Performers

Pierre Schryer

fiddle, foot percussion

One of Canada’s leading traditional fiddlers, celebrated performer and producer, Pierre has established himself as a gem on the music scene among fans and fellow musicians. He was immersed from an early age in the Franco-Ontarian traditions of his heritage, through multiple fiddle competitions along with his triplet brothers. The Schryer Triplets recorded 2 albums and appeared several times on the “Tommy Hunter Show.”

As a solo performer Pierre has received numerous titles and awards including Canadian Open Fiddle Champion, Canadian Grand Masters Fiddle Champion, Violoneux Championnat, and North American Irish Fiddle Champion. Pierre has released six solo recordings, among which he has received nominations at the JUNO Awards for best Roots and Traditional Album of the Year, and at the Canadian Folk Music Awards for Instrumental Solo Album of the Year.

Pierre has shared the stage with many colleagues in the traditional music scene including Dermot Byrne, Natalie McMaster, members of Leahy, Jane Bunnet, the Barra MacNeils, Ashley MacIssac, Liz Carroll, John Doyle, Matapat, Club Carrefour, La Bottine Souriante, Altan, Old Blind Dogs, members of the Rankin family and others. He has performed with numerous symphony orchestras across Canada with his acclaimed Symphony Pops show. Pierre is highly sought after as an instructor at summer fiddle camps, and is the creator and artistic director of the “Canadian Celtic Celebration” festival, presented in Thunder Bay, Ontario each June.

www.pierreschryer.com

Louis Schryer

fiddle

Louis Schryer is one of Canada’s most respected fiddle players and a true fiddling virtuoso. He was born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. and began to play the fiddle at 8 years old along with his triplet brother’s Pierre and Dan, under the guidance of their older siblings Julie and Raymond. With training in both classical and traditional music, Louis holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Ottawa and has been honing his craft as a performer, recording artist, composer, and teacher for over 25 years.

Louis is an 8-time champion of the Canadian Fiddle competition and has the unique title of 4-time Grand Masters Fiddle Champion. His ability to play in various styles including American Old Time, Quebecois, Swing and Jazz, has allowed him to cross genres and play with a variety of artists. Louis been featured on the CDs of top country musicians, as well as recording his own albums. Louis has performed as a soloist with the Pembroke Symphony Orchestra, a performance which included Mark O’Connor’s virtuosic Strings and Threads.

In addition to being a full-time school teacher in Chapeau Quebec, Louis has a studio of fiddle students including some children of the Leahy family. Louis is a regular instructor at the Leahy Family Fiddle and Step Dance Camp each July, and has also been a judge for the Pembroke Fiddle on numerous occasions.

Louis Schryer on Facebook

Daniel Schryer

fiddle

From a young age Daniel was surrounded by a rich environment of music, and along with his two triplet brothers, Pierre and Louis started to play the violin at age eight. He went on to learn traditional fiddle styles including Cape Breton, Scottish and Irish.

The Schryer Triplets have performed on a great number of Canadian concerts and special events including folk festivals, CBC Television and Radio shows, Canada Day Celebrations and The Tommy Hunter Show. Their discography includes a 1993 recording entitled "Triple Fiddle", and a 1982 self-titled LP.

The Schryers were frequent participants at fiddle competitions throughout Ontario, and Daniel has taken home his fair share of titles and awards. Over the past three decades, Dan has taught fiddle lessons in Ottawa, Renfrew, Arnprior, Cobden and Deep River where he currently resides. While living in Ottawa and Arnprior (1992 to 2002) Dan played with The Old Sod Band, one of Ottawa’s foremost contra dance bands. The Old Sod Band produced a CD in 2001. During that time Dan also played with the bluegrass band, The BVDs. Daniel is now a member of "Traditional Fare", performing a wide range of traditional fiddle styles, and "Off Road" a Country / Rock Band.

Daniel started an electrical apprenticeship at the age of 19 in Ottawa, and has been working as a certified electrician and fire alarm technician since 1994.

Tom Power

guitar, voice

Tom Power is an award-winning musician and broadcaster who hosts the national arts & entertainment program q on CBC Radio One. Hailing from St. John's, Newfoundland, Tom started his career programming folk music on college radio while pursuing a BA in Folklore from Memorial University. With his natural warmth and sense of humour, Tom quickly moved on to become a news announcer for a local radio station and in 2008 at the age of 21, he joined CBC as host of the national folk music program Deep Roots. He was recognized as the youngest host of a national radio program with the CBC since Peter Jennings.

In 2011, Tom was announced as the permanent host of Radio 2 Morning, the flagship national music program heard daily between 6-9am. In addition to his work on radio, Tom is an established 'go-to' person for breaking arts coverage for CBC Television. He has brought his critical insight and expertise to illuminating stories on the likes of David Bowie, Gord Downie and George Martin, and has been praised for his in-depth conversations with artists such as Chris Rock, Ryan Adams, Lynda Barry and Rhonda Rousey.

