Natalie MacMaster is a star of Cape Breton fiddling, a Canadian tradition with Scottish roots. Her energetic style and virtuoso talent has brought her star billing on the international folk circuit.
It's not easy to make traditional Irish-Scottish music sound sexy and yet still seem wholesome. But Natalie MacMaster manages this feat, drawing listeners in with her playful showmanship, and then holding them rapt with astounding technical flourishes.
The niece of renowned Canadian fiddler Buddy MacMaster, she's taken up the mantle as standard-bearer for Cape Breton fiddling, a method of Scottish-style violin-playing that's evolved over the last century on this island neighbor to Nova Scotia. The tradition was on the wane when, in 1972, a CBS documentary provocatively titled The Vanishing Cape Breton Fiddler jump-started preservation efforts in the fiddling community.
MacMaster's enthusiastic charm and extraordinary skill has landed her star billing on the international folk circuit and multiple Grammy nominations. She's released nine albums, including Yours Truly (2006), Natalie and Buddy MacMaster (2005) and My Roots Are Showing (1998). She's toured with countless performers, including the Chieftains, Faith Hill, Carlos Santana and Alison Krauss, and has been awarded two Juno Awards (Canada's equivalent to the Grammy).