The Bilge Rats are a group of singers who specialize in singing shanties, the sailors’ a capella work songs from the
great days of the tall sailing ships. The Bilge Rats’ repertoire also includes songs from a variety of other traditions, from doo-wop to
ballads, reflecting the well established tradition of sailors constantly picking up new ‘shore’ songs to delight and distract their
shipmates in their leisure hours. The Bilge Rats are proud to have performed at concerts, festivals, tall ship occasions, and folk music
events in Ontario, the UK, Cuba, and most recently the Siglufjörður Folk Music Festival in Iceland. There is a rumour that the Bilge Rats are an offshoot of the Toronto Morris
Men, who dance ancient and excellent traditional English Morris dances in Toronto and other parts near and far. Come out to join in and enjoy The Bilge Rats and their “Wall of
Bouree a Trois
Follow the sound of hurdy gurdies and bagpipes right into the heart of France. Sandra,
Andrea and Robin will share with you their passion for the
traditional instruments and
compelling tunes of a real “bal
folk” (a traditional village
soirée). They will lead you in
bourrées, scottishes, mazurkas
and more, and may even take
you on the occasional side trip
to the British Isles. All that’s
missing is the château!
Celtic Crossing performs an
engaging blend of traditional
and contemporary tunes related
to the Celtic genre. This
instrumental and acoustic
group, featuring the
Hammered Dulcimer and
the Celtic Harp, is based in
Waterloo. Their music ranges
from haunting airs to lively
jigs and reels. The members
of Celtic Crossing are Barbara
Hull (Celtic Harp) and Debbie
Miethig (Hammered Dulcimer/
Bodhran/Whistle). Joining them at Mill Race are Geralyn Miller (Viola), and Rob
Les Chauffeurs a Pieds are proud
heirs of rich musical family
traditions. Louis-Simon Lemieux
is the latest of several generations
of fiddlers and foot tappers from
the Gaspe peninsula. Since his
tender Youth, he performed in
kitchens and onstage with his
father, with whom he also
recorded 2 lively albums.
Antoine Gauthier, a proud
representative of the Quebec
City fiddling style, recorded an
album of his own original jigs and reels accompanied by his mother on piano. Alongside
this generationally transmitted know-how, Benoit Fortier brings classical training at the
graduate level in musical arrangement and interpretation for French horn, recorder and
chamber music. Rounding off the band Olivier Soucy impresses with his very creative
traditional guitar skills. The four Chauffers are also vocalists who have inherited the vocal
timbres and unique way of singing of the elders who taught them.
Born and raised on the shores of
Belfast Lough, Brian is firmly rooted
in the traditional songs of his native
Ireland. Brian also sings the songs of
modern Irish writers....those who are
carrying on the tradition! Whether old
or new - they are songs that connect
with people from all walks of life...
songs of love, longing, struggle and
joy...all delivered with his rich voice
and unique Irish wit and charm. Currently, Brian is regularly performing all across
Ontario and putting the finishing touches to his new CD “Sing for the Song”.
Ed and Phil have backgrounds in
folk, rock, bluegrass, country and
classical music, and for the last 30
years have played Celtic,
Appalachian, Shetland and other
traditional tunes together on stringed
acoustic instruments -- guitar,
mandolin and banjo for Ed, regular
and Hardanger fiddles for Phil.
They have released two CDs
together: The Crooked Path, 2014
and Fiddle & Mandolin, 2011.
The Ever-Lovin’ Jug Band plays blues, ragtime, cajun, and more from the 1920s, 30s, and 40s. They also write and play a lot of original numbers, inspired by such groups as the
Memphis Jug Band, the Mississippi
Sheiks, Gus Cannon, and Harry Choates. Using dazzling array of instruments and skill, this is their second appearance at the Mill Race festival, but the first time as a quintet.
The Fair Wind sings and plays the
traditional folk music of England, Ireland, Scotland, Cape Breton, and America. Comprised of Carole Pines, Ruth Shushan, Mark Pancer, and Bob Mino,
we collectively play the fiddle, penny whistle, low whistle, guitar, mandolin, Irish bouzouki, bodhran, spoons, mountain dulcimer, and
banjo. Along with our vocal
harmonies we also treat listeners to traditional jigs, reels, and other dance forms mined from the rich heritage of Britain and Ireland.
