Ben Miller & Anita MacDonald
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Ben Miller & Anita MacDonald

Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF | AFM

Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada | SELF | AFM
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Folk Celtic

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Music

Press


"Ben Miller & Anita MacDonald - CD Release at The Red Shoe"

“An entertaining and lively show, which got audience members off their feet and dancing between the tables... Full of rich traditional sound, unique to Cape Breton. Together, they form an impressive blend of freshness and tradition... True talent.” - The Inverness Oran (Cape Breton, NS)


"Ben Miller & Anita MacDonald on "Highland Fling""

“Ben and Anita have the unique talent of taking well known, traditional tunes and giving them new life. They have a great respect and knowledge of how these tunes are to be played, but are able to inject an energy that brings them to life once again. That’s the way you keep the music alive for a new generation to discover and enjoy.” - Bob MacEachern, 101.5 The Hawk (Cape Breton, NS)


"Ben Miller & Anita MacDonald - "A Day at the Lake" - Album Review"

“From the opening notes, this music buzzes with energy... tight, energetic... 'A Day at the Lake' is invigorating and spirited - a must-have for fans of Scottish and Cape Breton tunes, and guaranteed to stir the soul (and the feet!).” - Bright Young Folk (Kent, UK)


"Ben Miller & Friends - "On Home Ground - EP""

“Cunning... Fiery... Fresh, yet totally traditional...
Excellent entertainment.” - Alex Monaghan, Piping Today Magazine (Glasgow, UK)


"Ben Miller & Friends "On Home Ground - EP""

“Choice tunes, tastefully arranged and played the way they ought to be... Bravo!” - Tim Cummings, Birchen Music (Vermont, USA)


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

Combining the fiery edge of the Scottish Border pipes with the rich sounds of the Cape Breton fiddle, Ben Miller and Anita MacDonald join together, merging traditional influences from Cape Breton and Prince Edward Island, as well as the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. This fresh and talented duo pairs driving dance-tunes with expressive Gaelic airs and songs, bringing their listeners a powerful combination of passion and grace.

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Ben is an American-born player of Scottish bagpipes, currently living in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. His interest in traditional music stems from his exposure to the pipes at a young age, in his hometown of Queensbury, New York, as well as his family’s strong connections to its Scottish and Irish roots, through both his American mother and Canadian father. He began studying the Highland Bagpipes around age eight, but by twelve he began to shift his focus to the bellows-blown Scottish smallpipes and Border pipes. Ben is also an academic, holding an undergraduate degree in Music, as well as a Master's degree in Scottish Ethnology, from the University of Edinburgh's School of Scottish Studies. His repertoire and style draw mainly on the Gaelic traditions of Western Scotland and the Canadian Maritimes, blended with a healthy dash of Irish tunes for good measure. 

Anita is an accomplished musician, dancer, and Gaelic singer from Little Narrows, Cape Breton. She began stepdancing in the family kitchen at the tender age of four, and picked up the fiddle a few short years later, at age eight. Anita has been wowing audiences with her impeccable timing and neatly choreographed steps ever since. Anita’s fiddle playing has a distinctive sound, influenced by the deep roots of her musical family and her teachers throughout the years. Her energetic style has put her in demand as a performer and teacher, across Cape Breton and beyond. She has been a featured artist in the Celtic Colours International Festival, and has toured throughout New England with Cape Breton folk trio, The Goin’s On. Anita is also the recipient of the Frank “Big Sampie” Sampson Award, nominated by the Festival Volunteer Drive’ers Association. Following this award, Anita released her debut album, “Stepping Stone,” during the 2011 Celtic Colours International Festival.

This new and exciting duo emerged after a chance meeting at the Celtic Colours Festival in 2013. Anita then joined Ben for his latest recording project, an EP titled “On Home Ground”, which was released only a few months later, in January 2014. In August 2015, Ben and Anita launched their full length debut album, titled “A Day at the Lake”. They are currently touring across North America, the United Kingdom, and further afield to promote this fresh, new release.

Tempering the sharp edge of the pipes and fiddle, Ben and Anita are joined by friends from the Maritimes and beyond. They perform regularly as a three or four-piece band, blending in subtle and sympathetic rhythm guitar (Zakk Cormier - PEI, CAN), and the driving groove of Cape Breton-style piano accompaniment (Tyson Chen - NS, CAN), to create a full and well rounded sound.