Pub Session - 
First and Third Sunday
of every month
2pm-5pm

House Sessions - 
Second and Fourth Sundays 2pm-5pm

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About the Music

Ottawa Cape Breton Session provides an opportunity to play tunes and sets that are part of the Cape Breton traditional repertoire. Sunday afternoon pub sessions are generally at a pretty fast pace. It is mostly group/session playing with the occasional song or solo. Anyone is welcome to join in and play with the group or share a song. Sessions  are led by Aylene, or sometimes other folks. Let her, or the pianist Ellen know if you have something special to share with the group.   

Sessions are primarily for the musicians to share the experience of traditional music, are open to anyone who can play a few of the common tunes of the tradition, and are great way to learn new tunes and meet new people. Want to join in? You can! To get familiar with the Cape Breton repertoire we have house sessions every other Sunday from 2-5pm at various locations. Regular house sessions are pretty fast, new tunes are learned mostly from sheet music. The Reel Sloow Jam is a house session that is at a more moderate tempo for learning.

If you don't play, but love to hear Maritime and Cape Breton music live you're more than welcome to come down to the pub sessions and have some fun. It's always a big and friendly group of folks, a great place to meet old friends and make new ones too.

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2017-10-16


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Session and Playing Schedule
Oct 22 —House Session: 2pm-5pm - Hosted by  volunteers needed. More of a practice session, slower pace for learning new tunes. Mainly aimed at those who read music or learn by ear quickly. For intermediate/advanced players. BYOB Session à domicile:  Session à vitesse moyennement accéléré où apprender de nouveau ‘sets’ de pieces, généralement  à partir de feuilles de musique mais aussi ‘à l’oreil’. Lieu idéal pour faire l’essaie d’une  nouvelle chanson, ou pratiquer de nouvelles pieces avant de les jouer à la session au pub. C’est aussi un bon temps pour faire du ‘social’ avec des gens forts sympatiques et pour savourer des grignotines délicieuses.

Oct 29 —Reel Slooow Jam: 2pm-5pm - **Note that this is the fifth Sunday instead of fourth Sunday! Hosted by Gary Palmer at 138 Chimo Dr. Kanata. Queensway 417 to Kanata, exit at Castlefrank on left at the light. Turn left on Katimavik. Turn right on Chimo, 2nd driveway on the left. Google Map Park in driveway or next door at 140 Chimo. 613-591-0919 BYOB. The Reel Slooow Jam is aimed at those who are new to playing fiddle (or piano or guitar) and who would like to learn Cape Breton tunes. We'll focus on tunes such as airs and waltzes, as well as playing jigs and reels from the session repertoire but at a slower learning pace with more time for those who don't read music to learn by ear. Check the Tunes page for the list of tunes often played at the slow jam. Please RSVP Contact Gary at gary.palmer@unb.ca for more information or if you are interested in hosting a future session.

Oct 29 —Special Event: 2pm-5pm - We'll be out in the community this week, entertaining the residents at Orchard View Living Centre at 1491 Manotick Station Road in Greely. Google Map. We will meet at 2pm to practice a few tunes and get tuned up. The concert for residents starts at 3pm sharp. If you wish to participate please let Ellen Katic know, or contact her for more information.

Nov 5 —Pub Session: 2pm-5pm -The Barley Mow 1541 Merivale Rd. Come play some tunes, or come and enjoy the singing and playing while visiting with friends over a cup of tea or pint of.... From the 416 take the Maitland Ave. exit southbound, you'll end up right on Merivale Rd. There is parking in front of the building, enter off Capilano Dr. or Merivale northbound. Tons more parking just behind the building (by the gas station). On bus route 176.  Website   This session is mostly group playing with a few solos, let us know if you have something special to share with the group. Sheet music permitted. Generally a pretty fast pace. Jam ouverte avec concentration sur le pieces de l’ile du Cap Breton, de l’Écosse et de Glengarry. Apportez un instrument ou venez partager une chanson avec nous. Ou, venez savourez la musique et notre plaisir. On ne sait jamais qui s’y présentera, mais c’est certainement toujours un groupe avec un accueil amical avec qui passer l’après-midi.

Nov 11 —Fiddle Workshop Int/Adv: 2pm-4pm with Dara Smith-MacDonald. A popular instructor, Dara has been teaching fiddle to students at St. Ann’s Colaisde na Gàidhlig|Gaelic College for 15 years and teaches fiddle to many students in her home and around the world via Skype. Dara is also a musical director and a member of the Board of Directors with the Cape Breton Fiddlers' Association  and has guided that group through many successful performances. This workshop will focus on tunes, styles and rhythms that are characteristic of Cape Breton traditional fiddle music. Intended for those who are already comfortable with their instruments and have some experience playing. $25 Advance registration strongly recommended, onsite registration available space permitting.

