Natalie MacMaster performs at the Port Theatre Wednesday (April 3) at 7:30 p.m.

Natalie MacMaster performs at the Port Theatre Wednesday (April 3) at 7:30 p.m.

Master of the bow

NANAIMO - Natalie MacMaster performs at the Nanaimo Port Theatre Wednesday (April 3).

Natalie MacMaster’s passion for fiddle music grows stronger as she tutors her children in the art form that has been part of her family for generations.

“Fiddle music is plain and simple and it’s in my ancestry and part of my family tree,” she said. “Musicianship is in my blood.”

Her four-year-old daughter started learning a month ago and her two older children already play the fiddle.

“I am made more passionate about it through them,” she said. “I want them to learn it. They are naturally gifted so it’s a joy.”

As a mother of five, she said balancing life and work has its challenges, but it’s not something the family sits down and tries to calculate. MacMaster, who is married to fellow fiddler Donnell Leahy, said the kids always come first.

“We have the attitude of let’s just let life pull us along,” she said.

For more than three decades MacMaster’s grace with the fiddle bow and invigorating performances have entertained audiences around the world. The musician collects traditional jigs, reels and strathspeys and makes them her own.

When MacMaster takes the stage she turns into the performer. Sharing music with others is something that brings her joy.

“Music is such a freeing thing. It is so true and right,” she said.

When she performs she takes note of the responses of the audience.

“When someone likes to hear something it takes my attention. I listen with them and it makes me tap my foot. It produces an emotional and physical response,” she said.

MacMaster is performing in Nanaimo at the Port Theatre Wednesday (April 3). She’ll play songs from her latest album Cape Breton Girl as well as some new pieces she’s been working on. MacMaster said her music has the ability to appeal to a wide range of people.

Tickets are $47.50 and are available by calling 250-754-8550, at the Port Theatre box office, located at 125 Front St., or online at

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