MABOU: On Tuesday of last week, the twenty-second season of Mabou’s Tuesday Ceilidhs began with a tribute to pianist who’s no stranger to performing at local events and, occasionally, with legendary musicians.
“We wish to recognize your unwavering humility and contribution to the musical life of Cape Breton Island,” said Joey Beaton, organizer and MC of the Tuesday ceilidhs. He was speaking to Catherine (Lamey) Hawley, who was performing that evening with fiddler Brent Aucoin.
“Few Cape Breton pianists can claim the rare honour and opportunity of recording a vinyl long-play album with the legendary violinist Winston Fitzgerald,” he said.
“Your command of the piano and expertise played a key role in Winston’s choice of accompanist on his last LP recorded in June of 1966 titled The Inimitable Winston (Scotty) Fitzgerald.”
Beaton presented Hawley a plaque at the event. He is also lobbying to have Hawley included in a display at the Chestico Museum. The display highlights the achievements of prominent women from the Port Hood area. Fitzgerald’s release was, Beaton said, a “major historical Cape Breton cultural event” and Hawley’s work on it contributed greatly to the album.
Beaton is a pianist himself and his wife, Karen, plays the fiddle. They will be performing weekly at the Mabou Community Hall as a part of the ceilidhs.
For the remainder of this month, Mary Elizabeth and Elizabeth MacInnis will perform (July 18) and they will be followed by Rodney MacDonald and James MacLean (July 25).
The music continues next month, with performers including Kinnon Beaton (August 1), Glenn Graham (August 8), Melanie Holder (August 15), Stuart Cameron and Cullen MacInnis (August 22), and Mike Barron (August 29).
All shows run from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.