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Performers2020-02-14T19:48:26-06:00

Supporting Local Performers

Celtic Folk supports Celtic and East Coast folk music and traditions. We tap into primarily local talent. Local means you get to Calgary by your own means. So if the stars align, groups passing through might occasionally appear in our lineup. You might:

  • Be interested in attending a show and want more details,
  • Want to perform for us at a show, or
  • Want to find a performer for your event.

This page is intended to support all those objectives.

Call for Performers

If you are a local performer or group and think you might be a good match for one of our Club/Concert evenings, drop us a note at info@celticfolkcalgary.ca. If you are passing through the area during the fall to spring months – give us a shout – you never know what could be possible when the wind is right.

Performer Bios

The most recent performers will appear first. Click on the performer for additional information, including contact information if it is available.

See the events page for upcoming shows.

Nova Scotiables

The Nova Scotiables have built a reputation across western Canada as a high energy maritime revue unmatched by their peers. Bringing an unconventional approach to traditional, original and contemporary maritime music, these musicians have become a hit – not just on the maritime circuit but across a wide range of events.

Fearless leader Captain Hodgie steers the ship on lead vocals while bashing the bodhran and drums. AJ Baragar makes crowds swoon with sweet lead vocals and energetic guitar. Eric Minden’s enthusiastic bass playing gets him dancing madly into the middle of audiences. Heidi Pittman’s soulful fiddle and backing vocals invoke joy, sorrow, and the East Coast spirit. Together, this crew really brings the party!

In February 2019, the Nova Scotiables released their newest single and music video, “Never Going Home.” The track highlights the band’s creative songwriting, infectious energy, and unique style.

1, 2, 3… Nova Scotiables!

The Key of H

Whether they’re singing a traditional song from the British Isles or a modern song that sounds like it could be trad, The Key of H brings life to all their music through energetic vocals and engaging instrumentation.

Doug Baker (guitars, vocals) and Michael Pollock (mandolins, concertina, violin, vocals) are skilled musicians who have been part of the Calgary music scene for many years in a variety of groups (Twisted Roots, Tessitura, Diminished Fifth, Sunday Nite Band).

They tell fascinating stories that will make you tap your feet, sing along, laugh and perhaps get a little emotional.

Get Reel

Hailing from the East Coast of De Winton and the North Shores of Calgary, our jolly ship’s crew will explore a lively set of songs and tunes from the Maritimes, Folk and other Celtic traditions.

Get Reel is Doug Wagner (vocals, bodhran, guitar, and fiddle), Greg Black (vocals, guitar, electric bass, and octave mandolin). On this eastern leg of our voyage, we’ll be joined by Rick Wedel (vocals, mandolin, and guitar).

Over the last 14 years, Get Reel has performed in numerous venues around Alberta including the Water Valley Celtic Festival, the Irish Cultural Society, Okotoks festivals, and the High River Library.

When the fog is just right, you can almost smell the ocean, see the shipwrecks, hear the crashing waves and a tiny trace of fiddlin’ in the distance far behind him.

Morrissey’s Private Stock

Morrissey's Private Stock

Most of these lads have been transplanted to Calgary, Alberta from the rugged shores of Newfoundland where the Celtic music, along with strong Irish history and traditions run in their blood. 

  • Steve Morrissey (Vocal/Guitar/Bodhran) 
  • Matt O’Leary (Accordion/Mandolin)
  • Lenny Dalton (Vocal/Bodhran/Guitar) 
  • Fonz Hann (Mandolin/Guitar) 
  • Sandy Aberdeen (Bass/Whistles/Banjo)   

East Coast & Celtic sound, influenced by growing up on the rugged shores of Newfoundland. Toe-tapping tunes to keep ya moving and coming back for more.

Inspired by The Navigators, Fine Crowd, Eddie Coffey, Shanneyganock, Ron Hynes, The Fables, Irish Descendants, Rum Ragged, Simani, Matthew Byrne, The Pogues, Great Big Sea, Daoiri Farrell and Christy Moore.

Also, our parents for giving us this history and talent to share!

Barry Luft

Barry Luft on BanjoBarry Luft’s singing has woven rich, colourful threads into the fabric of folk-style music in Alberta for more than fifty years.

Barry presents Canadian, British and American songs and ballads with instrumental accompaniment or a cappella arrangements. He engages his audiences in these musical performances and gives a healthy lift to minds, hearts and voices. Good times leave good memories!

Much of Barry’s material is unusual and refreshing. It comes from sources across North America and the British Isles and is seldom known in the everyday music scene. For example, in his repertoire are songs learned first hand at guitar and music camps.

A variety of instruments perks up Barry’s performances and his intricate style on the five-string banjo is his trademark. He was taught at age five to play the harmonica by his dad. Other instruments now include guitar, autoharp, English concertina, and Appalachian dulcimer. However, to this day, Barry claims he’s not able to read music well enough to hurt his playing.

