin” and “Stoney Lake Reels” embraces all the values that Natalie holds dear: family, tradition, home and faith.
“Those are the things most important to me,” says MacMaster, who is married to fellow fiddler Donnell Leahy and is a mother of four. “I work through my music, to strike a proper balance between life and work wherever possible.”
It’s her dedicated work ethic that has seen her accomplish so much: professionally, her three-decade career has watched her amass multiple gold albums, two Grammy nominations and one win (for her contribution to Yo-Yo Ma’s Songs Of Joy & Peace, for which she received “a nice bottle of champagne”); a Juno Award for Best Instrumental Album for In My Hands; eight Canadian Country Music Awards, 10 East Coast Music Awards, an honorary doctorate from St. Thomas University and honorary degrees from Niagara University, NY, Trent University and – most recently – the Arts & Letters Award from the Canadian Association of New York.