John & Cailean MacLean

Cape Breton

John & Cailean MacLean

Born into a family of tradition bearers from Cape Breton, John MacLean is widely recognized as one of the finest traditional/Gaelic style pipers in the world today. John won many prizes on the competition circuit but he never lost sight of the music that was more “real” to him—the music that was played at the dances and house ceilidhs, the kind of music played by his grand uncle Alec Currie and grandfather Paddy Currie with the unmistakable “Blas na Gaidhlig” (sound of Gaelic) that many of the fiddlers and pipers in Cape Breton had. Cailean MacLean was raised in a household steeped in traditional music, especially the pipe music of his father, John. As a young boy, Cailean often accompanied his father on visits with Alec and he’s probably one of very few musicians of his generation to have met and listened to Alec Currie in his own home. Cailean has been playing guitar for more than 15 years and has developed a passion for traditional “Scotch” music. He takes great care to emulate the repertoire and Gaelic style of the great masters of former generations, like Mary MacDonald, Bill Lamey, Johnny Wilmot and Doug MacPhee.

Festival Performances

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