When not on the air, Tom performs as a fabulous guitarist leading his own band, The Dardanelles, who have been drawing a new audience to traditional Newfoundland music playing festivals and theatres around the world. He has served as a member of the Polaris Music Prize jury and the CARAS Music advisory committees, and has hosted and performed at major music festivals in Canada and with renowned musicians across Canada.

thedardanelles.com

Eimear Arkins

voice, fiddle, Irish dance

Eimear Arkins is an award winning musician, singer and dancer from County Clare, Ireland. She holds 11 Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann titles across a variety of competition categories and is the current senior ladies Irish singing champion. Eimear has toured extensively with the international music organization Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann on concert tours throughout Ireland, Britain, North America and Canada. She has also toured with the Ennis & Nenagh Singers Club, the Maids of Éireann and the Irish Rambling House. In November 2013 she took part in a cultural collaboration and exchange called ‘La Noche Negra’ between the Mid-West of Ireland and the province of Asturias in North-West Spain.

In 2014, Eimear was selected to be part of the Comhaltas National Folk Orchestra of Ireland, which was put together to perform the “Boróimhe Suite,” a newly composed suite of music, written and directed by Michael Rooney, commemorating the life of Brian Ború. For six summers, Eimear toured with the show Brú Ború and was part of the troupe that represented Ireland at World Expo 2010 in Shanghai. In August 2015, Eimear traveled to World Expo in Milan with St. Louis Irish Arts where she promoted not only Irish culture but the expression of Irish culture worldwide. More recently, Eimear has toured with Cherish the Ladies throughout the US and in Ireland.

Eimear is in high demand as a teacher and performer all over the world. She has been a regular teacher at St Louis Irish Arts since 2011 and has given workshops at various festivals including Catskills Irish Arts Week, New York; Viljandi Pärimusmuusika Festival, Estonia and Festival Interceltique de Lorient, France.

Merrie Klazek

trumpet, flugelhorn, caller

Merrie is active as a performer and recording artist in orchestral, solo, chamber, folk and pop music. She holds a BMus from the University of her hometown Calgary, and a MMus from Northwestern University in Chicago where she studied with the late Vincent Cichowicz. Her musical travels have taken her around the world with performance highlights including the Spoleto Festival in Italy, Musik Contemporaire in Strasbourg France, Tokyo’s Bunka Kaikan hall, multiple concerto performances with various orchestras, and appearances at the International Trumpet Guild Conference, and the International Women’s Brass Conference.

Merrie has been principal trumpet with the Thunder Bay Symphony since 1999 and has held the same position with the Victoria Symphony (2005) and Orchestra London Canada (1996-99). She was a contract lecturer at Lakehead University from 2001-2016, and has recently accepted a full-time position as Professor of Trumpet at the University of Victoria, School of Music. Her debut solo recording entitled “Songs to the Moon” has been featured on TVO’s Studio 2 and CBC and she appears on multiple JUNO nominated recordings. Merrie has had occasion to collaborate with various top artists in the Pop, Latin, Celtic and Folk music scenes over the years. These performances have led to an expansion of creativity which she continues to explore as a performer and as a teacher. She is currently working on a new solo recording in which she will be featured alongside a variety of artists in various world styles.

www.tbso.ca/guests/KM0001.htm

Joey Abarta

uillean pipes

Joey Abarta has spent the last sixteen years touring North America, Europe, and Asia, teaching and performing music on the uilleann pipes, known as the Irish bagpipe. A native of Los Angeles, Joey first received instruction on the pipes from Dubliner Pat D’Arcy, a founding member of the Southern California Uilleann Pipers Club.

His musical skills have been further honed by several visits to Ireland, a year-long stint working in Japan, and continuing relationships with master pipers. In August 2009, Joey’s accomplished playing won him an All-Ireland championship, placing second worldwide at the Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann. In the fall of 2014 Joey became the first American uilleann piper to win first prize at the An tOireachtas, one of the biggest competitions for traditional music in the world. In 2015 Joey was honoured to be a recipient of a traditional arts apprenticeship from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a grant dedicated to teaching an art form to the next generation.

Currently based in Boston, Joey divides his attention between performance, teaching, and recording. In addition to performing solo, he performs with Nathan Gourley of “Life is all Checkered” fame and has toured with Mick Moloney and the group The Green Fields of America. While at home, Joey organizes the meetings of the Boston Pipers Club, teaches for Comhaltas’ Boston Music School, and presents various traditional music concerts and events.

Marie-Jeanne Brousseau

button accordion

The first time she heard an accordion, Marie-Jeanne Brousseau was 11 years old. She quickly developed a fascination with the instrument and its versatility and unique and warm sound. Although traditional music families were common place in Quebec, Marie-Jeanne was the only musician in her family. Since she showed such a serious interest however, her parents sought out a fine teacher. This led to Marie-Jeanne studying with the great Yves Hélie, with whom she had lessons for 7 years.