Nov 11 —Piano Workshop Int/Adv: 2pm-4pm with Adam Young. Adam is a sought-after pianist from the tiny community of French Road. His unique style adds depth, solidity, and a joyful forward motion to the music, and a certain joy is evident on his face. Adam created and directed the Louisbourg Playhouse’s popular music and comedy revue, Cape Breton Lyrics & Laughter, which has seen more than 350 performances since it began 15 years ago. This workshop is intended for those who already have a bit of experience accompanying traditional music and who are familar with basic chords. It will focus on chord selection, rhythms and styles of Cape Breton style piano accompaniment. Participants must bring their own keyboard. $25 Advance registration required as space is limited.

Nov 11 —Steps and Squares Workshop: 2:15pm-3:45pm $20 A beginner-level workshop to help you get the most out of Cape Breton square dances, this session will show you the basic jig step and a couple of variations and the basic reel step and a variation. We will also review the square set patterns that are typical of the west side of Cape Breton (Mabou set, with a variation). Everything you need to look like a pro during your next vacation in Cape Breton. Comfortable hard sole shoes recommended. 12 and under free when accompanied by an adult registration (one child per adult). Advance registration recommended, onsite registration available if space permits.

All November 11 workshops will be held at Faith Lutheran Church 43 Meadowlands Dr. between Merivale and Woodroffe. Parking is at the back, off Harris place. Piano class will be on the upper level. Fiddle class on the lower level which is down a set of stairs, there is a lower level entrance off Meadowlands for those who have difficulty with stairs.  Register online with credit card, in person at any OCBS event, or by email and e-transfer to cbsession@cbsession.com.

Nov 12 —Reel Slooow Jam Workshop: 2pm-4pm - $25 A slower, more relaxed pace workshop for novice players or those who appreciate having a bit more time for learning by ear. Mainly for fiddlers, limited space for piano students. This session will focus on your choice of tunes from the OCBS collection.  Advance Registration Required! Space is limited for this workshop, please register in advance with credit card online (ocbs.brownpapertickets.com) or by email/e-transfer to cbsession@cbsession.com or in person (cash) with Gary Palmer 613-591-0919 BYOBContact Gary at gary.palmer@unb.ca for more information.

Nov 19 —Pub Session: 2pm-5pm -Grace O'Malley's East Coast Pub 1151 Ogilvie Road Google Map Can't make it to Cape Breton for Celtic Colours? Here's the next best thing - a staycation right here in Ottawa, with loads of Cape Breton music. Come down for a mini-vacation day and join us under the dory (near the lobster traps) to play some music. OR bring some friends to listen to down home music and meet old friends or maybe make some new friends!  This session is mostly group playing with a few solos, let us know if you have something special to share with the group. Sheet music permitted. Generally a pretty fast pace. Jam ouverte avec concentration sur le pieces de l’ile du Cap Breton, de l’Écosse et de Glengarry. Apportez un instrument ou venez partager une chanson avec nous. Ou, venez savourez la musique et notre plaisir. On ne sait jamais qui s’y présentera, mais c’est certainement toujours un groupe avec un accueil amical avec qui passer l’après-midi.

Other Cape Breton Cultural Events
Local events for those who enjoy the music and culture of Cape Breton Island. Events listed may be sponsored by a variety of different organizations, but all have at least some Cape Breton music, or Cape Breton artists performing.



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Nov 10 —Square Dance|Ceilidh 7:30pm  - Dara Smith-MacDonald and Adam Young An evening of Maritime Cape Breton-style fun for everyone. Fiddles, pianos; square dancing and stepdancing all in one big blast. If you've been to Celtic Colours before and are missing all the fun now you'll enjoy this evening that lets you relive the music, dance, fun and friendliness of Cape Breton. Wondering about the square dancing? Cape Breton square sets aren't actually square and they're not complicated. As long as you know your right hand from your left and can count as high as four you'll do just fine! There will also be callers in each set to guide you through the motions and make sure you stay on course. In addition to square sets there will also be waltzes for round dancing and some step dancing too. And of course you can always just sit back and enjoy the music too. Adult: $15 in advance. Same day tickets $20. Youth: (16 and under accompanied by an adult) $10 BUY ONLINE

Nov 11 —House Concert 7:30pm  - Dara Smith-MacDonald and Adam Young. Location is in Bank/Hunt Club area, exact address will be given with confirmation of reservation. BYOB and a snack to share (optional). Register directly with the hosts (Alana and Cleary) or by email/e-transfer to cbsession@cbsession.com.  $20 donation will go directly to the artists.

Nov 12 —House Concert 7:30pm  - Dara Smith-MacDonald and Adam Young. Location is in Kanata, exact address will be given with confirmation of reservation. BYOB and a snack to share (optional). Register directly with the hosts (Debbie and Gary) or by email/e-transfer to cbsession@cbsession.com. $20 donation will go directly to the artists.

