With the sixteenth annual Celtic Colours International Festival fast approaching–it starts next Friday night in Port Hawkesbury with My Island Too featuring Natalie MacMaster, Fiddlers’ Bid, the Asham Stompers and more–WGO will take a look, over the next week or so, at some of the events and activities the festival has in store for Cape Breton residents and visitors this year. We’ll also be digging into the WGO archives for a look back at coverage of Celtic Colours over the years.
Six-time Grammy award-winning Irish traditional group The Chieftains are returning to Cape Breton this year for the festival’s closing show, 50 Years of Celtic Charm at Centre 200 in Sydney on Saturday, October 13 at 7:30pm. The Chieftains have previously performed at Celtic Colours’ in the festival’s very first show in 1997, and again in 2007. Special guests for this year’s concert include, the Battlefield Band, Mary Jane Lamond & Wendy MacIsaac, Daniel Lapp and the Diaga Irish Dancers.
The Chieftains, celebrating their milestone 50th anniversary this year, have been honoured in their own country by being officially named Ireland’s Musical Ambassadors. They have collaborated with some of the biggest names in rock, pop and traditional music, and continue to amaze audiences around the world with their lively, fun-filled performances.
Never afraid to shock purists and push boundaries, in their extended and eventful time together, The Chieftains have amassed a dizzyingly varied resume. They have been involved in such historic events as a tour of China (being the first Western group to perform on the Great Wall), Roger Waters’ “The Wall” appearance in Berlin in 1990, and in October of 2001, performed at a Ground Zero memorial service in New York for the victims of September 11th. They have performed with many symphony and folk orchestras worldwide, and have broken many musical boundaries by collaborating and performing with some of the biggest names in rock, pop and traditional music in Ireland and around the world.
Fame has not altered The Chieftains’ love of and loyalty to their roots. They are as comfortable playing spontaneous Irish sessions as they are headlining a concert at Carnegie Hall. After all these years of making some of the most beautiful music in the world, The Chieftains’ music remains as fresh and relevant as when they first began.
From the ranks of the top folk musicians in Ireland, Paddy Moloney formed the Chieftains in 1962. It wasn’t until 1975 that The Chieftains began playing together full time. Although their early following was purely a folk audience, the range and variation of their music very quickly captured a much broader public, making them today the best known Irish band in the world.
Tickets for the show start at $25.00 (plus tax and applicable surcharge) and are available online. Tickets can also be purchase by phone at 1-888-355-7744 (toll free in North America) or 567-3000 (local) and at the Festival Box Office located at 335 George Street in Sydney, NS. The Box Office and phone lines are open Monday-Saturday 10am-4pm.