For over twenty years, Kendra
MacGillivray has brought fiddle music to life with her
incredibly energetic performances with the fiddle. As a
former Highland dancer, Kendra aims to make her fiddling
lively and dancable with upbeat jigs, polkas and hornpipes,
beautiful swaying waltzes and slow airs or selections of
rhythmic strathspeys and reels that build in speed and
intensity. She’s even been known to make a few steps while
fiddling at the same time in high heels!
With numerous awards under her
belt, including two prestigious East Coast Music Awards,
including "Female Artist of the Year" and "Instrumental
Artist of the Year" in 2002, Kendra travels the country,
playing the traditional fiddling style from Eastern Nova
Scotia. Performances have also taken her into the United
States and as far away as Japan, Australia, Iceland, Europe,
Barbados and of course, Scotland, where many of her
favourite tunes were composed by fiddlers such as James
Scott Skinner in the 1800s and 1900s.
Kendra also composes tunes to
compliment her Scotch rooted music and she also loves to
incorporate tunes that are written by Cape Breton and
Canadian composers and ones that her grandfather, Hugh A.
MacDonald made popular in the 1930s on some of the early
Canadian Celtic fiddle recordings.
Hugh A. was a recipient of a
Stompin’ Tom Connors Award by the ECMA in 2001 and was
inducted into the Nova Scotia Country Music Hall of Fame in
2003 for his contributions to the Atlantic Canadian music
scene. His recorded music was also played in the Canadian
Pavilion at Expo 1967 in Montreal and at Expo 2000 in
Germany, Kendra performed live in the Canadian Pavilion,
thirty-three years later. To make the occassion even more
momentous, she played the same tunes that her grandfather
She has four traditional
recordings to date. MacGillivray released "Love O' The
Isles" in 2008, "Over the Waves" in 2000, "Clear the Track"
in 1996 and "Antigonish's Own" in 1990. Kendra records and
performs with some of the best musicians in Atlantic Canada.
Some of these musicians include Troy MacGillivray on piano,
Dave MacIsaac on guitar, Greg Simm on bass and Scott
Ferguson on percussion and/or drums.
MacGillivray has taken her
fiddle music from the dance halls in Eastern Nova Scotia to
beautiful concert stages and sold out venues around the
world. She’s been invited numerous times to be a special
guest of Symphony Nova Scotia, The Maritime Forces Atlantic
- Stadacona Band and a feature performer in the musical,
Her talents have enabled her
to perform alongside other acclaimed fiddlers such as
Alasdair Fraser, Buddy MacMaster, Natalie MacMaster, Martin
Hayes, Daniel Lapp and Liz Doherty. In 2003, she was a
special guest of New York composer, Philip Glass in concert
at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, ON and shared the
stage with Canadian artists such as Celtic singers Loreena
McKennitt, Rita MacNeil and Mary Jane Lamond.
Kendra has showcased at some
of the most prestigious Celtic Festivals in Canada. She has
played at the Celtic Colours International Festival in Cape
Breton many times and the Halifax Celtic Feis in Halifax,
Nova Scotia. Other highlights include the Celtic Roots
Festival in Goderich, Ontario, the Vancouver Celtic Festival
and CeltFest Vancouver Island in British Columbia.
MacGillivray has headlined at
Roots and Blues festivals, Folk festivals and Highland games
as well. Highlights include the Salmon Arm Folk Festival,
Vancouver Island Folk Festival and the Harrison Festival of
the Arts, all in British Columbia, Glengarry Highland Games
in Maxville, Ontario, Stan Rogers Folk Festival and
Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival in Nova Scotia, Indian River
Music Festival and PEI International Shellfish Festival in
Prince Edward Island, and the Dunedin Highland Games in
Florida, New Bedford Folk Festival in Massachusetts and
Washington DC Irish Folk Festival in Virginia.
Kendra has also been featured
in Tourism Nova Scotia travel promotions, television
commercials and print media since 1995. She acted and played
her fiddle with her band on a CBS movie called "Heart of a
Stranger" starring Jane Seymour in 2003. The opening cut
from "Over the Waves" even sets the theme for CBC’s "Mainstreet"
in PEI since 2001.
Since 1989, MacGillivray has
also found time to pass on her Scottish traditions in
fiddle, piano accompaniment, Highland and Step dance by
teaching private and group lessons, workshops and master
classes. She has been invited to teach at the Gaelic College
of Celtic Arts & Crafts in Cape Breton, NS and in Vermont,
USA, the Pacific Institute of Celtic Performing Arts on
Vancouver Island in BC and at various fiddle camps such as
the Emma Lake Fiddle Camp in Saskatchewan. In 2003, her
efforts were rewarded with the "Educator of the Year" title
by the Music Industry Association of Nova Scotia.