Friday, March 5, 2010

East Coast Music Awards, and Cape Breton Craft.....

Those of you who are not from the beautiful East Coast Of Canada, may not be aware that our little corner of the planet is teaming with world class musicians, and artists. We have pipers, and fiddlers, potters and painters, silversmiths and wordsmiths, weavers and spinners and so much more. There is something about this place, that breeds creativity, blends it with good honest hard work, and tosses in an innate ability to just make a party happen spontaneously, wherever you might be. Its a great place to call home.Once a year, the East Coast Music Association hosts an Awards Ceremony, and music festival to celebrate the unique talents of our Atlantic Canadaian Musicians. This year, the festival happens here in Sydney and what a party its turning out to be.
In celebration of the ECMA's The Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design ( that's where I teach) is hosting an exibit of locally made musical instruments. There are some truly unique pieces in this show.
This Guitar is particularly cool. It combines the working heritage of Cape Breton, with the rich musical culture. Made from the last coal shovel used in the mines here on the island, this electric guitar has been played by some of the finest musicians across the continant. It is signed by Natalie McMaster, and George Jones. The photo just does not do it justice. It truly is a magnificent instrument.
In addition to the many beautiful stringed instruments on display there are some beautiful Native drums, made by local MiqMaw drummers, and we were lucky enough to have the Sons Of Membertou Drummers perform for us, from Membertou First Nation Community here in Sydney. It was fantastic, I love native drumming. It was an honour to witness  such a fine performance by our first people of Canada.
There are many fine instruments on display at this show, and Many fine musicians. The second performance of the evening was buy Pepito Pinto, a steel Drum maker from Cheticamp, by way of Trinidad. Pepito did something truly fantastic. Mindblowing really. He managed to take a traditional, and very well known fiddle tune and translate it Trinidad style on steel drums check this out!/video/video.php?v=336980124681pepito tearin up the fiddletunes trinidad style...
Also in this exibit there are some beautiful paintings by our very own Kenny Boone. Kenny is well known for his watercolour landscapes, but has outdone himself with some of the most beautiful music inspired paintings I have seen. But Kenny has other, talents I didn't know about....When he dropped by the centre on Thirsday with his pal Angelo, he did not have a paintbrush in hand, but a harmonica...
Kenny and Angelo drop in to hang out, Kenny and Angelo reprise
Instant Cape Breton Kitchen Party, smack in the middle of the gallery. I love this place!


  1. i wish i could go hear and see all that music and those instruments. i'm a big irish music fan and the drums look a lot like the bodhran that they play. i imagine the roots of the music are very much the same. lucky you.

  2. JIm you should check out our Celtic Colours international Festival some fall. We have first class Celtic music from around the world playing all over the island. It is crazy! there are fiddles and pipes and bodhran everywhere.