Marie-Jeanne became a familiar face at accordion events, and in 2008 she competed at the Concours du Festival du Folklore Québécois de Vaudreuil, where she was awarded second place in the Open class. Soon after, Marie-Jeanne participated in the Leahy Music Camp and was truly inspired by this dynamic family.

Marie-Jeanne has become a well-respected accordionist in traditional Quebequois music and has performed at multiple events in Ontario and Quebec. She has been a featured artist for the last 8 consecutive years at the Carrefour Mondial de l’Accordéon, in Montmagny, PQ, a world renowned festival that brings together the top performers of all musical styles who play accordion or reed-based related instruments.

Emilia Bartellas

fiddle

Emilia Bartellas hails from St. John’s, Newfoundland and is considered to be one the finest fiddle players of her generation in the province. Growing up in an Irish-Cypriot household, Emilia was immersed in a variety of musical styles, and began playing the violin at age 4. Her first teacher, Christina Smith, encouraged her to explore both traditional and classical music genres. Emilia studied Violin Performance at the University of Toronto, the Glenn Gould School and the Banff Centre before eventually finding her “home” playing Newfoundland and Irish traditional music.

As a member of The Dardanelles, 5-piece Newfoundland trad group, Emilia has had the opportunity to teach and perform across Canada, the US, Scotland and Australia. Recently, Emilia has been playing as a duo with Newfoundland accordion player, Aaron Collis. They have quickly gained a reputation as two of Newfoundland's outstanding traditional music interpreters, performing dance tunes from the province's rich musical history with a tight, dynamic flair. Their debut album won the Music NL Awards 2014 Celtic/Traditional Recording of the Year and garnered them the 2015 Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council’s CBC Emerging Artist of the Year. The duo had the opportunity to present a TEDx talk at the 2014 St. John’s event: (DIS)Connect; Unconventional Connections.

Emilia was awarded The Dermot O’Reilly Legacy Award in 2014 for promoting traditional music and demonstrating leadership in the tradition-bearer community of Newfoundland and Labrador. She was also the first Newfoundland fiddle player to be featured in the international Fiddler Magazine. This is Emilia’s first time at Canadian Celtic Celebration and she is excited to be performing with guitarist and friend and bandmate of 14 years, Tom Power.

www.thedardanelles.com | www.collisandtellas.com

Andy Webster

guitar, voice

Described as one of his generation's leading instrumentalists, Andy is an accomplished player of many fretted instruments and an avid arranger of all things Celtic. His music has led him to stages in France, Italy, Belgium, Estonia, the Netherlands, Denmark, Turkey, Russia, England, Wales, the USA and Canada. His powerful and varied guitar and bouzouki playing has backed many leading acts, including Dougie MacLean MBE and a number of JUNO award winners.

Originally from Scotland, Andy has played with a great number of his home country’s Celtic musicians including Phamie Gow, Martin O’Neill, Duncan Lyall, and is founding member of a band with Julie Fowlis. Andy has taught at the Isle of Skye’s Gaelic college, Seal Mor Ostaig and more recently, Leahy Music Camp – to which he will be returning again this year. Andy’s interests extend to teaching music workshops on world cultures, anti-sectarianism, Celtic music theory and junk music, and being involved in music theatrics. He is currently involved in working on guitar parts with Julie Carter for songs composed by The Leahys.

Andy moved to Canada in 2005 and currenly lives in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley with his wife and four kids where he runs Webster’s Guitar Academy – a school of music that offers lessons in everything from mandolin or classical guitar to online scores of Celtic tunes arranged for DADGAD tuning. Andy’s compositions have been selected for compilation albums across Europe and frequently receive radio play worldwide.

www.webstersguitaracademy.com

Niamh Webster

Irish dance

Raised in Ontario in a large family with an Irish father, Niamh has been immersed in Irish culture since before she was born. Readings of Yeats and Celtic knot artwork were produced on a regular basis, and Niamh along with her siblings, quickly developed a love of Irish music and dance. With a particular passion for dance, Niamh began her teaching career at age 14, becoming a fully qualified T.C.R.G. at age 20.

As a solo dancer, Niamh has performed across Canada, the United States, Ireland and Scotland. She has shared the stage with diverse artists such as Ashley MacIssac, Altan, Teada, Loretto Reid and Dervish, and has also qualified for both the North American and World Championships. Highlights of Niamh’s career include delivering Irish dance workshops and lectures at venues such as Scotland’s Gaelic College (Seal Mor Ostaig) on the Isle of Skye, award winning choreographies, and calling ceilidh dances for Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy.

Currently, Niamh lives in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley with her husband and four children and runs a successful Irish dance school: Tir nan Og Dance Academy. In Fall 2017, Niamh will celebrate the opening of her new permanent studio location.