Ottawa Cape Breton Session provides an opportunity to play tunes and sets that are part of the Cape Breton traditional repertoire. Sunday afternoon pub sessions are generally at a pretty fast pace. It is mostly group/session playing with the occasional song or solo. Anyone is welcome to join in and play with the group or share a song. Sessions are led by Aylene, or sometimes other folks. Let her, or the pianist Ellen know if you have something special to share with the group.
Sessions are primarily for the musicians to share the experience of traditional music, are open to anyone who can play a few of the common tunes of the tradition, and are great way to learn new tunes and meet new people. Want to join in? You can! To get familiar with the Cape Breton repertoire we have house sessions every other Sunday from 2-5pm at various locations. Regular house sessions are pretty fast, new tunes are learned mostly from sheet music. The Reel Sloow Jam is a house session that is at a more moderate tempo for learning.
If you don't play, but love to hear Maritime and Cape Breton music live you're more than welcome to come down to the pub sessions and have some fun. It's always a big and friendly group of folks, a great place to meet old friends and make new ones too.
Join the Club!
Dec 16 —Pub Session: 2pm-5pm -The Barley Mow Merivale Road. 1541 Merivale Rd, Ottawa ON, K2G 5W1 Come chill with us, bring a friend or two and enjoy some down home hospitality. This week we'll be pulling out all the stops on Christmas music so bring along your singing voice and a few friends and get ready for some Christmas cheer. Singers, pipers, and squeezers of windy boxes all welcome! From the 416 take the Maitland Ave. exit southbound, you'll end up right on Merivale Rd. There is parking in front of the building, enter off Capilano Dr. or Merivale northbound. Tons more parking just behind the building (by the gas station). On bus route 176. Website Good food and good beer, breakfast served until 2pm.
Jan 6 —Pub Session: 2pm-5pm -Grace O'Malley's East Coast Pub 1151 Ogilvie Road Google Map A down home style social gathering, this session is a great place to meet up with friends over a pint or cup of tea while listening to a varied group of musicians play traditional Cape Breton, Irish and Scottish tunes. All players of fiddles, guitars, mandolins, whistles, accordions etc. welcome to join in. This session is mostly group playing with a few solos, let us know if you have something special to share with the group. Sheet music permitted. Generally a pretty fast pace. Jam ouverte avec concentration sur le pieces de l’ile du Cap Breton, de l’Écosse et de Glengarry. Apportez un instrument ou venez partager une chanson avec nous. Ou, venez savourez la musique et notre plaisir. On ne sait jamais qui s’y présentera, mais c’est certainement toujours un groupe avec un accueil amical avec qui passer l’après-midi.
Jan 13—Reel Sloow Jam: 2pm-5pm - Hosted by TBD at TBD BYOB Click Here to add your name to the attendee list so that the hosts can plan seating requirements. Instructions: Enter your name in the next available slot, select [Yes/No] for each listed date. If you are unsure select [Yes] and update it closer to the date. Press [Save] in the lower left corner to confirm your responses. To edit, click on your [name] and then on the stubby [pencil] icon. Press [Save] when completed. To delete your name, click the name and then on the [trash can] icon. On vise les débutant(e)s au violon (ou piano ou guitar) qui désirent apprendre le pieces de l’Isle du Cap Breton dans un millieux amical et sans pression. Plusieurs aires et valses lentes ainsi que des jigues et des reels à partir du repertoire régulier, mais à une vitesse plus lente; ceci donnera plus de temps à ceux et celles qui ne savent pas lire la musique a apprendre à l’oreil. Vérifier la page “Tunes” pour la liste le plus souvent joué au Slow Jam (“jam lent”).
