Strathspey Place presents the ‘Cape Breton Guitar Show’

MABOU: Fans of Celtic guitar are in for a rare treat this week as five accomplished local musicians come together on one stage in Mabou.

The Cape Breton Guitar show at Strathspey Performing Arts Centre on May 3 will feature several of Cape Breton’s best-known guitarists.

“People can expect a healthy dose of Cape Breton fiddle tunes played on guitar, and some original music as well as a few surprises,” said Maxim Cormier.

Cormier is scheduled to perform at Thursday night’s guitar showcase along with his father Gervais Cormier, James MacLean, Pius MacIsaac, and Mitch Poirier.

“I have been performing regularly with my dad, Gervais Cormier for about 15 years. We’re thrilled to share the stage with three more guitar players,” said Cormier.

Cormier is a musician, composer and producer who plays a variety of musical styles from Cape Breton to Classical. Last year, he founded his own production company MCP Music, which produced and promoted a successful Acadian Day concert in Halifax and is planning additional concerts for 2018. In December, Cormier released his most recent album Maxim and Gervais Cormier: Cape Breton Guitar. The father and son duo are currently working on a collection of original folk and jazz music.

On Thursday, Cormier will share the stage with James MacLean of East Lake Ainslie. MacLean has been performing for over 15 years and completed a bachelor of music program at Dalhousie University in 2015. He enjoys playing traditional Scottish tunes on the guitar, as well as other genres such as classical and bluegrass. He hopes to release a solo album in the near future.

“James and I studied guitar under Scott Macmillan at Dalhousie,” Cormier said. “We have had the chance to perform together on occasion over the years. I look forward to sharing the stage with him again.”

Pius MacIsaac of Mabou is a regular at concerts and festivals throughout Cape Breton. In addition to performing on violin, mandolin, and guitar he is known for his skills as a composer. He has four albums to his credit, and has performed with such well-known Cape Breton artists such as Natalie MacMaster and Gordie Sampson.

“I’ve known Pius for years. I had the pleasure of performing with him at the Red Shoe a few summers ago,” said Cormier. “Pius has many great compositions of his own. I hope to hear some of his original tunes on May 3.”

Mitch Poirier of Inverness will bring his talents as a singer-songwriter to the stage as well. He has performed with the Home Town Heroes, Heather Rankin and Rawlins Cross. At the age of 14, Poirier’s instrumental guitar skills earned him an Atlantic Canada Under 19 Guitar Championship at the East Coast Guitar Festival.

Cormier said he is looking forward to joining forces with four other accomplished guitar players.

“I think our styles will complement each other very well. We all have a sensibility for the music of Cape Breton, but we all have unique musical interests that will bring variety and excitement to the show,” said Cormier.

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