To celebrate the life and music of master Cape Breton fiddler Jerry Holland, a commemorative concert will be held at the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre on July 16, the first anniversary of Holland’s passing.
Born in Massachussets, Holland was exposed to Cape Breton fiddle music through through his Atlantic Canadian father’s meticulous instruction and Boston’s large community of expatriate Cape Bretoners. Holland moved to this island as a young man in 1975, where he began a long, storied career in the distinctive fiddling style.
His early 20s were spent performing alongside the seasoned musicianship of Winston Fitzgerald, Angus Chisholm, Wilfred Gillis, John Donald Cameron, and Joe Cormier. A regular on the John Allen Cameron show, Holland built a repertoire of over 1,000 tunes and developed into an accomplished composer in his own right.
Holland’s extensive contribution to Cape Breton fiddle music wasn’t just in his own acclaimed music, but was also in his role as a beloved mentor to a younger generation with a renewed interest in fiddling. Many of the tribute concert’s performers are individuals who have benefited from the generosity and attention of local teachers such as Holland. The evening’s acts include Mike Hall, Howie MacDonald, Robbie and Isaac Fraser, Kinnon and Betty Beaton, Brenda Stubbert, Marc Boudreau, Dawn and Margie Beaton, Cheryl Smith, and Patrick Gillis.
The concert will be staged at the Civic Centre’s Bear Head room, with the show beginning at 7:00pm. Tickets are $20 and are available for purchase at the Civic Centre’s box office Box office, at (902) 625-2591. For more information, visit phcivic.com.