Natalie MacMaster & Donnell Leahy - Visions from Cape Breton and Beyond
Since their last performance at The Lyric Theatre, Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy have only grown in popularity, becoming well-regarded as “Canada’s reigning couple of Celtic music.” With album sales exceeding 1 million and past collaborators including Yo-Yo Ma and Alison Krauss, the fiddling duo combine their Cape Breton heritage with their commanding stage presence and stylistic diversity. Integrating French, Celtic, and Cajun musical styles, MacMaster and Leahy are a family affair, often touring with their six musically-gifted kids.
Both Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy were born to play the fiddle, both raised on the island of Cape Breton, an isle known for its traditional fiddle music brought to North America from the Scottish Highlands. MacMaster picked up the fiddle at the age of nine and it wasn’t long before she released her first album, Four on the Floor, at age 16. With awards including East Coast Music Association’s Artist of the Year award and induction into the Order of Canada, the fiddler has toured with Alison Krauss, Carlos Santana, and many more.
Natalie MacMaster’s husband and musical partner Donnell Leahy is no stranger to the fiddle. Raised by a fiddler father from Ontario and a step-dancing mother from Cape Breton, Leahy has played an instrument since he was a young boy. As the leader of the famous musical family group Leahy, featuring eight brother and sister musicians, Donnell has earned numerous awards including the Juno Award for Best New Group and Best Instrumental Album. Leahy also toured as the opening act for the famous country singer Shania Twain in her “Come On Over” world tour.
In their performance at The Lyric, Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy will perform songs off of their 2015 joint album and duet debut, One. Produced by the legendary Bob Ezrin and Justin Cortelyou, the couple recorded the album in Cape Breton, featuring the first ever recorded versions of original music written by the fiddling couple alongside reinterpretations of classic and contemporary tunes. As Music Road brilliantly stated, “Flying notes, fast paced jigs and reels and polkas, paint can percussion and Gaelic lyrics, original music and tunes from Scotland, Ireland, the Maritimes, and elsewhere, piano, bagpipes, guitar, accordion, and of course fiddles: all those, in the hands and spirits of gifted musicians, will likely have a similar effect on the listeners of One.”