John MacLean

Cape Breton

John MacLean is widely recognized as one of the finest traditional/Gaelic style pipers in the world today. John was born into a family of tradition bearers from Cape Breton. He is descended from a long line of pipers, fiddlers and step dancers. On his father’s side were predominantly fiddlers and step dancers, originally from the Isle of Barra. His mother’s side were Curries from South Uist and they were pipers. John’s early piping was nurtured by people like Chris Anderson, P/M Reagh MacKay of the 48th Highlanders, John Walsh and P/M Angus J. MacLellan. He won many prizes on the competition circuit, including Atlantic Canadian Champion three times, but John never lost sight of the music that was more “real” to him and that was the music that was played at the dances and house ceilidhs and the kind of music played by granduncle Alec Currie and grandfather Paddy Currie – music with the unmistakable “Blas na Gaidhlig” (sound of Gaelic) that many of the fiddlers and pipers in Cape Breton had and a few still have.

Festival Performances

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