Kerry Fitzgerald is a fiddler and step dancer originally from Bancroft, ON, Canada, now based in Toronto. Her musical roots are Ottawa-Valley fiddling and step dancing. She has also explored various Celtic and folk styles. Most recently, Kerry is pushing the boundaries of Celtic music with her solo “electro-fiddle” fusion project Fiddle Beatz, where she writes, arranges, and produces electronic arrangements of original fiddle tunes. She released her debut Fiddle Beatz album in May 2018, and most recent singles, Think You Know and Beauty & The Beatz in 2020.
Multi-instrumentalist and arranger James Stephens, a core founding staff member of the AlgomaTrad organization is returning! He is known for his extensive work both as a performer and producer/recording engineer with traditionally influenced groups such as The Brian Pickell Band, Finest Kind, and Ecosse (Bobby Watt, Duncan Gillis, and Rob Graves) to name a few. James has taught at numerous music camps across Canada and the US. He was recently involved in a Canada Council-funded mentoring, teaching, and recording process in Smithers, BC known as the “Truffles” project. This project was co-created by well-known fiddle innovator and composer, Oliver Schroer and the local fiddle ensemble, The Valley Youth Fiddlers.
Having performed across Canada, the USA, Ireland, Italy, Austria, and Hungary, Kyle Burghout has established himself as one of Canada’s best young fiddlers. Kyle and his music have been featured on CBC radio and television, as well as in Irish Music Magazine and The Canadian Fiddler. His many awards include North American Irish Fiddle Champion, runner-up at the Canadian Grand Masters Fiddling Championship, and three-time finalist at the All-Ireland Fiddle Competition.
Often praised for his deep expression and smooth, clean playing, Burghout prides himself with preserving the traditions of Ottawa Valley fiddle music and Irish traditional music. In addition to having dedicated countless hours to studying these traditions, he has also composed many new tunes and was named a winner of the 2017 Canadian Songwriting Competition for his compositions. His performances feature a blend of traditional and contemporary fiddle music, representing the ever-changing and evolving tradition.
When not performing, he is the Co-Director of the Gatineau Hills Fiddle Festival in Chelsea, QC, and is also the Youth Coordinator of In Concert for Cambodia, an Ottawa-based fundraising initiative that has raised over $70,000 for children in Cambodia through music concerts.
In September 2017, Kyle released his first solo album, The Prism Within, featuring both traditional tunes and many of his own compositions. He has also recorded an EP with trio Branches of Silver in 2015 and will be releasing a new album together with fiddler Jane Cory in Spring 2020.
Alanna Jenish is an award-winning fiddle player, guitar accompanist, mandolin player, and accomplished classical musician with Bachelor of Music from the University of Toronto. Alanna grew up in an Irish-Canadian family of traditional music lovers. Her musical journey began at the age of 6 when she started classical piano lessons, and soon expanded to include the fiddle shortly thereafter. With a keen ear and natural feel for the music, Alanna won her first junior fiddle championship after only 9 months of playing, and has since accumulated numerous awards and championship titles.
Now in her early twenties, Alanna has over ten years of performing experience under her belt, and is widely sought after as both a lead and back up musician. She has toured professionally with the Scott Woods Band, The Fitzgeralds, and The Great Canadian Fiddle Show, and maintains a busy schedule freelancing for numerous bands and solo artists. This past fall, Alanna was honoured to be named Fiddle Player of the Year (Central Canadian Bluegrass Awards), for the second consecutive year. When Alanna isn’t on the road, her other passion is teaching. She offers lessons in fiddle, mandolin and guitar playing, as well as group step-dance classes from her home studio in Oshawa, ON.
Sophie Lavoie and Fiachra O’Regan
Described as “invigorating” by The Irish Times, Sophie & Fiachra take the Traditional Music of Québec and Ireland and mate it in a unique way, remaining true to their roots while creating a new and original sound.
Their sound is rooted in the fiddling and singing of Québecoise Sophie Lavoie and the uilleann (Irish) piping and banjo-playing of Fiachra O’Regan from Ireland. Their sound is sweetened all the more by Gaelic and French Canadian song arrangements.
This is no surprise given Sophie & Fiachra’s track record with delighting audiences throughout the world – and their deep love for and intimacy with their respective musical traditions.
The duo Sophie & Fiachra has recorded three albums: Sophie & Fiachra (2010), Rewind (2014) and Un Canadien errant (2016), which was nominated for Best Album of the Year at both ADISQ 2016, the Québec music industry version of the Junos, and the 2016 Canadian Folk Music Award.
Sophie and Fiachra have just released a new CD, Portraits, with renowned Québecois guitarist, André Marchand. The recording is receiving rave reviews across the Atlantic.
“Portraits is a hugely enjoyable collection, a real treasure for those with eclectic taste”
ALEX MONAGHAN, FOLKWORLD (2019)
“The combination with Sophie & Fiachra is quite magical” THE IRISH MUSIC MAGAZINE, IRELAND (2018)
Sophie Lavoie is a fiddler, pianist, singer and composer from Lac-St-Jean in Québec. She has played in various Québecois bands including L’attisée and Tu m’en diras tant. Since 2008 she has been touring with Irish piper Fiachra O’Regan. Sophie has recently been awarded a scholarship for a Masters in ethnomusicology at University of Montreal. Her research involves the fiddle style and repertoire of her native region, Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean.
“Lavoie’s vocal performance is especially impressive on the title-track” Songlines magazine
“One of the rising stars of Québecois music ” fRoots magazine
“Her tune compositions are lithe and masterful, and her choice of songs is enough to captivate the most casual listener.” The Irish Times
Fiachra O‘Regan, from Connemara on the West Coast of Ireland, plays Uilleann (Irish) Pipes and Whistle. He is a senior All-Ireland Champion on both these instruments. Fiachra has performed throughout the world, touring with his own group as well as with many other artists and groups. He is also sought after as a teacher in private lessons and at festivals. In 2008, Fiachra recorded Aisling Gheal, his first solo album, and has since recorded three albums with Québecoise fiddler Sophie Lavoie, as well as appearing as a guest on many other albums. More info can be found on his website: www.fiachrapipes.com.
You can see videos of Sophie and Fiachra HERE.
Julie Schryer grew up in a Franco-Ontarian home that was filled with traditional music and song. She began playing piano in 1972. Having four brothers as fiddle players gave Julie ample opportunity to develop as a piano accompanist. During her youth she played for hundreds of fiddle players at competitions and events throughout Ontario and the rest of Canada. Although her style of playing is unique, there have been key influential piano players along the way – including Violet Tulloch, Felix Dolan, Yvan Brault and Josephine Keegan. As a family, Pat, Julie, her two sons, Zach and Benoit, and Áine (Pat and Julie’s daughter) play concerts, dances, and events as “The O’Schraves”. Julie is a founder and administrator of AlgomaTrad. Read more about Julie!
Pat O’Gorman began playing bagpipes 53 years ago in the Ontario Highland Piping world and has studied traditional music in Ireland, Brittany and Cape Breton. He has been playing traditional music on wooden concert (Irish) flute for over 40 years and plays Irish Uilleann pipes and whistles as well. Pat has been at the cutting edge of Canadian Trad/Celtic music for 40 years with Na Cabarfeidh, Rare Air, Morgaine Le Fay, Windbags, and with The Brian Pickell Band. He performs regularly with his family band “The O’Schraves” (the O’Gorman/Schryer/Lefebvre Family). He has lived in the Algoma region for 18 years and is a founder and artistic director, with Julie Schryer, of AlgomaTrad. Read more about Pat!