Here are some notes from my performance at the Ottawa Traditional Fiddling and Folk Art Society on Friday night. I was the feature performer for the club’s December meeting and I thoroughly enjoyed playing at this event in the company of so many talented musicians.
For the evening, I had put together a set of some of my favourite tunes reflecting the various styles of music that I am drawn towards. The songs also reflected the important influences I have had over the last 8 years of playing.
During the show I recognized Calvin Vollrath as one of my favourite fiddlers and the performer/composer who has the greatest impression on me. I performed three Calvin tunes: “Little John MacNeil”, “Willowspring” and “Lieutenant Governor’s Waltz” I expressed my thanks to all that the great Denis Lanctot taught me and performed my favourite Denis song, “For the Love of Tara.” I was also thankful to Cindy Thompson who taught me so much when I move to Almonte. I thanked her for helping me through learning “Carignan’s Clog.” I ended my show with my current favourite Ottawa Valley tune, the beautiful Brian Hebert waltz “Sunset on the Ottawa”
Thank you to the OTFFAS for your support of my playing and for giving me this opportunity. And I especially thank my accompanist and friend Jim Hunter. With Jim, it is always a lot fun!
My set list for the night…
- Cheticamp Jig / Devil in the Dirk / Mason’s Apron / Frank’s Reel
- Pat’s Country
- La Torment / Little Burnt Potato / Goldenrod
- Little John MacNeil / Whitefish in the Rapids
- Tennessee Waltz
- Willow Springs
- For the Love of Tara
- Carignan’s Clog
- Lieutenant Governor’s Waltz
- El Cumbanchero
- Sunset on the Ottawa
From competitions to busking, from benefit appearances to stage performances, I enjoy fiddling and looking out to see toes tapping and smiles on faces.
Living in the Valley and going to school in an arts program in Ottawa, I have the opportunity to play in a variety of events. Just in these past few months, I was….
“drivin’ er” in a celtic jam session
performing with the Mullan sisters at different events
at the Pembroke Old Time Fiddle Competition
(Canada’s greatest fiddle event)
and I performed with Jim Hunter at a very special event
celebrating Rosamond Textile Mill’s 150th anniversary.
And that’s why I like to say, “Have fiddle, will play!”
Connect with me should you need a fiddler to liven up your event!
I have many people to thank for the honour given me as recipient of the 2017 Danny O’Connell Memorial Award. First, I want to thank Mr. O’Connell and the O’Connell Family for this recognition. Second, I wish to thank the Ottawa Traditional Fiddling and Folk Art Society for their continuous support in me. And third, thank you to the musicians and residents of Almonte who have encouraged me and supported me and my music.
This picture has Colleen O’Connell handing me my award certificate. Jim Hunter is also seen in this photo as I was fortunate to have him as accompanist for my performance at the Celtfest announcement.
The picture below is taken with Graham Crate, President of our Ottawa fiddle club. I was glad Graham was on hand Sunday. I am very grateful for my friends in the fiddle community.
By way of background on this special award. The memorial fund was established by the O’Connell Family in 2004 to provide encouragement and financial help to traditional Ottawa Valley fiddlers under 25 years of age. It is a award provided in memory of Danny and his passion for fiddle music. Recipients are nominated by three respected organizations with enduring records of interest in the tradition: the Renfrew County Fiddlers, The Irish Society of the National Capital Region, and the Ottawa Traditional Fiddling and Folk Art Society. Traditionally, the recipient is presented with the award and does a brief performance at Almonte Celtfest, in which Danny was an avid participant.
This is one weekend I will not forget. I had a lot of fun performing on the Celtfest stage in my hometown of Almonte this past weekend. And I was honoured to have been selected the recipient of the 2017 Danny O’Connell Memorial Award. This award, in memory of Almonte’s own Danny, is given to a young musician who is advancing the Ottawa Valley fiddle music. It is a privilege to have been presented the award by Danny’s sister Colleen.
In receiving the award, I really enjoyed performing with my good friend Jim Hunter!
On Saturday, I also had a good time performing with Marley and Molly Mullan.
It is always a crowd pleaser when Marley kicks up her feet.
Here is The Millstone News write up on the festival. To see the full schedule of performances through the festival, click to the Celtfest website.
I have just completed my grade 11 year at Canterbury High School and I had a great school year. But where has the time gone?! It’s been a whole eight months since I was jamming with the Duxburys.
To recap on the various performances and jam sessions I played at over this period of time, I have assembled this collection of photos. From being Concert Master for my grade at a Canterbury Music Night orchestra performance, to having fun with Marley and Molly Mullan at a St. Patrick’s Day gig in the legendary Gavin’s Hotel in Quyon – it’s been a lot of fun.
It was an honour to perform at the wedding ceremony of my friends Stephanie and Johannes – and where I got to play at the reception with Almonte’s Ragged Flowers.
Likewise, I was honoured to fill in for Ron Caron, whose fiddling puppet contributed to a special Christmas fundraiser for Almonte’s Puppets Up Festival.
Performing with Ellen Katic at a Robbie Burns evening of traditional music and dance.
St Patrick’s Day – Gavin Hotel in Quyon Quebec.
I had a wonderful visit in St. Catharines with good friend and inspiration Wally Nash.
Pictured here at May 2017 Canterbury Music Night… the traditional bow of the Concert Master… and playing with my seat mate Marley Mullan.
Recently I performed at a couple of City of Ottawa’s Canada 150 community events – and it was fun to see the people get up to dance!