Jennifer Roland, 100 Others at KitchenFest Venues
If you are fortunate enough to be on the north side of Cape Breton this weekend, there is a wealthy of music ready to pour out of KitchenFest venues across the island.
KitchenFest! Féis a’ Chidsin!
Postponed but not cancelled — Cape Breton’s island-wide kitchen céilidh is back! From September 4 to 12, Cape Breton plays host to almost 100 events in 24 venues with 100+ performers. Fiddles and bagpipes, concerts and céilidhs, local food and drink, Gaelic language and song, informality and hospitality — consider this your official invitation to Cape Breton’s island-wide kitchen céilidh! We are committed to ensuring KitchenFest! is safe for all participating parties as we work together to provide an environment that follows current public health directives from the province of Nova Scotia. For full details, visit kitchenfest.ca.
Of particular note are three featuring a brilliant performer who calls herself a Cape Breton fiddler: Jennifer Roland. We had the remarkable fortune to intersect with her during our trip to Nova Scotia in 2012. This is excerpted from an article about musical nirvana all that summer:
But about that vacation in Nova Scotia. Once we decided to go, we realized we did not have time to see everything. I KNEW I had to see the Bay of Fundy (check out Hall’s Harbor on YouTube), and then we headed toward Cape Breton. It was a truly spectacular trip. The only downside was that we had read that we would find ceilidhs, Gaelic music played at social places (pubs!). Alas, we didn’t find any. Near the end of our journey, we stopped in Louisbourg, visiting the fortress there (July 29). On the way to dinner, we spotted a sign about some local music. Finally, we thought. Maybe it will be good.
Understatement of the century, and the clear – and unexpected — highlight of the entire six weeks of music. We parked at the Louisbourg Playhouse, a wonderfully warm wooden theatre. We arrived just in time to see Jennifer Roland, a self-described Cape Breton fiddler, taking the stage, accompanied by a guitarist and keyboard player. What unfolded in the next two hours was so delightful, so eclectic, so heartwarming, so wonderful that everyone in the playhouse seemed transported to Scotland – or somewhere very magical. Roland is a perpetual motion machine; during the first set, she played part of it sitting down, her feet dancing jigs all the while. Fair enough. I was not prepared for what happened in the second set, when she proceeded to stand and step-dance while fiddling for a few tunes. I’m convinced she’s a sprite. It was pure heaven.
Roland will be performing in a collective with Jason Kempt, Allie Bennett, and Jason MacDonald for two of these shows and with Kempt, Neil McDaniel, and Brian Doyle on the third.
Clearly we were enamored by Roland, but rumor has it Cape Breton is bursting with talent all over the island! For full information on these and the other 90+ events, go to: