Gillian Head is a fiddler with a sound that exemplifies the spirit and drive of traditional Cape Breton music. Her most recent release, Tidal (2018), received award nominations from both Music Nova Scotia and the East Coast Music Association. When not performing, Gillian teaches fiddling at École de musique Raveston in Chéticamp, Nova Scotia. “...it is so alive and powerful, flat out fun fiddling that there is no way you can keep from falling in love with it.” -Irish American News, 2018
First taking interest in Cape Breton step dance, Gillian soon wanted to play the music she practised to. She began fiddle lessons with Stephanie Wills, before eventually studying with the late Jerry Holland. Both Jerry's teaching and playing had an impact on her development as a fiddler. While early teachers instilled a love of tradition, her style is individual and reflective of her varied musical taste.
In 2014, Gillian released her debut album Spirit which was met with a nomination from Music Nova Scotia for "Traditional/Roots Recording of the Year". Her latest album Tidal includes traditional Cape Breton tunes as well as some of Gillian's own compositions. Tidal also garnered nominations from both Music Nova Scotia and the East Coast Music Association. She's joined on the album by Jason Roach and Mary Beth Carty, with guest appearances by Colin Grant and Donnie Calabrese.
During the winter months, Gillian teaches fiddling at École de musique Raveston.
"..sure to keep your hands clapping and your toes tapping." -Celtic Life International
"Her fiddling is powerful and passionate.“ -Tom Keller, Folkworld.eu
"Not just another Cape Breton fiddler.. a totally new sound; innovative, complex, and completely lovely." -Jack Baker, Irish American News