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Natalie MacMaster

Natalie MacMaster

BackgroundMacMaster was born on June 13, 1972. She is the daughter of Alex and Minnie (Beaton) MacMaster and the sister of Kevin and David MacMaster. She is the niece of renowned Cape Breton fiddler Buddy MacMaster and the cousin of two other fiddlers, Ashley MacIsaac and Andrea Beaton. She is also related to Jack White.In 2002, she married fiddler Donnell Leahy of the Leahy family band, and moved to Lakefield, Ontario. They have five children: Mary Frances Rose (b. December 3, 2005); Michael Joseph Alexander (b. June 23, 2007); Clare Marie (b. February 18, 2009); Julia Elizabeth (b. January 4, 2011); and Alec Francis (b. August 11, 2012).Musical careerMacMaster began playing the fiddle at the age of nine, and made her performing debut the same year at a square dance in Glencoe Mills, Nova Scotia. When she was sixteen she released her first album, Four on the Floor, and a second album, Road to the Isle, followed in 1991. Both of these self-produced albums were initially released only on cassette, but Rounder Records omitted a few tracks and re-released as A Compilation in 1998.In recent years she has expanded her musical repertoire, mixing her Cape Breton roots with music from Scotland and Ireland, as well as American bluegrass.AwardsShe has received a number of Canadian music awards, including several "Artist of the Year" awards from the East Coast Music Association, two Juno awards for best instrumental album, and "Fiddler of the Year" from the Canadian Country Music Association. MacMaster was also awarded an honorary doctorate from Niagara University in New York in 2006. In 2006, she was made a member of the Order of Canada.

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