Band members include Mairi Britton on vocals and step dancing. Mairi’s love of the Gaelic language was sparked at the age of five and it has shaped a journey from her hometown of Edinburgh to the Hebrides, Ireland, and now to Nova Scotia where she teaches Gaelic at St. Francis Xavier University. A talented singer, step dancer and harpist, Mairi is in demand as a tutor for camps and workshops in Scotland, Canada and the US.
Elias Alexander will be on pipes, whistles and vocals for this concert. He is a singer, multi-instrumentalist, and actor, with a career that places him at the forefront of creativity within contemporary Celtic music in the United States. Elias released his debut album with the Bywater Band in 2016, described as “fiercely melodic and compelling sound.” He also fronts nine-piece Afro-Celtic funk band, Soulsha, and performs with cutting-edge trio MAC.
On fiddle is Katie McNally, who returns to the North Country. Katie has performed under the banner of the GNWCA with her Katie McNally trio in recent years and with Long Time Courting. Katie has made waves in both the American folk music scene and abroad since the release of her debut album, “Flourish,” in 2013.
A student of acclaimed fiddler Hanneke Cassel, Katie has played at the Newport Folk Festival, the Barns at Wolf Trap, The Freight and Salvage, The Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, Benaroya Hall, as well as various folk venues throughout North America.
Also returning to the North Country is dancer and pianist Neil Pearlman. A multi-instrumentalist, stepdancer and host of podcast the TradCafe, Neil Pearlman is a vital and distinctive voice in contemporary traditional music. Described as “a tremendous pianist” on BBC Radio Scotland and “a force to be reckoned with” by WGBH’s Brian O’Donovan, Neil is recognized in many Celtic music circles for his unique approach to the piano. Rooted in traditional Cape Breton piano styles, he adds jazz harmony and the syncopations of funk, Cuban, and Brazilian dance music to create a unique and infectious sound.
Growing up in a musical family, Neil was immersed in Scottish and Cape Breton music and dance from the start. He began dancing at the age of three and the piano followed soon after. Joining his parents and siblings on stage as the family band Highland Soles, Neil learned the art of performance early at festivals and concert halls across New England. At the age of 11, he toured as a stepdancer with his mother Laura Scott in Natalie MacMaster’s high-powered show and a few years later he released his first album accompanying his father, fiddler Ed Pearlman. More recently he has continued to work with family members, releasing the album “Run to Fly” in 2015 with the band Alba’s Edge, co-led with his sister Lilly Pearlman.
The show takes place at 7 p.m. on Nov. 6 and tickets are $15 per person. Tickets are available at the Rialto Theater, in Colebrook at Fiddleheads or online at www.gnwca.com. For more information about this or any shows hosted by the GNWCA, call 246-8998.