Natalie MacMaster

Genres: World Music
Decades Active: 1980s 1990s 2000s

Biography

13 June 1972, Inverness County, Nova Scotia, Canada. This Canadian fiddler gives credit for her emergence in the 90s to the Cape Breton Fiddler’s Association, started in the early 70s after a documentary, The Vanishing Cape Breton Fiddler, was screened. It led to a revival in this most dynamic of musical cultures, and MacMaster was just one of several young musicians to be inspired by the new climate.

After growing up in a musical family she made her debut in traditional square dances and variety concerts. As is traditional with Cape Breton music, her playing is intrinsically linked to dancing and gaiety. ‘The rhythms you use for the feet are the same as you use for the fiddle, the same with the piano. It’s all tied in, the language (Gaelic), the dancing, the piano, the fiddle... everything matches, ’ says MacMaster. Indeed, she only began to learn the fiddle after becoming a proficient dancer. She took informal lessons...

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