The Celtic Music Interpretive Centre in Judique is getting geared up for Cape Breton’s newest Summer festival, Kitchenfest!, with Cape Breton’s newest piping group, Nuallan from Colaisde na Gaidhlig / The Gaelic College. The five piper strong group plays in the old Gaelic style and Friday night’s Pipers’ Ceildh will offer solo, duo, and mixed sets from Nuallan’s members featuring big pipes, little pipes, medium pipes, fiddle, piano, guitar, dancing and more.
“Nuallan was formed by a group of piper friends wishing to represent a form of piping that isn’t often heard in the public sphere nowadays,” says Kenneth MacKenzie of fellow pipers and band-mates Paul MacNeil, Kevin Dugas, Keith MacDonald, and Rankin MacInnis.
The group represents, promotes and explores the Gaelic style of piping brought to Cape Breton and northeastern Nova Scotia from the Highlands and Islands of Scotland through performance, education and collaboration. The Gaelic style of piping in Cape Breton has long been noted for its strong focus on rhythm and musicality, which has been nourished and maintained to the present day. Piano (Tracey Dares-MacNeil), guitar (Patrick Gillis) and drums (Kyle MacDonald) provide accompaniment to the five pipers in this high-energy setting.
“It’s a rich tradition that is vitally important to the musical culture of Cape Breton today,” says MacKenzie who teaches piping at Colaisde na Gaidhlig / The Gaelic College and performs locally and internationally with Dawn & Margie Beaton, and his brothers Angus and Calum as well as Nuallan. “And it gets a fantastic response from live audiences,” he adds.
MacKenzie is excited about the show Friday night and the summer ahead.
“The Pipers’ Ceilidh at the Celtic Music Interpretive Centre will be a great warm-up for KitchenFest!, just around the corner,” he says of the week-long festival coming up later this month. Nuallan will be performing at both the opening and closing shows of the festival and its members will be performing in different capacities throughout the week. “And the Centre is gearing up for another busy season. With a brand new menu developed in partnership with the Kilted Chef – Alain Bosse, a CD release for the new Cape Breton supergroup Còig on June 15, a renewed focus on Gaelic with a full-time Gaelic speaker now on staff and bus tours arriving already, the 2014 season looks to be a promising one.”
The Pipers’ Ceilidh takes place Friday, June 13 at 8pm. The Celtic Music Interpretive Centre hosts Kitchenfest! June 29 to July 4.