See Natalie MacMaster Up Close and Personal Oct. 24, 7:30 p.m. at the Performing Arts Centre. (Contributed)

Natalie MacMaster makes Okanagan one of two B.C. stops

Queen of the Fiddle in town Oct. 24

Natalie MacMaster has drawn a line on time, putting bow to fiddle again for her first solo album release in eight years.

Sketches is set for release Nov. 1 through Linus Entertainment. But first, the queen of the fiddle is sharing her talents in Vernon Oct. 24 in one of only two B.C. tour dates.

With over 300,000 albums sold, MacMaster has received countless nominations and award wins including a Grammy Award win and nomination, a Juno Award win and seven nominations, 19 East Coast Music Association awards and five Canadian Country Music Association’s Fiddler of the Year nods as well as three honorary doctorates, an induction into the Casino Nova Scotia Hall of Fame, and a member of the Order of Canada.

But for Sketches, the Celtic music star is drawing on a different set of numbers for inspiration.

“It is a moment during my 47th year of life, my 37th year of fiddling, my 16th year of marriage and my 13th year of parenting,” MacMaster said in reference to her seven children and husband, fellow fiddler Donnell Leahy. “It’ll be a moment of joyous appreciation inspired by years of parenting, marriage, friendships, music, and life.”

This is a professional life that includes performances with Béla Fleck, Faith Hill, Carlos Santana, The Chieftains, Sharon, Lois & Bram, Buddy MacMaster and Jesse Cook, as well as award-winning collaborations with Yo-Yo Ma, and a blended line with award-winning collaborations with Donnell and their children. And speaking on the family-front, she’s distantly related to fiddler Ashley MacIsaac and rocker Jack white, and spends much of her time collaborating with Donnell as well as putting her teaching degree to use homeschooling their children.

Sketches is a return to a solo sound, and the result is a fiery, must-hear collection of traditional tunes and medleys mixed with new compositions. The album teems with retrospect and legacy as MacMaster reflects on her extraordinary journey in both life and career.

“I have something to say through my fiddle,” she said.

Okanagan residents can get a taste of the album at MacMaster’s Up Close and Personal show Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre. Tickets are $53.75 at ticketseller.ca or 250-549-SHOW (7469).

READ MORE: Canada’s Queen of the Fiddle to perform in Vernon this fall

READ MORE: Okanagan rocked by AC/DC and Hip bands


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