Ottawa Cape Breton Sessions provide 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 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.
Join the Club!
update: Please send your comments and suggestions to
email@example.com. It's been tough choosing a location that meets
needs! We will continue to audition various locations through the month
of February. To let you know where to find us we'll be
sending out more than the usual number of email newsletters, as well as
posting the location here and on Facebook and Twitter so stay tuned in
tuned up for more Cape Breton music! The last session was in the east
end at Grace O'Malley's and the next one will be in the west end at the
Barley Mow on Merivale. Don't forget to
send your feedback on the locations or suggestions for venues to try
out to Aylene, or you can leave a
comment on the OCBS Facebook Group page.
Mar 5 —Pub Session: 2pm-5pm -The Barley Mow 1541 Merivale Rd. After having the last session in the east end, we are trying out a westside location this week. 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
Mar 12 —Reel Slooow Jam: 2pm-5pm - Hosts TBD
Mar 12 —House Session: 2pm-5pm - Hosted by Aylene and Brian Gracie at 125 Parkhaven Ave. Queensway to Woodroffe Northbound, left on Georgina, left on Parkhaven. Parking in driveway or on street. Google Map 613-820-1535. It's not too soon to start getting warmed up for St. Patrick's Day! 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.
Mar 19 —Pub Session: 2pm-5pm - Location TBD
Mar 26 —Reel Slooow Jam: 2pm-5pm - 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 firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or if you are interested in hosting a future session.
Mar 26—House Session: 2pm-5pm - Hosted byAlana and Cleary Morris at 138 Solera Circle near Bank and Hunt Club. Hunt Club Road east past Bank, Albion to Cahill. Turn left ( north) onto Cahill one block to Solera Circle which is another left turn. Parking in driveway or on the street. Google Map BYOB
Other Cape Breton Cultural EventsEvents for those who enjoy the music and culture of Cape Breton Island.
Mar 25 —House Concert: 7pm - In The House concert series presents MacKenzie and MacIsaac Alexis MacIsaac and Calum MacKenzie are a wife and husband duo who have established a unique musical partnership that combines Cape Breton piano playing with a modern approach to Celtic fiddle. While Calum’s musical approach has been heavily influenced by his Hebridean roots and his native Cape Breton culture, Alexis’ playing is a multi-faceted harmonization of Irish, Scottish, and Cape Breton styles. Their debut album, The Bay Street Sessions, is a compilation of original and traditional compositions and arrangements, infused with centuries-old feeling and contemporary flair: their mutual love for music articulated in each note and phrase from bow to key. Tickets $20 All proceeds go directly to performers. To reserve seats, email Graham and Suzanne at email@example.com
May 27 —House Concert: 7:30pm - Mairi Rankin and Ailie Robertson Mairi is one of the hugely influential Rankin Family – legends on the Canadian music scene – she plays fiddle, sings and also step-dances up a storm. Born in Mabou, Nova Scotia, Mairi has been influenced by some of the best Cape Breton traditional musicians and instructors on the island. She has developed her own unique style by being immersed in such a rich musical culture. She has toured nationally and internationally as a solo artist, a sideman and is a member of the Cape Breton Celtic super group Beolach. She has performed with the Rankin Sisters, Unusual Suspects and Bruce Guthro to name but a few. Mairi has recorded one solo album, two CDs with Beolach and has been featured on numerous compilations and recordings. Watch Ailie Robertson from Edinburgh is widely regarded as one of Scotland’s leading young traditional musicians. Irish flautist Niall Keegan said: “Ailie’s synthesis of Irish, Scottish and contemporary harping technique into an individual style represents the realization of otherwise unimagined possibilities for the Celtic harp.” Ailie grew up in Edinburgh, Scotland, and was immersed in the harp world from an early age. Winner of 'Best Group' in both the Live Ireland awards and the Tradition In Review awards, the duo are one of the top Celtic acts in the world. With their band The Outside Track, they were 'Best Live Act' nominees in the 2013 MG Alba Scots Traditional Music Awards, and won the German Radio Critics Prize 2014, for their latest album Flash Company. Tickets available in April.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Open Jam Sessions:
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
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