In Concert Performances and Community Programs
All members of Northern Gael have learned the arts of Irish and Scottish music and dance from noted tradition-bearers on both sides of the Atlantic, and continue to build their skills, repertoire and collaborations.
In concert, Northern Gael weaves together the vibrant traditions of Ireland, Scotland and Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. From lovely trio performances of beautiful ballads to vigorous sets of dance tunes and nimble steps, Northern Gael presents a lively, genuine and delightfully well-informed concert program.
In addition to concert performances, Northern Gael offers school programs, family programs and community workshops. School and family programs can include the teaching of Irish, Scottish and English traditional song games, as well as the demonstration of a fascinating array of instruments, music and steps. Workshops can include Playing the Irish Bodhrán, Learning Sean-nós (Old-style) Dance Steps, Learning the Tin Whistle, Irish Fiddle, Traditional Songs, and more.
A lifetime of passion for music and dance has brought each member ~ Ross, Laura, and Danielle ~ to an extraordinary level of expertise in their chosen fields. Of note:
Ross Sutter has been honored with a Sally Award (Sally Ordway Irvine), awards which “honor individuals and institutions that strengthen and enrich our entire state with their commitment to the arts and arts education.”
Laura MacKenzie is a Bush Fellow in Traditional and Ethnic Performing Arts and in 2012 was awarded a prestigious McKnight Performing Artists Fellowship.
Danielle Enblom holds a diploma in traditional Irish music and an MA in dance history, through Irish universities.
Laura MacKenzie; wooden mid-ninteenth century style flutes, whistles, English-system concertina, Scottish Smallpipes, Border Greatpipes, voice:
Additional bio notes on members of Northern Gael:
Danielle Enblom; fiddle and dance:
Danielle has spent more than a decade as a student, educator and performer specializing in traditional Irish music and dance, with experience in Scottish music and dance as well. She has taught and performed throughout the US, Ireland, Scotland and Europe. Danielle holds a diploma in traditional Irish music from University College Cork and an MA in dance history from Tralee Institute of Technology in County Kerry. Danielle's approach as a performer and instructor is informed by her extensive knowledge of both the dance and music traditions of Ireland and the intrinsic connection between the two. As an academic she has undertaken extensive research on European dance history and connections between dance from Ireland, Scotland, England and the rest of Europe. Danielle has also studied old style Scottish Step Dancing and Cape Breton Step dancing for nearly a decade. Having learned initially from the tradition in Cape Breton, she also travelled to Scotland where she learned from native dancers and also appeared with award winning Scottish vocalist, Julie Fowlis. Danielle's passion for education is equal to her passion for music and dance. She has developed and implemented modules for dance education at the college level and has extensive experience working with organizations dedicated to arts and education. Danielle currently teaches at the City of Lakes Waldorf School in Minneapolis
Laura MacKenzie has learned from many noted tradition bearers on both sides of the Atlantic, and has herself been recognized as a master folk artist. She has received numerous honors and performing arts awards for her participation and dedication in this realm of music, including being selected for the original Cherish The Ladies series, featuring noted women in Irish music in America. More recently, Laura was awarded a Bush Foundation Fellowship in Traditional and Ethnic Performing Arts, and a McKnight Performing Arts Fellowship. Laura performs and teaches on an array of wind-powered instruments, including wooden flutes, whistles, concertina, Scottish smallpipes, border greatpipes, French cornemuse, medieval greatpipes, gemshorn and voice. Enjoying a richly varied career in traditional music, Laura has performed and recorded with diverse ensembles, worked with theatrical productions and for public radio, and has performed at festivals across the United States. She can be heard on a multitude of recordings and on several documentaries. Laura currently performs solo, with Ross & MacKenzie, Willow Brae (harp and winds), Brass Lassie, Northern Gael and with Dáithí Sproule.
“Wielding an array of whistles, pipes and concertina, she balances prodigious abilities with a maturity and overall expertise” – fROOTS (U.K.)
“High Priestess of Celtic music” – Minnesota Public Radio
Ross Sutter; vocals, guitar, bodhran (Irish traditional frame drum), bones:
Ross is best known as a singer of Scottish, Irish and Scandinavian songs, and for his wide repertoire of American traditional and popular songs. He is at home in any situation from concert hall to library or school, from outdoor festival to senior center, both as a solo performer or with additional musicians or dancers.
Here are some comments from various venues (family programs):
"I can't say enough superlatives about Ross Sutter. All about audience participation and the kids loved it"
"I love his way with the kids and how relaxed and laid back he is with them and with his music."
"I love that he is keeping folk music alive. I would have him back any time."
"We've had Ross Sutter at least 3 times in the years I've worked here, and he's just the best."
Ross accompanies himself on guitar, dulcimer, button accordion and bodhran, the Irish goat-skin drum. He is able to tailor his solo programs to a sponsor's event, such as songs of immigration and settlers for museums and schools, Irish and Scottish songs for Celtic festivals, or Scandinavian singing games and dances for Midsummer or Christmas celebrations.. Ross's work is featured on the recordings Walking on Air, Up the Raw, Crossing the Shannon, Hunger No More, Songs By Heart, Over the Water, Ye Banks and Braes (with Laura MacKenzie) and on his highly popular children's CD, Mama Will You Buy Me a Banana?