Dara Smith-MacDonald, born and raised in Antigonish, has been playing the fiddle for more than 20 years and now resides in Port Hawkesbury. With deep family roots in Inverness, she very quickly began to develop a style that is strong, lively and traditional. Dara has played for concerts, ceilidhs, and dances throughout Cape Breton, mainland Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Ontario and the USA. She has performed for the Antigonish Highland Games, the Acoustic Roots Festival, Kitchenfest and Celtic Colours. For the past 15 years, she has been teaching fiddle to students at St. Ann’s Gaelic College and teaches fiddle to many students in her home and around the world via Skype. Dara is a musical director and a member of the Board of Directors with the Cape Breton Fiddlers' Association with whom she has traveled to Boston and to Maxville, Ontario. Dara can often be found on stage with Adam Young, a sought after piano player from Marion Bridge. Dara and Adam released their first CD together, The Lake Sessions, in June.

Adam Young is a sought-after pianist from the tiny community of French Road. His unique style adds depth, solidity, and a joyful forward motion to the music, and a certain joy is evident on his face. Adam created and directed the Louisbourg Playhouse’s popular music and comedy revue, Cape Breton Lyrics & Laughter, which has seen more than 350 performances since it began 15 years ago. He regularly plays at concerts, ceilidhs, square dances and sessions throughout Cape Breton, and has showcased his talents in Scotland and Ireland, across Canada and in the United States.

Dec 7 —7:30pm The Barra MacNeils - An East Coast Christmas is a musical potpourri of traditional MacNeil family favourites gleaned from Christmas ceilidhs, midnight masses and the general festive frolic that accompanies each holiday season. The five MacNeil siblings - Lucy, Boyd, Stewart, Kyle and Sheumas - combine on a vast array of instruments including accordian, guitar, piano, fiddle, bodhran, mandolin, banjo, Celtic harp, tin whistles, bouzouki, flute … all underpinned by the nimble-fingered Jamie Gatti on bass. The result is a sound that is unmistakably The Barra MacNeils, one moment a rousing chorus, then a hauntingly beautiful Gaelic ballad, the next a flurry of foot-stomping instrumentals, which of course pulls one then another into a step-dancing revelry. For a delightful seasonal celebration, don’t miss An East Coast Christmas with The Barra MacNeils! Reserved seating tickets for The Barra MacNeils - An East Coast Christmas are $57.50 (HST and local facility charges included), go on sale Friday, October 13th, at the Centrepointe Theatre box office. 

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How to Host a House Session 

All you need is a space big enough to put 6-8 fiddlers in, some chairs without arms, and a willingness to listen to the same tune played over and over again as we practice. If you have a piano let us know, otherwise we'll bring our own keyboard. We can also bring folding chairs. Sessions are BYOB but usually the hosts provide some non-alcoholic beverages and a little something for snack time. Interested? Talk to Aylene or Beth or send an email to cbsession@cbsession.com 
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Open Jam Sessions: 1st and 3rd Sunday of every month.  Sessions are led by Aylene, or sometimes other folks. This session is a mix of session and solo playing, let us know if you have something special to share with the group. Sheet music permitted. Generally a pretty fast pace. Jam ouverte avec concentration sur les pieces de l’ile du Cap Breton, de l’Écosse et de Glengarry. Apportez un instrument ou venez partager une chanson avec nous. Ou, venez savourez la musique et notre plaisir. On ne sait jamais qui s’y présentera, mais c’est certainement toujours un groupe avec un accueil amical avec qui passer l’après-midi.

House Sessions: 2nd and 4th Sunday of every month 2pm-5pm various locations. More of a practice session, slower pace for learning new tunes. Mainly aimed at those who read music or learn by ear quickly. For intermediate/advanced players. Session à domicile:  Session à vitesse moyennement accéléré où apprender de nouveau ‘sets’ de pieces, généralement  à partir de feuilles de musique mais aussi ‘à l’oreil’. Lieu idéal pour faire l’essaie d’une  nouvelle chanson, ou pratiquer de nouvelles pieces avant de les jouer à la session au pub. C’est aussi un bon temps pour faire du ‘social’ avec des gens forts sympatiques et pour savourer des grignotines délicieuses.

Reel Slooow Jams: The Reel Slooow Jam is an occasional and irregular gathering for those who are new to playing fiddle (or piano or guitar) and who would like to learn Cape Breton tunes. The focus is on tunes such as airs and waltzes, as well as playing jigs and reels from the session repertoire but at a slow learning pace with more time for those who don't read music to learn by ear. On vise les débutant(e)s au violon (ou piano ou guitar) qui désirent apprendre le pieces de l’Isle du Cap Breton dans un millieux amical et sans pression. Plusieurs aires et valses lentes ainsi que des jigues et des reels à partir du repertoire régulier, mais à une vitesse plus lente; ceci donnera plus de temps à ceux et celles qui ne savent pas lire la musique a apprendre à l’oreil. Vérifier la page “Tunes” pour la liste le plus souvent joué au Slow Jam (“jam lent”).

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