Cape Breton Piano: Tracey Dares

Tracey Dares was born in Sidney and raised in the Marion Bridge area. She is one of the finest pianists in Cape Breton today. She has been playing piano when she was 5, and at 15 was making her first appearances chording for fiddlers. She made her first recording with Percy Peters, a fiddler from Mira Road, when she was sixteen. The recording was called Party at Marion Bridge.

Tracey began accompanying Natalie MacMaster in 1992, and has toured extensively with Natalie and others.

She has taught piano and step-dancing at the Gaelic College of Celtic Arts in St. Ann's and at the Céilidh Trail of Music in Cape Breton.

Her work can be heard on Natalie MacMaster's Fit As A Fiddle and No Boundaries CDs, Dave MacIsaac's Nimble Fingers CD, and Rita and Mary Rankin's Lantern Burn. However, she left the road to return home and do community based work.

In 1994 Tracey released a solo recording "Crooked Lake" which contains traditional tunes and her own compositions. She has also she produced and released an instructional video of traditional Cape Breton piano accompaniment called A'Chording to the Tunes.

Tracey recently ended a four-year tour with Cape Breton fiddler Natalie MacMaster, and is currently taking time off.

Update - May 2000: Tracey has been working with piper Paul MacNeil - well, moe than just working I expect given that she's now hyphenated his name behind hers!

In any event, she's easy to find on the local ceilidh and concert circuit in Cape Breton.

To Home of Piano in Traditional Cape Breton Music
To Cape Breton Piano: Some Players Past and Present
Disclaimer: I am not an expert in the history, theory, or playing of Cape Breton Style piano accompiament. I am an eager student. If you find errors, lies, damn lies, ommissions etc etc etc within these pages, please do call it to my attention!

Le gach beannachd,
Roger Lane Reid