Ben Miller and Anita MacDonald join together, blending the rich traditional sound of the Cape Breton fiddle, with the fiery edge of the Scottish Border pipes. Combining their creative vision with influences from Old and New World Gaelic traditions, they create a powerful sound, heralded as: “… One of the most important folk acts on Cape Breton Island today.” – CBC Main Street (Nova Scotia, CAN).
Since meeting at the 2013 Celtic Colours Festival, Ben & Anita have toured across North America and further afield, wowing audiences with their captivating blend of driving dance tunes and soulful Gaelic airs.
Equally at home at an intimate house concert, or a late night festival show, Ben & Anita tour as a duo, trio, or a four-piece band to fill any stage. “… Fiery… Fresh, yet totally traditional… Excellent entertainment!” – Piping Today Magazine (Glasgow, UK)
– – – –
Ben is an American-born player of Scottish bagpipes, currently living in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. His interest in traditional music stems from his exposure to the pipes at a young age, in his home town of Queensbury, as well as his family’s strong connection to it’s Scots-Irish roots, through both his American mother and Canadian father. He began studying the Highland Bagpipes around age eight, but by twelve he began to shift his focus to the bellows-blown Scottish smallpipes and Border pipes. Ben is also an academic, holding an undergraduate degree in Music, as well as a Master’s degree in Scottish Ethnology, from the University of Edinburgh’s School of Scottish Studies. His repertoire and style draw mainly on the Gaelic traditions of Western Scotland and the Canadian Maritimes, blended with a healthy dash of Irish tunes for good measure.
Anita is an accomplished musician, dancer, and Gaelic singer from Little Narrows, Cape Breton. She began stepdancing in the family kitchen at the tender age of four, and picked up the fiddle a few short years later, at age eight. Anita has been wowing audiences with her impeccable timing and neatly choreographed steps ever since. Anita’s fiddle playing has a distinctive sound, influenced by the deep roots of her musical family and her teachers throughout the years. Her energetic style has put her in demand as a performer and teacher, across Cape Breton and beyond. She has been a featured artist in the Celtic Colours International Festival, and has toured throughout New England with Cape Breton folk trio, The Goin’s On. Anita is also the recipient of the Frank “Big Sampie” Sampson Award, nominated by the Festival Volunteer Drive’ers Association and supported by Lakewind Sound Studios. Following this award, Anita released her debut album, “Stepping Stone,” during the 2011 Celtic Colours International Festival.