The Fair Wind promises to transport listeners with fine harmonies and creative arrangements.
The Friends of Markos play an exciting and fun mix of Greek and Aegean-area music, focusing on rebetiko, a Greek style of urban folk that features catchy
bouzouki leads and powerful nine-beat rhythms. The songs that the Friends of Markos play are sometimes light and sometimes dark, but the band’s friendly and engaging stage
presence makes sure that
everyone has a good time. The band is made up of bandleader and bouzouki player
Michael “Blitz” Kaler; lead vocalist and baglamas player Michelangelo Iaffaldano; bassist Rachel Melas; guitarist Conny Nowe; and percussionist Mark Zurawinski.
Li Wang Trio (新民乐) is a Chinese folk music band from Toronto who specialize in a blend of Chinese folk music and modern Western styles.
The group comes from diverse backgrounds with Yangqin player Li Wang having once been the drummer of rock band. These eclectic experiences have come
together to give them a unique modern take on Chinese folk music. Li Wang (Yangqin/Dulcimer) obtained a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of
Shanxi (China). Linlin Wang (Erhu) graduated from the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts in 2004, studying with Erhu master Professor Guotong Wang.
Sally Liu (Guzheng) began learning Guzheng at the age of five. Since 2006, she has been under the guidance of Guzheng master Fan Shang-E.
Mary Humphreys and Anahata who hail from Cambridge, England engage in extensive research into manuscript sources from the past. With skilled musicianship and a
variety of traditional English
instruments they have unearthed and brought back to vivid life some rare gems of English song and dance
music. Their repertoire has a
particular emphasis on the East
Anglian region in which they live. Mary sings and plays English
concertina and banjo. Anahata plays cello, Anglo concertina and melodeons.
A master of the kalimba of his native Cameroon, Njacko Backo founded Long Too Fak (“Kalimbas at Work”) to share the magic of interlocking kalimba melodies and
rhythms. The ensemble features Anne Lederman (fiddler, multi-instrumentalist), Valery Woloshyn (kalimba), and Joaquin Nunez Hidalgo (percussion).
”Old time, hokum high stepping good time
music from the imaginations of the 1920’s.
Fiddle, banjo, harmonicas and sousaphone, all
sung through the Sepiaphonic-monophone.
Hoofing and highstepping hat flip-flappery.
Suspending the audience’s belief,
transporting them back to the days of blind
pigs, bad habits and bad livers. Speak easy
now, word gets around! Sheesham and Lotus
and ‘Son, EVERYTIME!”
Silk Road Music was formed in 1991 by virtuoso pipa player Qiu Xia He, who came to Canada in 1989 to play the Vancouver Folk Music Festival as part of a
touring ensemble from China. She stayed in Canada and has become a vibrant addition to the Vancouver Music scene. Joined by her husband Andre Thibault, a
multi-instrumentalist from Quebec, they have delighted audiences from festivals to
symphony halls, and have garnered fantastic reviews for their virtuosic skills and artistry.
Southern Ontario Dulcimer Association
SODA is a multi-
instrumental group with a
strong focus on the
hammered dulcimer. We
are often joined by people
who play the mountain
dulcimer, recorder, whistle,
celtic harp, guitar and other
instruments. Our meetings
are held monthly at rotating
venues in Southern Ontario.
New members are always
Tethera is the collective name for a group of local musicians who perform traditional music of the British Isles, Canada and whatever else creeps in.
Paul Morris (vocals, mandolin, concertina and melodeon), Brad McEwen
(citterns and vocals), Brian Sinclair (mandocello, tenor banjo, guitar and various other unique stringed instruments)
and Gwen Potter (viola d’amore). Joining them this year is Bill Nesbitt (anglo concertina, jaw harp, harmonica and vocals) who also performs with Brad in Hunter’s Corners.
Three brothers who guarantee steamy folk music! Uplifting grooves, swinging melodies and a tight interplay life mixed up to a smooth tasting cocktail called Trio Dhoore.
This band of brothers has been on stage since 2010 and has released two albums. They have played in festivals all over Europe and are
touring next summer for the first time in Canada.
The Young’uns - a trio from Teesside, England - are a force of nature on stage. Their
irrepressible humour, infectious love for harmony singing, passion for storytelling and commitment to maintaining the tradition of social commentary have quickly
made them one of the most sought after acts on the English folk scene.