Musique Royale presents The Best of Boxwood 2019, unleashing a wonderfully new collection of artists bringing equal doses of classical delicacy and earthy folk for an unforgettable Best of Boxwood concert tour, in a salute to the traditional dance music of the Canadian Maritimes.
As annual tradition would have it, following the Boxwood Festival and Workshop each July comes the Best of Boxwood tour, where artists join the extraordinary Chris Norman on a province-wide tour to celebrate the fruits of their collaborations. Chris Norman is founder and director of the Boxwood Festivals and Workshops taking place for the past 22 years in Canada, New Zealand, Australia and the USA. He has inspired thousands of musicians of all ages, and played a significant role in reviving the flute in traditional Scottish and Canadian music.
About the artists
Chris Norman’s influential work as performer, composer, recording artist, teacher and flute maker has earned him worldwide recognition. His distinctive flute playing has appeared on more than 40 recordings and can be heard featured on numerous Hollywood soundtracks. Chris is founder and director of the Boxwood Festivals and Workshops taking place for the past 24 years in Canada, New Zealand, Australia and the USA, inspiring thousands of musicians of all ages. As a flute maker, he brings to bear a discernment forged over a 30-year career to make world-class flutes for traditional, baroque and renaissance music.
Eamon O’Leary – Originally from Dublin, Eamon has lived in New York City for the last twenty years. He has toured extensively throughout North America and Europe, performing and recording with many of Irish music’s great players. In 2004, he and Patrick Ourceau released a live recording, Live at Mona’s, documenting their many years hosting a session on New York’s Lower East Side. In 2012 he and Jefferson Hamer released an album of traditional songs, The Murphy Beds, described by the Huffington Post as “ten beautiful, crystalline songs.” Eamon’s songwriting can be heard on the 2013 album Old Clump. He also tours and records as part of the trad. Irish trio The Alt with Nuala Kennedy and John Doyle.
Alexis Chartrand is a fiddler from Montréal who has been active in the québécois traditional music scene for several years. He is known for his energetic accompaniment of stepdancing and social dances. His interest in Québécois, Irish and Scottish fiddle styles inform his playing, along with his study of classical, contemporary and baroque music. He frequently collaborates with dancers including baroque dancer Anne-Marie Gardette, traditional dancers and callers Pierre Chartrand and Mélissandre Tremblay-Bourassa, and regularly performs in duo with guitarists such as Yann Falquet, Colin Savoie-Levac and Peter Senn. His 2017 album with multi-instrumentalist Nicolas Babineau (fiddle, guitar), Gigues à 2 faces, was nominated at the 2018 Canadian Folk Music Awards for Best Traditional Album. His performances have brought him around Québec, Canada, New England and Europe. His research into the intersections between traditional and baroque violin styles has been supported by the Canada Council for the Arts. His teaching has been appreciated at CAMMAC, Sutton (Québec), Boxwood Festival (Nova Scotia) and Carleton University (Ontario), among others, where he has given workshops on fiddle, traditional repertoire and traditional music history.
Bronwyn Thies-Thompson is a young Canadian soprano with an affinity for early music. She is sought after for her solid and inspired performances as a soloist and amongst small vocal ensembles, regularly performing and recording with Daniel Taylor’s Theatre of Early Music and Trinity Choir (including their JUNO nominated discs, Four Thousand Winter & The Tree of Life). Her “clean and clear voice” (National Capital Opera Society) and “natural and assured musicianship,” (Ottawa Citizen) informed by her musical upbringing as a cathedral chorister and instrumentalist in Ottawa, Canada, have been appreciated during collaborations with the Tallis Scholars and Emma Kirkby, among others. Now based in Montreal, she regularly performs with Studio de Musique Ancienne de Montréal, Choeur de l’Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal and with the choir of the Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul. Bronwyn has been fortunate to work with Canadian composer Andrew Ager, premiering song cycles, concert works, and appearing in his operas. She is also involved in musical projects exploring the traditional music of Ireland, England, Appalachia, and Quebec. Bronwyn was a recipient of our Fred Kasper Scholarship in 2014, and we’re thrilled to have her as a guest artist this summer!
Amy O’Neill – is one of Maritime Canada’s leading concertina players, and also an active and sought after performer and and teacher of flute at national music festivals, a member of the Nova Scotia Registered Music Teachers’ Association and a flute specialist for the Halifax & South Shore Centres for Education. Before returning to the East Coast, Amy O’Neill was a lecturer in Western University’s Don Wright Faculty of Music, teaching classical flute and Irish traditional music practices. With extensive musical theatre, orchestral and session experience, Amy has performed across North America and Europe as a classical and traditional Irish flutist and concertina player.