Jan 20 —Pub Session: 2pm-5pm -The Barley Mow Merivale Road. 1541 Merivale Rd, Ottawa ON, K2G 5W1 Come chill with us, bring a friend or two and enjoy some down home hospitality. We love bagpipers, and singers, and squeezers of windy boxes are all welcome! From the 416 take the Maitland Ave. exit southbound, you'll end up right on Merivale Rd. There is parking in front of the building, enter off Capilano Dr. or Merivale northbound. Lots more parking just behind the building (by the gas station). On bus route 176. Website Good food and good beer, breakfast served until 2pm.
Local events for those who enjoy the music and culture of Cape Breton Island. Events listed may be sponsored by a variety of different organizations, but all have at least some Cape Breton music, or Cape Breton artists performing.
Dec 7 —Barra MacNeils East Coast Christmas: 7:30pm The Barra MacNeils - An East Coast Christmas is a musical potpourri of traditional MacNeil family favourites gleaned from Christmas ceilidhs, midnight masses and the general festive frolic that accompanies each holiday season. $62.50 Mainstage at Meridian Theatres @ Centrepointe. Tickets
Masters in the Hall - Celtic Music for Christmas Hibernia joins forces with North American Irish Fiddle Champion Kyle Burghout and pianist Tyson Chen for an evening of Celtic music for Christmas. Sure to get your toes tapping! This is a concert of Celtic tunes and songs for Christmas, featuring Kyle Burghout on fiddle, Tyson Chen on piano, Susan Toman on Celtic Harp and Ellen MacIsaac as a traditional singer. The concert will run three times:
December 5th, 7:30 pm at NAC Fourth Stage
December 7th, 7:30 pm at Merrickville United Church Tickets
December 9th, 2:30 pm at St. Andrew's Church, Prescott
Dec 31 —HOGMAN-EH! 5pm-1am Scots and everyone wanting to enjoy a lively Scottish style party are invited to the largest, free New Year’s Eve celebration in Eastern Ontario, and the largest Hogmanay celebration outside of Scotland! The evening starts with the Great Scot! Kidzone, featuring Highland and Scottish Country Dancing and other fun family activities. At 7:00 p.m., revelers will celebrate midnight in Scotland with a huge balloon drop, followed by brilliant music from The County Lads, Searson, Còig, The Mudmen as well as the Ottawa Caledonia Pipes and Drums. End the night and greet 2019 by gathering in fellowship to sing Auld Lang Syne, then head outdoors for a fabulous fireworks display over the Great Lawn at midnight. Scottish food, beer & whisky will be available at the Market Place. More...
How to Host a House Session
All you need is a space big enough to put 6-8 fiddlers in, some chairs without arms, and a willingness to listen to the same tune played over and over again as we practice. If you have a piano let us know, otherwise we'll bring our own keyboard. We can also bring folding chairs. Sessions are BYOB but usually the hosts provide some non-alcoholic beverages and a little something for snack time. Interested? Talk to Aylene or Beth or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Looking for fiddle lessons? The following teachers are available to teach all levels, and include Cape Breton repertoire in their teaching. Most are also available to hire for various events.
Open Jam Sessions:
and 3rd Sunday of every month. Sessions are led by Aylene, or
sometimes other folks.
This session is a mix of session and solo playing, let us know if you
have something special to share with the group. Sheet music permitted.
Generally a pretty fast pace. Jam
ouverte avec concentration sur les
pieces de l’ile du Cap Breton, de l’Écosse et de Glengarry. Apportez un
instrument ou venez partager une chanson avec nous. Ou, venez savourez
la musique et notre plaisir. On ne sait jamais qui s’y présentera, mais
c’est certainement toujours un groupe avec un accueil amical avec qui
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Click below for the best source of musical information in Cape Breton. Listings for who is playing where and when - an indispensible year-round vacation planner!
Get ready for National Fiddle Day:
Sheet music and practice track
"Fiddle Bill" by Kelli Trottier
Looking for something more Irish? Everything you need to find Irish music and culture as well as Ottawa Valley and other Celtic music in Ottawa is at
Irish/Celtic and Cape Breton music from Ottawa online at Irish Radio