Cathy & Nobuo

Cathy and Nobuo at Ironwood

Versatile performer Nobuo Kawaguchi teams up with cellist Cathy Checora to present their distinctive renditions of some of your favourite folk and pop tunes. Both Calgary artists are regular attendees at a local music camp, where they first encountered each other and soon realized that a collaboration was in order.

You are sure to enjoy their arrangements featuring vocal harmonies variously accompanied by ukulele, guitar, upright bass, and cello.

On Irish Street

On Irish Street
This group of talented musicians returns to Celtic Folk for another set of lively songs and tunes. They have also played together at the Water Valley Celtic Festival, the Rocky Mountain Folk Club, numerous functions at the Irish Centre, and in a weekly session at the Oaktree Tavern in Calgary.

Emile Hooper on banjo.

Emilie Kirwan (fiddle) is from Ballynacally, a village outside Ennis in Co. Clare. She attended the University of Limerick and has a Master’s degree in Traditional Irish music performance. Martin Hayes and Gerry O’Connor were just two of her instructors.

Émile Hooper (mandolin/banjo) has been playing traditional music on the mandolin and the banjo since 2015 and has been playing in local Irish music sessions since 2018.

Derick Perry (singer/guitarist) is from Belfast Co. Antrim. He has performed solo and played with various bands at Celtic Folk, Rocky Mountain Folk Club, and Water Valley.

Eileen Perry-Milligan (bodhran/vocals) is also from Belfast. Co. Antrim and has played with groups at Celtic Folk and Water Valley and the Rocky Mountain Folk club as a duo with Derick. Her bodhran was built by Dave Settles.

 

Pat Kelleher

“Great set of songs and lovely singing.” ~ Christy Moore 2008

Pat Kelleher with his long-neck banjo.One listen to any of Irish folk singer Pat Kelleher’s music, and you can immediately hear the distinctive Irish lilt in his baritone voice. He has many diverse influences and performs traditional folk songs and sea shanties, contemporary songs, and also bluegrass and old-time; with an emphasis on several styles of playing the five-string banjo as well as being an accomplished guitarist. More recently, he is a songwriter.

The youngest of five, he was weaned primarily on Irish folk music – also with international folk, bluegrass, rock and country. He started playing music at about age five on the button accordion and then at about eleven started playing the five-string banjo and by fourteen was playing guitar and singing. He played his first public gig at age sixteen, and the rest is history.

His music is influenced by icons on both sides of the Atlantic including The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem, The Dubliners especially Luke Kelly, Christy Moore, Pete Seeger, Stan Rogers, and many more.

Pat’s live performances are not to be missed. He builds a rapport with his audience and often invites the audience to participate. He likes to blend stories and Irish history into his song introductions. Pat has toured Ireland, UK, Germany and some

My Son Ted

Originally formed in 1998 as Celtic band, Tir na n’Og, changing times, tastes, and, temperaments have fueled our reinvention as My Son Ted. With a repertoire that still honours our Celtic roots, the My Son Ted set list is heavily populated by both inspired originals and re-imagined covers of popular rock and folk music. The band’s line up has varied over the years, but the current stable of musicians has been static over last 5 years allowing the growth and change necessary to achieve our current dynamic sound.

My Son Ted is:

  • Brian Volke –  vocals, guitar and mandolin
  • Christie Simmons – vocals, guitar, ukelele and whistles
  • Shawn Kingston – vocals, guitar and mandolin
  • Colin Peters – vocals, fiddle
  • Brad Uphill – percussion
  • Rob McConnell – bass

This multi-instrumental six piece backs soaring harmonies; taking you from mournful ballads that will have you stifling a tear to rip-it-up dance tunes that are sure to bring you to your feet.

Gerry Madigan

Gerry Madigan - Singer and banjo

Folksinger/songwriter and banjo/guitarist, Gerry Madigan, is a seasoned professional with an impressive musical pedigree. Originally from Dublin, Ireland, where he was weaned on the Dublin Folk Music scene that spawned artists like The Dubliners, Paul Brady, Christy Moore, Andy Irvine and many more, he subsequently enjoyed 15 successful years on the road with his own band, The Cotton Mill Boys. Gerry has called Calgary home for the past 19 years.

His accompaniments to his Irish and contemporary folk songs are subtle and sensitive. Whether he’s singing a classic Irish song like ‘Raglan Road’, or telling the tale of Irish emigration in his poignant song, ‘Ellis Island’, all of his performances are passionate and memorable. Gerry recently released his brand new CD of all original material last year, entitled, ‘Wild Bird, Fly Free’.

All images copyright Celtic Folk Calgary.