Shannon Johnson began studying violin at the age of three and has progressively gained a reputation as one of the finest fiddlers in Canada. While touring and performing traditional folk music at eight, she was featured at events such as Expo ’86 (Vancouver), Canada Day (Ottawa), CNE (Toronto), Calgary Stampede and the World University Games in Edmonton with the McDade Family Band. She was concert master of the Edmonton Youth Orchestra, toured Europe with the University of Alberta’s Academy of Strings, and received the highest mark in Canada for her grade 10 violin exam. While keeping a busy live performance and touring schedule, she is also emerging as a lead composer and arranger and well on her way to becoming one of the top record producers in Canada.
Solon McDade has been performing professionally for most of his life. He began playing the cello at age 4 and by the time he was 9 he was playing the violin and double bass, and doing shows with his family in the McDade Family Band on the washtub bass. By the age of sixteen he was already a veteran of the Canadian folk festival circuit, and has toured Canada with Luther “Guitar Jr.” Johnson, Billy Boy Arnold, Wildchild Butler and Michael Coleman. A graduate of McGill University’s Jazz Performance Program and Grant MacEwan College’s Jazz Program, he has participated in the Summer Jazz Workshop at the Banff Center for the Arts. As a bass player in demand, he has toured Europe, the United States and Canada.
Jeremiah McDade is a multi-instrumentalist and composer who plays whistles, saxophones, fiddle and flute, among other instruments. He has performed at festivals, concerts and major events since he was five, and is now a sought-after studio musician. He recently graduated with High Distinction from the Jazz Performance Program at McGill University in Montreal, and is a busy composer and arranger who keep a heavy performance schedule with the McDades and other groups.
François Taillefer is a highly trained percussionist with performance experience in a wide variety of musical styles. Since 1988 he has been an active part of Montreal and Canada’s vibrant music community. In addition to playing with ancient music ensembles, he is also a member of the Brazilian percussion group Le Bloco. Over the last few years he has been involved in a number of acclaimed recordings for television, radio, and film soundtracks, as well as commercial CDs.
Yann Falquet is one of Canada’s most innovative and sought after acoustic guitar players. Born into the Quebecois tradition, he has explored many other styles of music as well, including completing a Bachelors degree in Jazz at Concordia University. He has played in festivals such as The Montreal Jazz Festival, and the Festival Musique au Présent du Québec. He has performed on numerous recordings, and toured throughout Canada, the United States, and Europe.