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Natalie MacMaster


Natalie MacMaster

Award winning 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.

Her most recent record release is “One” a collaboration with her husband, Donnell Leahy, musical leader of double Platinum– selling, festival–headlining Celtic family group Leahy.   It was a chance meeting with legendary producer Bob Ezrin (Pink Floyd, Alice Cooper, Deep Purple) — who recruited Justin Cortelyou (Taylor Swift, Ke$ha, Alan Jackson) to co–produce — that led to the recording sessions in Cape Breton. The result is quite possibly the best fiddle album ever recorded. The album includes the first ever recorded versions of the original material that Natalie and Donnell have begun writing together, and these fit seamlessly alongside their refreshing reinterpretations of traditional and contemporary tunes they have discovered in their musical exploration.

Following up on the release of “One,”  Natalie and her husband, have been captivating audiences with the “Visions Of Cape Breton & Beyond” Tour and offering musical insight into the remarkable place, people, and culture that has shaped their lives, music, and family. Natalie is excited to introduce audiences to her children who are growing by musical leaps and bounds. Natalie strives to bring up her children with the same home, faith, and musical heritage that she received. Fiddling, step-dancing, and piano lessons find their place alongside hockey sticks, school books, and family events. The children have embraced their centuries-old musical inheritance and look forward to sharing the joy they receive from it, benefitting from a musical progeny that ensures that a strong Cape Breton and Canadian fiddling tradition will exist for years to come..

Most recently, Natalie has been invited to perform with the chart-topping multiple platinum selling singer Johnny Reid on his cross-country “What Love Is All About” tour.

Natalie’s family 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 six beautiful children, the newest addition being born April of 2014. 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.”

Over MacMaster’s 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. The dedicated 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 receiving an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from the Atlantic school of Theology.

MacMaster’s 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.

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.

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