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call Natalie MacMaster the most dynamic performer in Celtic
music today is high praise, but it still doesn't get at just
how remarkable a concert artist this Cape Breton Island
fiddler has become,”
has the rare ability to take a tune, tweak the melody with
ornaments and send the music soaring...”
Donald Rosenberg, The Plain Dealer
- Cleveland, OH
Cape Breton Girl
Cape Breton musician, Natalie MacMaster, began her fiddling
career at 16 releasing her debut album Four on the Floor.
Her musical venture now spans over three decades, completing
11 albums, performing thousands of shows and collaborating
with a multitude of world renowned artists.
The most recent
album by MacMaster, Cape Breton Girl, has been
self-described as a “straight-ahead, traditional record.”
The album is filled with an invigorating collection of
toe-tapping jigs, reels, and strathspeys that embodies her
most cherished values, her family and home, tradition, and
and work-life have been intertwined since marrying fellow
fiddler Donnell Leahy in 2002. Her values are equally as
important in her life as music. She believes incorporating
family into her performances and music is the perfect way to
maintain a healthy work-life balance. MacMaster and Leahy
now have five beautiful children, the newest addition being
born August of 2012. She maintains her devotion to family by
having their children join her and her husband on tour.
Natalie admits that becoming a mother has reinvigorated her
love for the stage by giving her a chance to transform from
Natalie The Mom into Natalie MacMaster The Entertainer.
three decades of performing her audience is still left
clapping, hollering and screaming for more as she and her
band wow them with stylistic diversity without losing the
traditional Cape Breton groove. The applause only increases
with excitement when she incorporates step dancing into her
performance. Although her stage presence is reason enough to
see one of her shows, it’s the elegance with the bow, the
intricate technique with the fiddle, and the embrace of the
Cape Breton tradition that floors her admirers at over 100
shows a year.
work ethic Natalie has shown throughout her career has
garnered her well deserved recognition throughout the
industry. In turn, this has amounted to multiple gold
albums, awards from all across North America, as well as an
honorary doctorate from St. Thomas University and honorary
degrees from Niagara University, NY, and Trent University.
She has also received the Arts & Letters Award from the
Canadian Association of New York, the honour of being a
member of the Order of Canada, and - most recently -
receiving an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from the
Atlantic school of Theology.
sought-after talents are in demand by her musical peers, all
from a range of genres. She has collaborated with countless
artists, including a recording with Yo-yo Ma, which won a
Grammy. In turn, Natalie has enlisted the expertise of many
world renowned artists to contribute to her own projects
throughout the years.
Natalie’s talents have expanded to include co-writing and
publishing the picturesque 161-page coffee table book
Natalie MacMaster’s Cape Breton Aire with Pulitzer
Prize-winning wordsmith Eileen McNamara and featuring
Boston-based Eric Roth’s breathtaking photography.
With her Cape
Breton roots, dedication to her craft, and love for her
family, Natalie is a musical force with a long and
successful career in music, who will, without a doubt,
continue to warm the hearts of fans for years to come.