Josh Max (bass)
With a grandfather who played 1st violin in the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra, a mother who taught classes of music and rhythm appreciation to children and a father who played tenor guitar for the award-winning Canadian folk band The Couriers, Josh’s love of music comes from deep within his roots. Born and raised in Ottawa, Josh started playing piano when he was 8 years old. Years later Josh took the advice of his grade 10 music teacher and switched to bass…and hasn’t put it down since! Keeping busy in high school – although not always out of trouble! – playing in private bands and the high school junior and senior, concert and jazz bands, Josh won a national musicianship award at the 1995 National High School MusicFest in Calgary with his high school senior jazz band. Since then Josh has gone on to play in numerous different bands over the last number years, covering a wide variety of genres and styles. Josh is still the bass player and lead singer in the Celtic/East Coast duo Te Bheag (pronounced “Chey Vek”)
Paul Mills (guitar)
Paul has been part of the Canadian folk music scene for over thirty years. He has produced over 130 albums working with artists like Stan Rogers, Sharon, Lois and Bram, Ron Hynes and, of course, Sarah Burnell! He is a founding partner of Borealis Records and operates his own recording studio, “The Millstream”. 2006 saw the release of “The Other Side of the Glass”, Paul’s critically-acclaimed first solo CD. Paul has been a generous and wise mentor for Sarah, her amazing producer for “Sarah’ndipity”, as well as her fantastic accompanist. Paul is originally from London, Ontario.
D’Arcy McGuire (percussion & accordion)
D’Arcy performs on a wide variety of percussion instruments, and enjoys playing in all genres of musical expression. Although he views EVERYTHING as a percussion instrument, his ‘instruments of choice’ would be kit, bodhran, and djembe. He also contributes accordion to the band mix. A Sudbury, Ontario native, D’Arcy has also won numerous awards as a Bassist for solo and highland pipeband competitions and performances, including the 2007 North American championship for the ‘Solo Flourishing Bass’ competition.
Greg Weeks (cello)
A native of Ottawa, Ontario, Greg first played with Sarah in the Ottawa Junior Youth Orchestra! They met up again at Canterbury High School, in its prestigious strings programme, years later! Sarah has enjoyed introducing Greg to the celtic repertoire, and they have been delving into the traditional role of the cello as the partner of celtic fiddle. Greg has studied cello since the age of 7, and is currently studying with Kirk Starkey. In his other musical life, Greg is exploring contemporary composition and electronic music. He finds the music of Japan, which he visited in 2005, to be a source of inspiration.
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Jim Hunter (piano)
Jim is well known around the Ottawa Valley, where he performs with several fiddlers and ensembles. He is very involved in the traditional music scene, and is on the executive of both the Ottawa Traditional Fiddle and Folk Art Society, and the Canadian Grand Masters Fiddle Association. Sarah and Jim first met at “fiddle club”, where Jim ‘chorded’ for some of Sarah’s early appearances as a fiddler. In his professional life, Jim is a distinguished geophysicist, travelling around Canada and the world on behalf of the Geological Survey of Canada. His experiences in far-flung corners of the planet make for interesting dinner conversations and exciting bar demonstrations! As a business/hobby Jim also makes quality tippers for the bodhran drum. He is a native of Sarnia, Ontario.
Ellen Gibling (harp)
Ellen has been playing harp since age 11. Starting out playing celtic tunes at the Halifax Farmers’ Market on saturday mornings, she has since become involved in performing with orchestras, operas, musicals, pop groups, choirs and in other varied projects both at home in Halifax and in Montreal. She is currently a music student at McGill with Sarah and Greg, studying classical harp with Jennifer Swartz. She has also studied with Karen Rokos, Elizabeth Jane Baldry, and Cheryl Reid-O’Hagan. While recently kept busy practicing pedal harp at McGill, she is very happy to have the chance to finally play her celtic harp again with Sarah and the band!
Neil McDaniel (guitar, mandolin)
Neil brings to the band the authentic Cape Breton touch since he was born and raised in Margaree Forks! His three older sisters led the way, being musicians and highland dancers. There are also highland pipers in the family…but we won’t hold that against him! Neil’s earliest musical memory was hearing his sister play a busted-up antique pump organ, which he eventually learned to play too. At 15 Neil got his hands on a guitar and rolled the dice with that instrument as well. Attending St. F.X. University after high school was a huge experience and opened his musical perspective to a wide range of styles. Along the way, Neil also picked up whistles, mandolin, banjo,…and song writing. In his other life, Neil is a teacher with the Ottawa-Carleton Catholic School Board. He is currently working on his own CD project, which he hopes to release early 2008.
Curtis Perry (guitar)
Curtis has been experimenting on the six-string since the age of ten, when he saw his dad pick out Neil Young in the living room. Now on the cusp of graduating from the music program at Carleton University, he has enjoyed a steadily rising profile as an enthusiastic teacher, original composer, and reliable accompanist. Besides strumming for the SBB and teaching budding musicians, he is currently finishing a five-song cycle dedicated to the memory of Glenn Gould.