Canadian Culture Break!


Calgary’s Folk Festival: all these people arrived in the morning to stake their claim on a good spot for Great Big Sea’s evening concert

You might know that Justin Bieber, Celine Dion, Avril Lavigne, Drake, and many other famous singers come from Canada… but I’m betting that you’re missing out on my favorite Canadian superstars.

One of (in my opinion) the best forms of Canadian music comes from the east coast. Their folk music is based on the Celtic traditions from Scotland and Ireland. Much of the music relies heavily on fiddling and traditional drums.

So, just for fun, here are some of my favorites, to broaden your Canadian horizons!

Great Big Sea
(Full disclosure: this is my favorite band. As of tomorrow I will have seen them in concert 5 times — but it’s not just me; they’ve got a huge fan base throughout the country!)
Great Big Sea does everything: traditional folk songs, celtic folk-pop, more mainstream celtic-inspired pop/rock, and more!

Traditional Celtic Fiddling
Natalie MacMaster: “Catharsis” (drama challenge: define “catharsis”!)
Natalie MacMaster and the ridiculously talented Yo-Yo Ma: “Christmas Jig”

So there you go. Now you’ve learned a little more about music from Atlantic Canada!


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