Ottawa Cape Breton Session
Sun. June 11 - Reel Sloow Jam - 2pm to 5pm. The Reel Sloow Jam is, well, really slow. This house session is aimed at those who are new to playing fiddle, or who learn tunes by ear, or are new to the rhythms and tunes of Cape Breton music . We have limited space at this jam, which means that we will require RSVPs and will stop accepting responses once the limit has been reached. If you would like to attend fill enter your name and email here. If the session is full you can try again later in case a space has opened up. If your plans change please cancel so that the space can be made available for someone else. The host and leader for this session is Sherryl Fitzpatrick. There will be a break at 3:30 to stretch our legs and socialize a bit, BYOB and a snack if you like. More information/detail about the slow jam HERE.
Sun. June 18- Pub Session - 2pm to 5pm. Buy a beer for Dad day! Celebrate Father's Day with the whole family, and with us, at the Barley Mow, 1541 Merivale Rd. Did you know that kids eat for free on Sundays? With the game up on the screen and live Scottish, Irish and Cape Breton music on the floor Dad will have a great time! Fiddlers, guitarists, piano players, whatever - all are welcome to join the jam - or just stop by to listen and chat with the friendly folk at the pub.
Sun. July 2- Pub Session - 2pm to 5pm. Celebrate Canada Day with fiddling! Open jam session at the Barley Mow, 1541 Merivale Rd. Everyone is welcome to join us for some down home Scottish, Irish and Cape Breton music. Fiddlers, guitarists, piano players, whatever - or just stop by to listen and chat with the friendly folk at the pub. A great way to make new friends who enjoy traditional music. Millicent Toombs leading today.
Sun. July 16 - Pub Session - 2pm to 5pm. Open jam session at the Barley Mow, 1541 Merivale Rd. Everyone is welcome to join us for some down home Scottish, Irish and Cape Breton music. Fiddlers, guitarists, piano players, whatever - or just stop by to listen and chat with the friendly folk at the pub. A great way to make new friends who enjoy traditional music. Brian MacLean leading today.
June 16 - 7pm-9pm - HOUSE CONCERT featuring Karen Steven and Alastair MacDonald with special guest Ian Clark at Debbie and Gary's place in Kanata. Jam session to follow so bring your instruments if you'd like to join in. Doors open at 6:30. Tea, coffee, and a light snack provided. BYOB Suggested donation of $25 per person. Musicians receive 100% of the donations. Seats are limited. Reservations are required through: KanataHouseConcerts@gmail.com. Address and parking info provided on receipt of payment via e-transfer to the same e-mail address.
July 14-15 - Fiddles on the Rideau Festival - Concerts, workshops and more at Manotick United Church.
July 16 - 1pm - 3:30 pm - Fiddles on the Rideau Flotilla Mahogany Harbour 1:00-1:45pm and Long Island Locks 2:30-3:30pm. Looking for pontoon boat owners and drivers, as well as musicians.
Aug 4-5 - Glengarry Highland Games Fiddle workshops with Wendy MacIsaac and Mairi Rankin. Full details and schedule for all fiddling events at the Glengarry Games website. A great entertainment lineup including Anna Ludlow, East Coast Experience and more. Entertainment schedule.
Join our Facebook community to find links to online videos, music resources and other Cape Breton goodness. We also share news via Twitter. To see videos from past sessions check out our YouTube channel.
Sign up to receive occasional notices about Ottawa Cape Breton Session events, as well as other events involving Cape Breton music and culture in the National Capital. A newsletter goes out approximately once a month, more often if there are last minute events, or a significant change to a planned event. Past newsletters are here if you want to get an idea of what to expect or catch up on what you missed.
We NEVER share our list with other groups, we may occasionally pass along relevant information from another local group but rest assured that we won't give your email address to anyone else!
Fiddlers/Bands for Hire
Ottawa Cape Breton Session is an informal jam session, so we don't provide music for concerts or special events. If you are looking for some fiddle or kitchen party type music
Scenes from some of our past pub sessions - always a great time!
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 occasional songs or solos. Everyone is welcome to join, with fiddle, guitar, mandolin, accordion or even a cello! 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.
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. You'll meet lots of other Maritimers in the crowd. 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.
House sessions are are great way to learn new tunes and meet new people and get familiar with the Cape Breton repertoire. House sessions occur on a second or fourth Sunday from 2-5pm . The pace at house sessions varies, new tunes are learned mostly from sheet music. Players take turns hosting house sessions, or sometimes they are hosted by folks who just love to hear the music. Session à vitesse moyennement accéléré où apprender de nouveau ‘sets’ de pieces, généralement à partir de feuilles de musique mais aussi ‘à l’oreil’. Lieu idéal pour faire l’essaie d’une nouvelle chanson, ou pratiquer de nouvelles pieces avant de les jouer à la session au pub. C’est aussi un bon temps pour faire du ‘social’ avec des gens forts sympatiques et pour savourer des grignotines délicieuses.
Reel Slooow Jams
These house sessions play at a more moderate tempo for learning, great if you are new to your instrument or are nervous playing with a group. You won't find a more welcoming and encouraging group anywhere else. Players take turns hosting house sessions, or sometimes they are hosted by folks who just love to hear the music. 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”).
Host a House Session or Slow Jam
Hosts provide space and chairs (without arms) for anywhere from 6 to 20 fiddlers, and some space for socializing during the break. Hosts can be fiddlers/pianists or just folks who don't mind listening to the same tune played over and over again. Ideally hosts provide an in-tune piano (or keyboard), but we can usually arrange to bring a keyboard and/or some extra chairs if needed. Sessions are BYOB, and players bring along snacks for the break, but usually the hosts provide tea or coffee, or other non-alcoholic beverages (depending on the weather).
Cape Breton fiddle music is best learned by ear. Although detailed sheet music and sound files are provided here for learning the basics of a tune , be aware that the tune may sound different when played live. The sheet music provides the melody of a tune, and while some common ornamentation such as a 'cut' may be occasionally notated, in general the fiddler is encouraged to add to the sound with their own selection of ornamentation. In addition the rhythm pattern played may be slightly different than the dotted notes in the sheet music would have you believe. The best way to really learn these tunes is to come out and play along with us at either a house or pub session. You would be more than welcome! The Tunes page contains tunes and sets you are likely to hear at one of our sessions.
Cape Breton fiddlers occasionally come and present workshops on fiddle, step dancing and piano here in the National Capital region. We'll make sure that any such events are communicated via our email list, website and social media accounts. There are a few Ottawa-area fiddle teachers who include Cape Breton tunes and stylings in their lessons. More...